In late February I wrote about my Sundays Unplugged experiment.
The premise was simple – no internet access on my phone on Sundays, and no iPad or MacBook at all.
The aim was to spend more time offline with my family, reading, and just not frequently and unnecessarily checking the internet.
Ten Sundays later, here are my main thoughts…
I miss having the internet for a few simple things like checking the weather, cinema and swimming pool times, and so on.
I really like not touching either my MacBook or iPad for 24 hours. Because my phone does other things, like take and process photographs, play music, track my activity, record notes and ideas, and tell me the time, I don’t have this complete disconnection as with the other two devices. But I’m not desperate to go online with the phone, I just leave the WiFi off all day.
I really like being more focused and immersed with the kids, without feeling a frequent urge to check if I have new emails or comments on 35hunter.
I like that I have more time to read books, rather than reading online. I have read, or am in the process of reading, five photography books during this Sundays Unplugged period, so quite a triumph on this front.
I don’t like that the Friday and Saturday before the Sunday, I’m spending more time try to get “up to speed” online, so I can not do anything Sunday. Similarly, Monday mornings it feels like I have more to do.
In reality though, with no social media to follow, the most emails or blog comments I ever get in 24 hours is only a dozen, so this is a behavioural hangover from past times when I was checking more different sources and had more feeding my email inbox.
What I want to do next.
Sundays Unplugged are working well, on the whole. I don’t think I need to be so strict with my phone on Sundays, and if I want to look up the show time of a film, just do it, rather than feeling it’s a complete failure of the unplugged exercise.
Taking this idea further, I’d like to have another day (or at least the part of it while at home) with no internet – that is no email, 35hunter, Flickr and Pinterest. Again, popping on for 30 seconds to check the weather or location of somewhere on my phone is “allowed”.
But this is skirting around the issue, rather than facing it head on.
What I really want is to go deeper with this concept and not just unplug entirely, but wean myself off the constant checking and chasing.
For the purpose of the rest of this conversation, let’s call this habit “chacking”. (Apparently an ancient term for a bird making a sharp, harsh call.)
I really don’t like that some days I’ll check say my email, respond to anything that needs a response, then 15 minutes later check it again.
I want longer periods without chacking, and realistically I could ignore email (including WordPress notifications) entirely every morning and just check it in one batch in the evening. If my ego could handle this…
It’s this segregation and separation of the tasks I do online that I need to work on.
I love having a blog and writing and the conversations we have in the comments – here on 35hunter and on other blogs you write at.
I love making photographs and editing and sharing them.
These things I can do easily without reverting to chacking.
Everything comes through my email, including WordPress notifications, so I don’t need to look anywhere else. Checking email once a day in the evening sounds like an exciting but challenging task!
I’ll update you in a couple of weeks..
How do you feel about “chacking” – is it something you do online more than you’d like? What have you done to combat it? Have you tried periods “unplugged”, either partly or entirely?
Please share your thoughts below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.