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.
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.