Stepping into the offline chasm

Ever since I’ve read I’ve been pondering doing much the same – i.e., going cold turkey for a month and simply not bothering with being online at all.

I think it’s a recurring need. I to some extent, during three weeks this year, and have been doing spells of it ever since, oh, , not to mention my to cut down on time sinks like and and, in general, relax more.

I need to do it again, I think, and to cut a long story short, I’ve hit upon five things I’m going to try to do from Oct 1st onwards:

  1. Move to using social networks solely on the phone – I’ve long preferred to use and clients over desktop ones (if only because I’m spared 90% of the junk content on Facebook), and regardless of phone or service, that way I only pay attention to the noise when I need to or I’m idling away the time commuting. Incidentally, this isn’t driven – but may actually be eased by – , which is where I’m now trying to rebuild my address book1.
  2. Cut down heavily () on my RSS feed intake, since I would say that around 80% of the time I spend online these days is related to either reading news, tracking down interesting bits of news or flagging stuff for later reading – makes a lot of that effortless (even though , my current setup is still mostly the same as ), and Instapaper makes reading stuff I can’t go through immediately a breeze.
  3. Set up as a sort of “single point of disconnection” – if it’s open, then I can keep track of news and most social networks and the news (it does Twitter, and , all in one place), and if it’s closed I can have blissful, quiet productivity.
  4. Read even more, and take some time each day to exercise, organize stuff, play the (or at least make a more credible attempt at it), putter around the house oiling hinges, etc. – in general, use less technology, do more things with my hands, feel more in touch with things.
  5. And, as a corollary, stop using phones and computers (of any shape and size, except my ) at home while the kid is awake, period. There’s stuff in life you can only appreciate once.

On a related note to 2. above, I’ve gone and bought both “NetNewsWire”:iTunes:NetNewsWire and “Instapaper Pro”:iTunes:Instapaper%20Pro for my , and I can safely say that despite some neat twists, I still prefer “Byline”:iTunes:Byline to “NetNewsWire”:iTunes:NetNewsWire, largely because it gives me a “river of news” view, although I also find it a rather more polished app overall (it can, for instance, cache images and somehow feels less visually cluttered).

That said, realistically, it’s utterly impossible for me to be completely offline for a month, so don’t go away – links will be posted whenever I find something worth commenting, and there’s quite a bit of draft writing in the pipeline yet.

1 Astute readers will have noticed that I’ve been griping about social networking for a good while now, and that I’ve extolled the virtues of having them on a phone for just about the same time – the truth is that (i.e., the mechanics thereof) for rather too long, which also helps explain why I need some quiet time – or at least a little change in perspective regarding them.

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