World Book Day and National Day of Unplugging

This week we’re blessed with these two great reasons to switch off our tech (except for ebook reader if you’re that way inclined) and churn through some books. Costumes optional.

I find it frustratingly difficult to spend time away from a computer screen, so any encouragement I generally welcome. Today my sister was out digging in a field so I got out and got muddy too, rather than stay at home pottering around the house on one of my “m’eh days”.

World Book Day: Thursday 5th March.

National Day of Unplugging: Sunset to sunset March 6-7th.

Both events I have taken part in before, or the various other iterations such as World Book Night, and the UK’s National Unplugging Day, or Earth Hour/Day… although I can’t find my thoughts on a previous World Book Day. I though it was H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine that I tried to churn through in a night but barely made a dent in it. If that was the case it is fitting that I have recently started reading The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter as it is a sequel to Wells’ The Time Machine. But alas, it was Around the World in 80 Days, which I ended up taking with me when I first cycled to Scotland.

As for the act of Unplugging, there is help over on Sarada Gray’s blog, regarding avoiding TV and the like, such as:

  • Keep a track of what and when you watch, and how you feel about it, such as regretting not having time for other things.
  • Plan your viewing and evenings.
  • Avoid screens whilst eating.
  • Feeling tired and just want some escapism? Go to bed early.

I have tried everything with varying degrees of effort, and seemingly little prolonged success. I can occasionally manage a few days okay, only to let my efforts slip the next and find myself endlessly scrolling and clicking somewhere until past my bed time. I have quit social networking sites and forums (when a sort of anxiety really started to kick in) only to find myself signing up and making connections elsewhere. “The Matrix has you, Neo.” are the words I now hear in my head having recently re-watched The Matrix for the umpteenth time. The Internet, it seems, is the fake world that I willingly placed in front of my eyes, all those years ago, to blind myself from The Truth; the real world, my true potential, perhaps. I remember the same issue when I was new to the internet. Originally my time online cost me the length of the phone call my computer had to make, and being in a shared house I couldn’t hog the single phone line for hours at a time. Then I got my own phone line and a internet service that charged a flat-rate. My internet consumption became a perpetual “All you can eat” buffet. It’s still like that now and I constantly kick myself about it and try and dig deep into my reasons for seeking escape, distraction, companionship, or a platform to share and vent.

While my internet connection is virtually limitless (although not in speed), my electricity availability is not. March is usually the last month where I participate in SETI@home until the colder months return in November, using computers to add a little warmth to my home. It’s an approach that churns through electricity. I’ve been holding onto 10th position within the UK, but I’m set to be overtaken in little over a month and my energy provider emailed me this week to inform me the cost per KWh will be increasing soon. I can save money by using less water, but I could save far more money by using less electricity; switching computers off, unplugging, is the way forward.

So, I shall once again attempt some time out and put a little bit of dent into The Time Ships, some time away from a screen over the next few days and instead in front of a nice warm fire. Although I still have some book notes to write up from the David Icke book I recently finished reading. My sister wants some more help in the field at the weekend too.


  1. Thanks for linking to my post.  I will have a stab at doing World Unplugging Day – does it include all electrical devices or just TV and computers etc?

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