Or at least as much as I can. I’ve been feeling my screentime edge up even more than usual lately – not helped by working in online media, of course.
So I’ve compiled a list of things to do that don’t involve the internet. I don’t see the point of taking a complete break – people do need to contact me, and with a small business I don’t want to miss a single message. But for the foreseeable future I am going to take any chance I can to travel back to a simpler time, before laptops, smartphones and social media turned many of us into eye-strained zombies; and everything into a photo op.
My ground rules for 1999 living:
- Streaming TV on my laptop is ok – it’s the only way we can watch TV here
- Messaging and email are ok – when my phone rings nowadays I’m filled with wonder and/or panic
- Podcasts are ok – modern radio, really
- Blogging is ok – obsessively checking my stats is not
Other than that, let’s unleash our inner neo-luddites! Put that phone down, and:
- Read a book – a real bound book, with paper pages and ink print
- Cook something
- Bake something
- Make something
- Go for a walk
- Play board games
- Take a bath
- Listen to music
- Explore your city
- Visit a museum or art gallery
- Go shopping
- Watch the passing parade from the vantage point of a nice cafe
- Write with pen, on paper
- Try a new look, update your makeup, maybe even a new hairstyle
- Exercise however you usually do, or try something new
- Meet up with friends; but once you’ve all arrived – put your phones away!
- Get a massage, a beauty treatment; hipster dudes, get a pro to shape your beard
- If you feel like you need to talk to someone, enlist a friend or seek out a professional
- Go see a film at the cinema, or support local musicians or theatre
- Garden, even if it’s just some tiny potted herbs on your windowsill
- Play with your cat, your dog, your kids. Give them your 100% undivided attention. They can tell the difference. I know it’s not possible all the time but…
- Do the dishes. Go through your wardrobe. Organize your books. Pick a task that’s been bugging you for a while and just do it. Might be tough to get started but it’s worth it for the sense of accomplishment when you’re finished.
- Go get ice cream
- Become a charcoal snob. Read a book while you wait for the coals to turn that pale ashy grey, then grill vegetables, meat, whatever you fancy
- Drink a really nice glass of wine, beer, whisky, a great cocktail