My week with no tech.
I locked it all away.
My beautiful Mac Book, my iPad and my phone. I turned off the TV and covered it with a sheet.
It was very quiet!
I was apprehensive about this week, but strangely relaxed as it felt like familiar territory.
Having grown up in the countryside I spent a lot of my childhood either creating toys and games or outside building stuff and getting mucky so locking away my devices felt good in that sense. The sense of going back to living the way I had.
I felt free yet anxious.
Free from what? Free from the world? Free from stress?
Anxious about what? Missing out, being left behind?
Not really, Im not sure. I was about to find out.
I kept a Journal for the week, this forms part of my documentation process and is an important process for me to explore what the week was achieving for me, and the implications of that for my life and understanding of the place tech plays in the world.
I will be scanning and sharing my Diary in another post, along with the handwritten project work which this relates to.
My Tec-Tox Diary. I dusted off my 35mm Nikon F-301 for the images in the diary. It was the obvious solution to how I would illustrate it. I bought 35mm film and had to refresh my memory on how to use it. I have had this camera since the 80’s when life was different indeed, although it was about to change very quickly, technology wise.
The brief was focused around our relationship with technology. My thinking around this brief led me to want to feel what life was like without it. ( a reminder?!) I also wanted to challenge myself and see how it felt to find different ways of connecting with my friends and family and how they felt, if they felt any better or worse, was it more difficult or more worthwhile?
One of the ways I approached connecting with people was to write letters, by hand, and post them! I really enjoyed this process, it seemed much more intuitive and personal somehow. I found that by letter writing I focused my writing on the positive and humorous things I had done in my life, this is a huge benefit to our mind-set and I felt this. I posted them off, quite excited to think about them dropping on the recipients mat the next day.
(As you can see by the picture – I had a little helper that day!)
This process of letter writing for me thinking about how it feels to write and receive letters and it reminded me of the pen-pals I used to have as a child. We have no need for this anymore due to Facebook but it was a really nice past-time. I got such lovely feedback and letters in return from sending mine it really thrilled me to get a letter. It really did. It meant so much more than a text or email. I started looking into the whole letter writing scenario and I found this lady in New York who leaves letters to strangers in random places in the city. She has written a book about it, you can find it here:
It has become quite a sensation and has made people happy in, what can be, a quite lonely place. I love that – maybe I should start that here?!
With my project deadline looming I had to also carry on with my project work, which I had decided to write on a roll of paper without any tech. Why a roll? I wanted to explore working in this way to see how having the unlimited use of paper affected how I worked. Not limited by screen size I found it was really refreshing to just be able to let my ideas roll ( literally!) across the paper, it allowed me to fully explore an idea and document the thought process. I enjoyed it.
Working in this way, by hand on paper and with a fountain pen, this bought to light some personal issues for me.
Perfectionism. My tutor commented on how neat it was. “Is it?” I said. I hadn’t thought of it that way before. I gave this some thought. Had my unconscious concerns about it being neat and tidy, one could say ‘perfect’ even, been limiting how I explore my ideas? Blimey. There’s an idea. I mulled this over quite a bit. I thought about other areas of my life where this might come up too, yes I think I am really concerned with things being ‘ perfect.’ Bit of a revelation at my age – but never too late to figure this stuff out. I have since worked out ways in which I can challenge my perfectionist trait and I am a lot better but its something I will keep an eye on. I mean perfectionism has its place if you are a heart surgeon or accountant maybe but I feel in my role it is sometimes not helpful to be hampered by that self-limiting belief system. Cor. light bulb moment.
So as my week drew to an end I considered the week and the impact it had had on me and those around me.
My Mum said ‘Im really glad thats over – it felt like you had died!’
It did make me chuckle but I was interested in how it was for others too. I had included her in my letters so I hadn’t dropped completely off the radar!
For me it meant I had learnt a fair few life-lessons.
- Always keep in touch with your Mum!
- Turn off the tech sometimes and just s t o p unplug for a while.
- I relearnt that letter writing is important to me and others ( in fact I might revisit this as a project )
- I have perfectionist traits which are not helpful so I am challenging how I approach things.
- I need to keep challenging myself to learn more.
- I enjoy working creatively by hand but technology has its place too.
- Its about balance. Balance in life with technology and human interaction.
- I really like my own handwriting!
I will be posting the Tec-Tox Diary and my project work so others can learn from it too.
This will be in digital form to engage with a wider audience and prove my conclusion that we need balance between the two.
Thats all for now x