Friday, July 16, 2010

Weekend Luddite

Neither the title nor the idea are original to me. Check out where Reinhard Engels has a section under Everyday Systems about eschewing technology between breakfast and dinner on the weekends. I think we all know how much of a time waster the web and email can be. It certainly is for me. I can honestly say I've replaced tv with the web. I have turned on my television once in the last two months. I've been on Facebook, ebay, Etsy, and reading various blogs, Twitter posts, and my email almost every evening instead.

While all this web browsing may have brought me to my new hobby--studying, living, blogging about the 50's lifestyle--it has also had its consequences, chief among them, my shortened attention span.

Now where was I. Oh yeah . . . . I've recently read, yes on the web, about how Facebook, email, texting, etc., have shortened most people's attention spans and interferes with normal socialization. This has been born out in my own life.

I took my mother to a doctor's appointment the other day, and I brought a book with me I'd seriously like to read, but instead, I flipped through glossy magazines, looking at the pictures, forcing myself to read the short, 8th grade level (if it's even that high anymore) writing of the articles. And occasionally, I read a paragraph of my book. I need an intervention.

So what I propose to do is pretty much along the lines of what Reinhard Engels has found works for him. On the weekends, no web or television between breakfast and dinner. That will force me to manage my time and focus my energy and my attention on working around the house, cooking, cleaning, spending time with my husband, communicating or visiting with friends.

I'm especially bad about not calling people when I can email or Facebook with them. Part of that's a touch of social anxiety I have and my greater comfort with the written word, but it's so much more meaningful to talk with friends and loved ones, if not face to face, then on the phone.

Something else interesting to note that kind of goes along with this is that in the 1950's television shows did not come on until 7:00 p.m. I found a website that has television schedules from the 1950's (, so if I do turn on the television, it won't be until 7:00 p.m., and I think I'll try to find some of the shows listed on those schedules on or elsewhere that I can watch.

So, I'll let you know how it goes. I'm a little anxious about the whole proposition.

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