Craig Mod’s writings about going offline for a month were rather intriguing, but not enough for me to think that it was a good idea. I didn’t particularly enjoy his writing style, and found it all to be a little bit self-indulgent.
I would say attention/attentiveness is a problem that I face on a regular basis. It’s hard for me to sit through a lecture or work through my homework without checking my phone, email, or various other medias. A bit part of this is definitely the fact that I have a lot of technology right at my fingertips, and it’s often easier to indulge in this than let myself get too immersed in whatever it is I may be doing. I often find myself losing interest in certain social situations as well, which is what I find most disturbing. I mean, I would imagine even before smartphones and wireless internet, university students had trouble listening to a long lecture. I recall being a student before cell phones, and we would pass notes, write little stories, and draw photos to distract ourselves. Because of this, I would hardly say that the inability to learn uninterrupted is a problem, but feeling the need to check my phone when I am amongst friends is a bit problematic. I would think I could set my entire attention on my friends, or on my boss during a meeting, but sometimes that simply does not happen.
If I were to alter my behaviour, that would be the thing I would want to change the most. I would love the ability to be as present as possible when I’m with the people I love. Unfortunately though, sometimes these distractions are not just for distractions sake. Having a device in your pocket that allows you to communicate with anyone at any time makes it easier for different stressors to sink their teeth into your life.
I think, if I were to put a concerted effort into it, I could accomplish what Craig Mod did. It sounds nice to be able to clear a bit of space in your brain for more important things, like your own thoughts. I do often feel like there is a bit of static, a slight disconnect in the way I behave because my brain is attempting to navigate two different planes of consciousness. For that not to be a problem would be quite a relief, and an interesting thing to try. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem likely that I would be able to accomplish that during a school semester, so we’ll see if it ever happens. Good food for thought though!