I’ve decided to take a week-long sabbatical from communications as far as my day to day requirements will allow. The things I’ve decided to forego as much as possible are in the form of my Blackberry, all IM’s, Facebook and Twitter. I’ve got myself a spare number which I will carry with me in case of emergencies. I will also allow myself to check email (I’m going to try for just once a day but that may not be practical), do daily short blog posts and use my Google docs. I will also use it as much as my work requires me; but no mindless surfing.
The Right Time
I’ve been meaning to try this for a while and I always found myself saying that ‘now isn’t a good time’. How often have you used those words? I’ve realised that those words are the biggest excuse that humanity has conjured up and it basically is just an illusion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that if something is important to you, you will make the time. If you aren’t making the time for something you’ve got to be honest with yourself and understand that it’s most likely because it’s not important to you.
I realised that in all honesty there will never be a good time to do this experiment. I just either have to do it or decide not to! I also decided to keep well clear of people who don’t understand this simple concept. They can be such a drain, will always make excuses and are almost always guaranteed to let you down.
I decided to do this to see what it would be like without instant communications. We almost don’t have the opportunity to miss people any more. On my blackberry I usually have my MSN on, Gmail chat, Facebook and of course Blackberry Messenger. I think most people have the false belief that all these communications tools will enhance our lives. While I do believe that to a certain point they do provide some level of enrichment I do think there is a saturation point. There is a point where it can all become a bit too much. I enjoy emailing and I need some line of communications to all the projects I’m involved with and so email with serve that purpose fine for me for the next week.
The challenge I face now is that I know that people are used to getting an instant response from me and so to go cold turkey not everyone will understand. So I may cheat just a little and check my phone once a day for any urgent text/messages. I wanted to see what it would be like just going back to the basics. The simplicity of just calling and emailing people is giving me a bit of a buzz. I’m looking forward to seeing how this experiment goes and I can already see the benefit it’s having on me. I already feel so much more focussed and lighter already; it almost feels like a kind of detox! It’s not easy! I can feel the urge to switch on my phone again out of sheer curiosity to see who’s messaged me but I’m going to stick to this as much as I can.
If all goes well I may stick with this format from now on. I’ll continue to use my phone but I’ll most likely stop using IM’s and totally cut down on FB and Twitter. My blog automatically updates them anyway so there’s nothing I need to do there. I’m not sure how its going to work in terms of promotion or the radio and comedy but I’ll see how it goes in the beginning and take a good look at how I can handle those scenarios.
I would love to hear your thoughts about all modern communications and what you think about my experiment. Feel free to leave a comment.