Excursions by Amit Gawande

How a Month without Computers Changed Me

This is such a fascinating read — so detailed on how Andrey Sitnik planned for and went through this arduous experiment.

Then I asked myself if technological fasting’ could do one good in modern society. Technology has changed the world in the blink of an eye, leaving us no time to reflect on it. What if a month without modern technology could travel’ you to the past? What if there is a way you could compare your technology-relying self to what you once were?

It is really curious to read how the analogue tools — for his camera, his watch, a map, a compass and of course a notepad and a pen - were key in taking him through. Of course, it needs planning to keep your brain busy without a stream of digital updates and reads to chomp on. To keep feeding it with activities.

Boredom was the thing that scared me the most, so I did a lot of preparation: took a few thick books, drew up a schedule (when I leave one place for another) and made up several evening rituals to follow every day. The internet-less reality turned out to be a boredom-less one, too. Recreation does not require anything special—in the end, you can always go out and hunt for good photos.

I wish I could undertake such an abstinence from the technology around me. Not because I hate my current state (doesn’t mean I do not even). But because I wish I too could arrive at a conclusion very similar to Andrey’s.

I came to the conclusion that IT hadn’t changed the world around, but created another, a parallel one. The reason we are always nervous and never have enough time is that we are living two lives now. It’s without a doubt difficult, yet how interesting it is to be living two times as much!

Do read this — even though we know most deep down the ills of our constant connectedness, it is eye-opening to read someone record his experiences. If possible, we should take Andrey’s advice. I, for sure, am seriously considering it.

I would not recommend digital fasting to everyone, but a temporary abstinence of some sort seems a very right thing to do

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