As promised, I am coming back after 7 days of no laptop usage and I'm writing a follow-up article.
As a quick reminder, the initial challenge was 7 days with no laptop, coupled with a double dose of daily meditation (morning and evening).
You can find out more if you click here
To the initial challenge, I've added another written daily exercise: notice all the Abundance around me exercise.
The results came in, here's how I tested:
The first thing I noticed on Monday morning was that there wasn't much to be done indoors. So I went out. You know, to look at the big fireball in the sky.
And to walk around and see all the busy people running round and round, all over the city. To see what was going on all around me.
On the first day, I noticed I kept checking my smart phone, for my Facebook and e-mail notifications. That wasn't OK, so I removed all the e-mail accounts from my device and also removed both the Facebook app and Messenger.
On those first days with no laptop, I felt more light hearted, more joyful and much more present. Also I had more energy and I slept much better.
And I did more physical activities, like walking and riding the bike.
And also more of reading (Krishnamurti was on my nightstand for a while).
OK, I can't give all the credit just to the no-laptop ban, feeling good was more because of the Meditation practice. But not having the constant mental stimulation of the digital world definitely helped.
Later, on one of those 7 days, someone suggested I should get an old-fashioned phone, you know, something like a Nokia brick that had no internet connection, only a Contacts list and between 3 and 4 days of battery. I've made a mental note on that for later.
(image source: The Independent - Nokia 3310 The most reliable phone)
Doing Real-World things
People felt more inclined to talk to me. I suppose it's because I was more present, more focused, more there, in the moment. Every time we are embodying that energy, it is always coming through, you know.
During these 7 days, I did more real world activities. One morning I felt inspired to buy a paintbrush and clean up all the dust that's gathered underneath my car's hood.
But where to buy that paintbrush? Well, I remembered a little shop right across the street from where I live. It's been more than 3 years since I've last been inside that shop.
After buying the paintbrush, I wandered a bit inside that shop, just taking a mental snapshot of all the things that were up for sale inside. Abundance!
In some other day, I looked around my living room and just started cleaning up the place. Putting things in order. Leaving only what was essential.
Another day I went to the big library that was also 2 minutes from me. I just walked between the huge bookshelves, thinking to myself wow, there is so much informational abundance stored in all those books.
I did pick a book that caught my eye, found a place where I could sit for half an hour and just read. I took notes and glanced through the window, at the blocks of flats outside.
I felt present and at ease.
My mind started playing tricks on me
By the second part of the week, I started feeling the boredom settle in. I was still doing the Meditation and Abundance practices, but somehow the real-world activities were not that stimulating.
I was getting bored. And on the 5th day, my mind started playing tricks on me. During the Abundance exercise, I remembered all the computer games I've ever played, during my teen years and my early 20's.
I haven’t played any of those for a lot of time, and even last time when I’ve played, it was for a few hours only.
I kept thinking about the so many games that I've played and finished! And, almost without noticing, I started daydreaming about those games.
My mind kept insisting upon an older strategy game, namely Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne. And… I felt a bit into temptation. No, it's not what you think. The laptop was still closed.
(image source: WikiHow)
But I did watch a bunch of Warcraft 3 gameplay videos of on my phone.
All in all, after two hours I realized what I was doing so I backed off.
It's way too easy to get my attention hooked into the myriad of webpages, applications and connectivity that the computer and the internet has to offer.
There are so many things in computer land that can keep us trapped in our minds and make us forget that there's a Reality out there that's worth exploring too.
For me, the main conclusion is that I should start using the laptop with a purpose. You know, like I'm doing now.
The current purpose is to finish writing and publishing this article.
I am aware that in this day and age, it's not possible to go full 24/7 without a laptop for too long. Well, not unless I want to become a hermit and move into a nice little cozy cave, on a mountain top and eat only berries and roots.
And yes, I've been pondering about that some while ago, but I (still) like many advantages of what modern civilization has to offer.
Truth is that in the last part of the challenge, I've missed using the laptop. There's also a part of psychological addiction, I guess.
Anyway, I am happy I found and wrote down hundreds of things to be grateful for.
There are so many things in abundance all around us, we just have to have eyes to see it. Even if we don't personally own that abundance.
So, basically, the experiment was not 100% digital fasting. But it was a very effective digital detox cure.
Which I will definitely repeat in the near future.
So, what's next?
The plan is to use the laptop less. I’ve decided that, for this week, I am going to allow myself only 3 hours of daily laptop usage.
And I must use them before 19:00.
Alright, that's it for now, thanks for reading, Ciao!
(other image sources: Pixabay.com)