One of my rituals for this new year is to choose a word for the coming year. My word for 2011 is EXPERIMENT. You can read more about that here. To support my EXPERIMENTAL focus, I commit to post the results of a new experiment each Sunday of this year. I’ll warn you in advance, the movie rights for these Experimental Year post haven’t been sold. Some of these experiments will seem larger than others. Some will seem inconsequential – to you. They won’t be to me though. What they all represent to me is a willingness to learn, stretch and discover. As always, I welcome your comments, reactions and observations.
This week’s experiment was a surprising challenge.
This included ALL online time ~ e.mail, surfing, blogging, Pandora, I-Tunes, FB, etc.
Since I don’t have a ‘smart phone’, I really didn’t expect this to be a very significant gig. Manoman, was I ever wrong!
For the first two days of this experiment, I kept a running list of the number of times I thought about or actually went to my laptop to the check on something (and didn’t). The total for those two days was 127!
For the rest of the week, I just paid attention – without actually recording.
Most days, I set aside one specific hour each morning and night for online time. One day I didn’t use all of my morning time – so ‘allowed’ myself a mid-afternoon ‘check in’.
Here are the biggest lessons I got from this week’s experiment:
- even though I’m a massive introvert, I missed connecting with people;
- I got MUCH more done (can’t remember the last time ALL of my laundry was caught up and put away ;));
- I’m grateful I don’t have a smart phone – this experiment helped me notice how much it bugged me when someone was texting while in face to face conversation me.
- I sooooooooooo missed listening to Pandora & ITunes;
- I liked having finite times to respond/react to e.mails & messages;
- I rested better each day;
- the quiet left me feeling less stressed;
- and I realized (again~DUH…) that some of what’s in front of me is under my control.
So here’s how this experiment will impact my life from this point on:
- I’m giving myself four hours of online time a day (mostly for the music/podcast part);
- I’m going to check/reply to e.mail/FB/Twitter three times a day;
- I’ve set the mindfulness chimes I mentioned last week a little closer together;
- I still don’t want a smart phone;
- and the next time someone with whom I’m in conversation begins to text, I’ll say, ‘hey, I’ll wait til you finish your other conversation.’ This feels honestly direct to me.
I LOVE technology. I understand 1/1oth of what there is of it out there. I’ll continue to learn and use what I want. And I still give first place to eye to eye communication.
How about you? How does your online/virtual life balance with your EarthSuit/real life?