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Friday, October 12, 2012

48 Hour Experiment

15 minutes.  Unless I'm sleeping, watching a movie, showering, etc. that's probably about as long as I've ever gone without plugging into the internet - whether it's to check my email, read the news, find out whether it's going to rain or not, or some other random thing.  It's incredible how much the internet has become woven into the fabric of our lives - from driving up our productivity (think hardcover Encyclopedia vs. Wikipedia), facilitating commerce (think eBay), fostering collaboration (think human genome project), and on and on...

But the internet has also become an endless source of distraction, a black hole, where unless you're careful, your time gets sucked in and you've become an addict to a new kind of drug.   While you're checking your google +, playing words with friends, looking up scores on espn, reading the news, etc., a part of you knows that all you're doing is procrastinating, but yet you have no desire to snap back to the reality of what's on your plate.  Or, how many times during a conversation or dinner with a friend do you check your phone - even when it doesn't vibrate or ring?  I know I've done both of these many times before, and as a result, I was never in the moment, so to speak, always wondering what spam (what else?) was coming through my inbox, instead of truly appreciating the time I was spending with the person across the table or on the other end of the phone.

So, long story short, for the next 48 hours, I will totally disconnect from the internet - e.g., no wifi,  no cellular data, my iphone will just become an overpriced telephone.  What if I need directions?  I'll do it the old fashion way and ask a local.  What if I want to know if I'll need a coat?  I'll step outside and find out.  What if I'm looking for a good restaurant?  I'll cross my fingers and hope for the best.  What if my job manager emails me?  Well, that one I haven't figured out yet, but I'll probably cross my fingers on that one too.

The 48 hours begins now.


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