Digital Life(style)

Taking a Fast from the Digital Life

I started writing quite an extensive blog post whilst sat in Zizzi’s in Manchester last Monday on the WordPress app on the iPhone, but although it indicates that there is a draft in the local folder, there’s nothing there to open – it was my first go at using the app, so if anyone can tell me what I’m doing wrong, I’d love to know!!

The Digital Day

On that day, a Monday on which I was having a day off in Manchester, I had considered the amount of digital data I had used by lunchtime….

  • iPhone: Alarm clock
  • Bible (YouVersion)
  • Calendar (to check the time of my flight later in the day)
  • Train timetable – what time did I need to leave to ensure time at the airport.
  • Weather (what did I need to wear?)
  • Tweets via Echofon, including photos
  • Contact with friends (inc the one I was meeting later) via Facebook (and emails)
  • Checking in at various locations with Foursquare and Gowalla (including adding new locations/photos)
  • Geocaching (do you know how much more difficult that is in the urbanised areas than in the countryside – had to sit on a bench awaiting the other 3 benches around me to empty out – thank goodness for Mancunian rain!)
  • Vouchercloud, to check out somewhere I could get a good meal (on my own) for lunch.
  • And then I was sat there tapping in a blog on WordPress, but that didn’t quite work….

And that’s just the digital stuff I knowingly use… our entire world runs on digital in many ways

Digital Fasting

I had already booked, post giving my Twitter Talk to OutThere to go to St Cuthman’s for a retreat – phone went off shortly after I arrived… I then realised I had to turn it on as it was my only alarm clock (despite breakfast available til 10am!) – I risked it without the following day. Occasionally I missed the opportunity to take a photo of something, or tweet about something, but without that, can start to look at the views, at sitting still, etc. differently… I’m not saying I want to be without my digital tools (I especially love my Twitter, Facebook & blogging!), but it was such a relief to turn my phone off and NOT be available to anyone else but me – and a big pile of books in the library (for the record: 5 fiction books, 3 non-fiction books, 3 chapters of Ortberg, and reading through from Amos to Matthew in The Message)… and some gentle walks, meals cooked for me, lots of sleep and a bit of art! I was ready to dive back into Twitter and Facebook when I got back online – as you can kind of deal with stuff then & there, but it’s the email which tends to hang around until dealt with – and often requires more thought! Short of deleting around 2000 emails when I got home, I still have a big pile to deal with…. I need to plan my next digital fast, so that the digital world remains enjoyable and appreciated!!

By Digital Fingerprint

Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital cultureĀ  in the third sector (especially faith). Author of 'Raising Children in a Digital Age', regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.

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