Detox: My Upcoming Analog Month

August 26, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

Dear digital devotees,

Phase out your iphone, interrupt your internet, cancel your cable and cast aside your computer. Cauterize the outlet in which your acuity is hemorrhaging. Do yourself a favor: instead of spending the hours working on that monitor tan and changing your facebook status (because no one really cares that you’re standing in line at the grocery store), do something in the real world. Unplug and thou shalt be free! My goal is clear: starting September 1st, no internet, no computer, no email and no TV for 30 days. I urge you to do the same!

So ditch your devices and detox with me, I’ll see you in a month with photos and words to share.

– Your dear friend Dan

PS. You can stop reading now, or you can continue reading about the reasoning behind my endeavor.

What exactly are you giving up for the month? What about your phone and digital camera?

I’m giving up: ALL television, movies, and videogames. I also plan to stop all computer and internet use (including this blog) at home and on my phone. At work, I am sometimes required to access the internet and I plan to strictly limit my use to work related content. I am also planning on setting auto responders for my email as I will not be checking my emails for a month. Those who wish to reach me may do so via phone or in person.

I’m NOT giving up: Communicating on the phone and using my digital camera! One of the main reasons for my analog month is to focus on my photography and before you say it, yes I know that shooting film would truly complete the analog month. I will not be editing photos, but I will have my girlfriend dump full memory cards so I can keep shooting.

Why would you do that? Computers are convenient, the internet is a powerful source of information and everyone loves shallow, mindless shows about a Bachelor marrying a complete stranger!

Experiencing life first hand rather than through an electronic medium:
Less internet means more face to face time with friends and family, more time outside and more time to photograph… enough said.

Free up time for the “real world” and projects:
I spend more hours staring at a screen than I’d care to admit. In a perfect world, I would take advantage of the benefits of my computer like online banking, photo editing/management and communication efficiently and quickly. The reality, however, is quite the opposite. I spend hours trying to accomplish a simple project all while “multitasking” which can usually be defined as reading blogs, watching videos and shopping online. Before I know it, hours have passed, I’ve purchased something I probably couldn’t afford and, as the credits of “GhostBusters” roll by in my browser, I realized that NOTHING has been accomplished. I’ve got quite a list of projects I’m hoping to complete.

Save money:
I’m happy to report that I’ve been COMPLETELY debt free for over a year. During a particularly low point in my life, I had over $8000 in credit card debt and while certain financial necessities attributed to a large portion of that debt, the majority of it was caused by irresponsible online spending. Although I’ve been debt free for a while, I still struggle with savings due to impulse shopping online. While I have only myself to blame for my previous debt, many will agree that the convenience of clicking that tempting “buy it now” button can be dangerous to the pocketbook. Its so easy to go online, research, click the mouse, get the cheapest deal and have it delivered to your door, but is it something that you really need? Probably not.

Exercising the mind:
I’ve got a stack of books I’ve been fighting my way through for months. Not Harry Potter, Twilight or whatever else the kids are reading these days, but real books; literature with ideals, symbolism, witty satire, smart humor and insight which many have enjoyed for years: Among the books are works by Vonnegut, Bradbury, Huxley, Steinbeck, Hemmingway Adams, and more. And while I’ve already read my way through some and I know I cannot complete them all in a month, I plan on spending a good amount of time reading.

Aside from reading, I plan on solving problems without online tools like Google, Map-Quest and allrecipes.com . Time to dust off the road atlas and cookbooks….

Limiting Exposure to Dumbed Down Media and Social Networking:
Frankly, I find American popular culture quite embarrassing. Combine idiotic reality TV shows such as “American Idol” and “Dog the Bounty Hunter” with opinionated, yet somehow unbiased news channels, mindless formulaic pop-music, online social networking tools such as Twitter (who really cares what you are doing right now?) and hollow, unoriginal movies based on comic books, cartoons and children’s novels and you’ve got a recipe for a meltdown of the mind.

My Ultimate Goal

I hope to purge the digital clutter, open my eyes and learn to be more efficient without the shackles of our electronic gods. I plan to save money, exercise my mind and body, to improve relationships with friends and loved ones. Ultimately, I plan to detox.

I’ll be back in a month…

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8 Comments

  1. Twitted by donreding
    on August 26th, 2009
    1

    […] This post was Twitted by donreding […]

  2. Cat House
    on August 26th, 2009
    2

    Good luck. I lasted two weeks once. I look forward to seeing your pictures when you return.

  3. Twitter Trackbacks for Detox: My Upcoming Analog Month : Liquid in Plastic – Photography and Words by Dan Newton [liquidinplastic.com] on Topsy.com
    on August 26th, 2009
    3

    […] link is being shared on Twitter right now. @iansegal said "detox: my upcoming analog […]

  4. Scott
    on August 31st, 2009
    4

    So here what you are saying Dan.

    Internet can suck up so much time. If I was as good as my photography related researching is I would be the next Zack Arias. lol

    Funny that you have had 2 tweets about this already. Man twitter is for twits.

    Good luck and see you in a month. I may just cut my TV time back majorly this month too.

  5. mudd butt
    on September 15th, 2009
    5

    Burn in hell TWITTER, go fck yourself FACEBOOK!!!

  6. Dave
    on September 15th, 2009
    6

    Nice ! I wish you well in your journey. Hope to hear – read – about your experience.

  7. Gary Weinheimer
    on September 26th, 2009
    7

    More power to you man! I wish you the best of luck, I know I couldn’t do it.

  8. Jon
    on October 2nd, 2009
    8

    Times up!
    Welcome back to the Matrix!