Writer and self-described internet addict Ariel Meadow Stallings wants to be “more present in the present,” and for her that means reducing the amount of time she spends in front of the computer/TV/phone screen. To do just that, she’s started a new, year-long project called 52 Nights Unplugged. The rule is simple: once a week, for one night, she doesn’t do anything involving a screen.
This means no computer, no cell phone, no movies. I plan to focus instead on the other things I like doing like writing letters, crafting, organizing, dancing, going for walks, cooking and making tea, writing in my paper journal. I might also try picking up some new things to like such as watercolors, scrapbooking, mail art, dance classes, attending lit readings, etc. Maybe I’ll even work on another book, writing ideas by hand. (BY HAND!) Regardless, one night a week I’m going to unplug.
Stallings invites other screenheads to join her in the effort. (Of course, she’s blogging the whole thing—the morning after her unplugged evening.) While it’s not as formal or connected to actual screens for me, I stay off the internet for one entire day every weekend (either Saturday or Sunday, depending on what’s going on.) Beyond looking up movie times or getting directions to go somewhere in the real world, I stay off the internet for a full 24 hours, and it helps my scrambled brain recover from being constantly online. How about you? How do you manage screen/internet time? Let us know in the comments—especially if you plan on joining Ariel in her unplugged nights.