I decided to do an experiment: go off technology for three days.
Why? You might be asking. Well, I’m writing a book on slow living for Christian women, and I wanted to see what going off the grid would do to me.
Before I share what happened, just a quick disclaimer.
During my three-days off technology, I still used my washing-machine, hoover and hair dryer. When I say I went on a technology fast, what I mean is that I didn’t use my TV, phone, and laptop.
Basically, I had three days without emails, social media, phone calls, TV series, online lessons (I’m an online English teacher) and blog/podcast work.
What did I do instead?
I went on long walks in nature and reflected on several areas of my life, I prayed, jotted down book ideas, wrote a diary, and I read my Bible.
Aside from that, I also did housework and looked after the kids.
Ok, so what did I learn with this technology fast?
1. Going off technology reduces stress
My stress levels went down. I mean way down. Before I went on the technology fast, I was uptight and anxious most days. Because of work, because of being busy, because of being an indie author and feeling a compulsion to check my sales, engagement, etc.
Ok, of course, my stress levels would have gone down anyway just by the fact that I stopped a lot of my regular work (podcast, blog, social media, online teaching). But it wasn’t just that.
It was also three days without being bombarded with messages, videos, images, metrics. Three days without noise, information, and communication at every turn. And that in itself helped me feel more relaxed.
In fact, during the three days I wasn’t restless. I mean not at all. I felt no compulsion to check things online. I was relaxed.
2. Going off technology brings stillness and quiet
Who would have thought? One of the first things I noticed was how quiet it was. (Ok, except when my kids were around and being noisy!!)
During the three days, I didn’t listen to any podcasts, sermons, or music. It was just me and the thoughts in my head. Me and my prayers to God. And actually it was lovely. It helped me rest. To just sit and be still. I was awake, but at peace.
3. Going off technology creates space for other activities
During my three days off, I did some colouring, I finished a book I was reading, I played games with the children, I ran errands, I walked in nature, I brainstormed ideas for my new book and did schedule planning (both in notebooks!).
I also cleaned the oven, the fridge, and did mountains of laundry (as usual :-)).
4. Going off technology creates time for margin
Ok so the work I do is all technology-based (online teaching, blog, podcast, social media, writing on my laptop).
If I had simply taken time off work, it’s obvious I would have had more time to carry out my other responsibilities without rushing around.
But if I hadn’t done the technology fast, I’m sure technology-related things would have ended up cluttering up my time (social media, TV, and email) and thus led me to still feel rushed when going about my homemaking and childcare tasks.
The fact that I actually went off technology for three days meant I had more time for housework, for childcare, and for reflecting and praying. Without rushing around!
5. Going off technology forces us to use our brains more!
We don’t realize how reliant we are on technology until we stop using it!
Several times, when I was thinking over my schedule planning, and the book I’m writing at the moment, I had to remind myself not to go and check information online.
Instead, I had to use my memory, imagination, and reason to think of book title ideas (that was one of my brainstorming sessions!) and book structure ideas. Amazingly though, I didn’t feel stressed about that. In fact, I felt resourceful and calm.
I loved my technology fast. So much so, that I want to do more! The main thing I loved about it was how much time I had for reading and reflecting – especially outdoors!
If you’d like to go on a similar fast and would like more practical details on how to do one, please comment below and I’ll get back to you. 🙂
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