Offline Day 2019

reddit.com/r/offlineday – Might make this into a zine?

3:52 PM, Aug 1 2019 – Writing this still at work. At sundown today these devices are going into a box under the bed:

Laptop x2

Tablet

3ds x2

DS Lite

iPod Classic

DSLR

Applesmart Dana

Devices that are staying out:

Kindle Paperwhite (reading is good for me, eInk screen doesn’t seem to have the effects on me of other screens) with wireless disabled

iPod Shuffle (no screen)

Alphasmart Neo (writing is good for me, non-backlit screen)

My iPhone has been put into grayscale mode, wifi shut off, and data to all apps except Messages, find my iPhone, and MyFitnessPal has been disabled. All social media and messaging apps have been temporarily deleted. Close friends have been told they can reach me by old fashioned SMS.

8:45 PM – Got a slightly later start then I meant to. I realized at the last second I’d forgotten to write down some info I am going to need. I even wrote down the weather forecast so I don’t even need to leave that app’s data on. I’m going to leave my phone at home and go for a walk before it gets fully dark.

9:17 PM After my walk I felt bored, but didn’t have enough energy to do anything productive. I laid on my bed and stared at the wall for a while. I then hung my legs off the side of the bed and kicked at the air. After that I repeatedly hit my closed pocketknife onto my bedside table for the pleasing clink sound it makes. All in all, the past 10 minutes have been more rewarding then the average 10 minutes on reddit.

9:21 PM One of the big reasons I did not put my phone under the bed is my mom. She’s such a worrier that if I didn’t answer her texts for one day she’d start thinking I’d died or something. Yet she keeps including me in inane group texts about topics that have nothing to do with me and I do not care about, such as cleaning out my uncle’s garage. Ugh.

10:50 – I’ve been passing the time with activities such as plucking my eyebrows, staring into space while slapping my watch against my stomach, and texting my friend Erin (social isolation was never my goal with this).

11:11 PM – Just a few hours in I feel more in control of my thinking. I’m coloring a mandala while listening to FM radio. I think its best to spend my time thinking about either things that make me happy/feel good to think about and/or things I can actually control/change. There isn’t any use thinking about things that upset me and that are outside my power to change more then is necessary. It’s just… very hard to control my own mind. I don’t feel like I am controlling the content of my own thoughts most of the time. It’s still hard, but 2.5 hours in I feel more in control then I usually am. I managed to worry about one of my regular worry topics (not something I can change) for only a few seconds. I forget about the richness of my own mind without electronic interference. Usually google becomes like an extension of my mind, I think about or wonder something, I immediately google it. I’ve been making a list of the things I want to google tomorrow night.

1:15 AM, Aug 2 2019 – Took a Melatonin. Going to aim to go to sleep at 2 am, a bit of a feat for someone who usually goes to bed 5am or later these days. I read chapters 2 and 3 of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows. An appropriate choice. So far I am loving this detox, I’ve gotta do this more often.

2:45 am – Unfortunately not sleeping because Melatonin is taking forever to kick in! Got very caught up in writing some ideas down. I have filled 14 pages in my journal today! Average is maybe one page per day. I’m going to get in bed and try to sleep now.

1:30 PM – Awake. I got some iced green tea, my supplements, and am now sitting on my bed. Normally I’d be using my phone or computer right now, browsing reddit or something to help wake up. I’m considering what to do with my day. There’s several things I could do, but nothing I really must do. I haven’t eaten in nearly 19 hours, so I’m going to have to make some food soon.

4:10 PM I’m ready to start my c25k week 1 day 1 run. Just gotta wait 5 more minutes for my sunscreen to kick in. I’ve now finished through chapter 4 of The Shallows and it’s fascinating.

4:47 – Okay c25k week 1 day 1 was a failure. I’m going to draw up my own c2c25k program. Never give up!

5:27 PM – Typing up what I have so far for this diary on my Neo so I can post it to reddit. A few minor edits have been made to remove embarrassing content, haha. Thinking I will go see if my mom is going to cook dinner for the family, and if not fix something for myself.

6:22 PM – I wrote the first draft of my letter to my /r/fountainpenpals person of the month. I will rewrite it on my good paper as soon as my hand has a chance to rest.

8:11 PM – I have only a little over 30 min left before it’ll be 24 hours without my devices. I’ve been coloring on mu mandala and listening to my iPod as well as reading another chapter of The Shallows. I ate some grilled chicken and blueberry zucchini cake my mom made. I am now about to go for another walk.

9:13 PM – I walked for over an hour. I walked all the way to the end of my neighborhood in one direction, back again, then the other way and back. I saw loads of bats, some deer, and a snake. I wanted to keep walking but it got dark and my ankle started to hurt a little. I’m past the 24 hour mark now but I really need a shower. Once I get back from that, I want to kind of write a reflection of this experience. Then I’ll type up everything I haven’t yet on my Neo, then I’ll get my devices out from under the bed and disable the restrictions I had on my phone.

9:55 PM – I really enjoyed this experience and am really glad I did it. It was only hard the first couple hours and after that I felt great. I definitely want to do this again. Maybe monthly? Possibly even weekly. It’s obvious that the internet has a strong impact on our brains. I was surprised how much clearer my mind felt after being away from it even so briefly. I feel like I’ve done more thinking in the past 24 hours than I do in a normal week. At least half of me is actually sad this is over.

Less discussed but completely valid reasons to use a disposable plastic straw

1. Sensory reasons. Personally there are some types of reusable straw I can use, but others are utter sensory hell. Drinking without a straw hurts my teeth. None of them are as good sensory-wise for me as a disposable plastic straw. If I’m already overloaded I’m going to grab the disposable straw. It would be the difference between a meltdown and not for me. I would be very surprised if there is not a good population of people with sensory issues who absolutely cannot use any reusable straw on the market.

2. Spoons/energy reasons. I just spent 15 minutes washing my 8 reusable straws (I have a bunch because it’s easier for me to do them in batches). I am now ready to lie down for a few minutes. I absolutely do not blame anyone who can’t spare the spoons to wash straws. I do not blame anyone who theoretically could but would rather use their limited time and energy on something else.

3. Basically any reason, even if you can’t articulate it. People need to mind their own damn business. Anything individuals do is a drop in the bucket anyway. Maybe the person chooses to use a straw if it improves their life in some small way but makes effort to help the environment in other, less trendy or visible ways. Please use your awesome energy and motivation for helping the environment to protest the large corporations who are actually causing the bulk of the problem and leave disabled and other marginalized people alone.