Friday, January 26, 2024

My Friendly Digital Divorce

I decided to move forward with the digital divorce...

Today I monotasked. I walked into the store without any tech to buy an old fashioned object called an alarm clock. 


So I can deliver the divorce papers to my phone tonight.

I no longer want to sleep with it or even be in the same room with it when I'm going to sleep, sleeping or waking up.

I want it to be a friendly divorce. I'll still visit digital land and I'll pay attention to our children (this website is one of them). But I'm not sleeping with it any more.

This is all part of a series of little experiments I'm trying in order to live life less attached to the digital realm and live more just as a human, interacting with his surroundings and the people in it.

It has been a long time coming. I remember the decision to leave my phone in the car when going to Mass about six months ago. So freeing. It became a permanent habit about one month into the experiment.

Excellent Ideas and Scholarship

Felicia Wu Song's book, "Restless Devices: Recovering Personhood, Presence, and Place in the Digital Age" is what has encouraged me to try more experiments in this realm. I am grateful for her work and look forward to seeing her in few moments here at the Calvin College Fine Arts Center... in fact I better get going, her lecture is about to start. Back in a bit :D


Ok, back in the saddle. 

Dr. Song gave us an excellent presentation and then a fine Q & A afterwards. She is a brilliant scholar and yet delivers her findings with tact and kindness, you won't be shamed by her for participating in the alarming trends that she exposes. Rather, she gives you simple ways to set proper working boundaries in your use of technology.

Which is why I'm referring to my relationship with the digital realm as a friendly divorce.

No, I don't want to sleep with it anymore, but I still value the toolset it has to offer to help live my life. But not on its terms anymore, or not so much I hope. I hope to extract myself from the seemingly compulsive attention to it and perhaps focus more on my marriage to my wife, my relationship to my family, friends and God.

So as I continue to experiment in this new way of divorcing myself from the digital, I ask your patience. I may not check my phone as much. I may leave it behind more. I might not login as much.

Who knows, I might be able to learn to more consistently engage with the world around me full of trees and grass and people and rivers and well, just all things bright and beautiful. I hope you can forgive me and maybe even join me... there is strength in numbers.