Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our upcoming tech experiment

For the last couple of months, James and I have been working on being more aware of our 'tech time'. We noticed, for example, that on the weekends we would spend a lot of random time in front of our respective laptops. Sometimes we would be working on things (bills, writing, etc.), but most of the time we would just be wandering the interwebs. Not owning a TV, for a while we thought this wasn't the same thing as channel surfing, but it totally is. It's just called site surfing instead.

So, we decided to have tech free Shabbat. We agreed that on Saturdays we would not go online. We would use our computers to watch a movie if we were so inclined, or to listen to music while hanging out, but that's about it. I went as far as to turn my laptop off Friday night through Sunday morning. We do keep our phones on and try to limit the number of times we use it or check email. Yesterday I only checked it twice all day- a new record for me. It's been really pleasant to have my laptop off and finding other ways to spend the day together.

Recently during our bimonthly house budget meetings, we began hypothesizing what it would be like to drop our internet service. Putting the money towards something else (like bills, savings, etc) is very appealing as is the idea of not having internet at our disposal all the time. I have 'net access all day work, and we both have our smarty pants phones with access as needed, so why have it at home too?

Having come from the place of nursing school where I HAD TO HAVE ACCESS all the time (school requirement. I shit you not) and was reading articles or writing papers literally for hours a day, I like the idea of not being able to connect all the time. There is something freeing about it.

We've gone back and forth on it for a few weeks now. One of the challenges we foresee is that we both have blogs we are very active with; how is this going to impact our blogging? One possible solution- there are multiple locations in our 'hood that have free wifi (local cafes, the library!). Why not make it a weekly trip together and post our posts then. We certainly don't need the 'net access to write the pieces, just to post.

Another potential pickle- we pay a lot of our bills, and do our banking, online. Ah, but most of the bills/banking have phone apps or automatic withdrawal all set up. Besides, we will have internet access on our phones or at my office, if need be.

And don't think I am not aware of losing my daily (sometimes multiple times a day) movie trailer fix! Though I will say the idea of being wowed in movie theatres again when I see previews there for first time is kind of awesome. I miss it a bit.

After much debate and discussion, we've decided to do it. We don't have a specific deadline, and do have a few things to do first (taxes, school loan stuff, etc.) but it will be in the next couple of weeks.

I look forward to reporting back on how it goes. Who knows, this might be really awesome and feel great and totally change our lives. Or it could totally backfire on us, we'll go through serious tech isolation withdrawal and we may have service put back on in a matter of days/weeks. Either way, it'll be an adventure.


  1. Out of curiousity, what will you do for movies and downloading music?

    1. For movies- we rent from the library or redbox. For music- either I'll download directly to my computer when somewhere with wifi or I can also download directly on phone on itunes.

  2. What do you think of Redbox? I'm still using Netflix disks--two a month for $6.00. I've looked at Redbox but I have so many old movies and documentaries in my queue that it looks like I'd never be able to find them at the library or Redbox. In fact, Kevin has a Netflix streaming account that we use pretty extensively, but I can't give up mine because I can't get these movies anywhere else.

  3. What do I think of Redbox...I think it is OK. I find it very strange having a vending machine for movies, but at the same time if I really want a quick fix movie rental- I love the access. We haven't had Netflix in a while. The streaming account is pretty cool from what I have heard but we both know it would be hard to control the amount of stuff we watch if we had that, so we don't partake. The library has a surprising number of old flicks, but I know what you mean about wanting to maintain access to them via netflix.