The remedy to your digital distress lies in the analog life.
We are all so busy with our computers, smart phones, tablets, and smart home devices with their personal assistants. It got me wondering if in the quest for digital nirvana that we might be missing something IRL. (in Real Life). You may all know about my word of the year (intention) and my desire to live more simply with less. On my journey to less, I have begun working on a template for a course on designing your digital life. (I will share my thoughts on that in another post.)
One important component of my digital life design is to be sure it includes analog time. I think of computer related things as digital and human beings as analog.
OK, so you may be shaking your heads wondering what has become of me and that surely I must be losing my mind. Well, I may be losing my mind, but this would not be the reason…
Yes, I have a digital life too, but when I give myself over to a mostly digital life, I find I feel stressed, I do not sleep well, I can’t stop looking at my tech; it draws me in more and more, and I feel less and less satisfied with my life. I judge more and enjoy less. I want more and yet I don’t gain anything from buying new things.
So, here are a few examples of what my analog life will contain more of:
- Not on a screen but the kind you love to read at the beach or in the yard. No charging and no batteries. Unplugged and reading for fun. I don’t do this often enough, but last year on vacation I read 4 books in two weeks and loved each book and felt happy being a reader.
- Journals, a place to write for myself…with a pen, and for no other purpose other than letting my thoughts form and arrive on a page for me to consider. I will let my mind roam and take me where it thinks I need to go.
- Knitting, crochet, gardening, needlepoint, home improvement projects. All things creative. For me, many of these activities are also meditative…the clicking of my knitting needles, the passing of the hook through my crochet project, the sound of the shovel or the rake on the earth. These are my respite from my digital life. I love tech, but I cannot allow it to take over all my time. My brain needs this time to just be, and when I return to my tech I am refreshed.
- Walking, at least a few times a week with no devices, no eBook to listen to, no podcasts, no music. Just the sounds of nature and the sound of my steps. This is a place to let my mind take me where it chooses. I can enjoy the flowers, think about a new project, think about my vision for the future, whatever it may be. Some of my biggest breakthroughs come during this solitary time.
- Dinner with friends with NO Devices. I am going to pay attention to my dining partners and not my devices. I will put my phone on silent and in the bottom of my bag. I will make eye contact and I will really listen to the people right in front of me. I know the digital world will be waiting when I return.
- Vacations with friends and family. The people I love fill my soul.
- Going to the gym. Now this one is bordering on the digital as I ponder purchase of a smart watch to keep an eye on my heart rate and keep me accountable to my steps and flights of stairs each day. I will wrestle with that a bit more, but since accountability is a good thing, maybe I will just stick with a device that measures heart rate, steps, flights of stairs, and sleep, but no connection to my phone.
How about you? What kind of analog life do you see for yourself?