Lessons I learned during my Digital Detox

For 3 weeks this month, I was without a computer. While I am well aware that this isn’t actually that big of a deal, I use my computer a lot. I like to toss on youtube videos if I’m drawing or painting. I use it to design lessons for my students. I keep in touch with my family. Plus, I write this blog.

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So when my computer decided to die in the middle of January, I was a little worried. I too it to the Apple store after a conversation on the phone. When I got the diagnosis of 2 weeks without a computer (along with a hefty 400 Euro price tag for repairs) I was really annoyed. To start, the Apple store is not in my city. It’s around an hour away by car. By train it’s an hour plus 25 minutes to get to the mall. So it is sort of a logistical nightmare for me to get to. Thank god I have an amazing friend who drove me to drop it off, Elena, and a different one who took me to pick it up, Monica.

I wanted to sort of reflect on what I learned without a computer. So here are some of the major lessons.

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My behavior doesn’t change with or without a computer. Whether of not I have a computer, more or less, I act the same. I enjoy reading, painting, riding my bike, getting coffee and all of those things can be done with or without the use of my beloved MacBook. It’s not like suddenly I become a gym rat or a novelist – I pretty much live exactly the same way.

Podcasts rock. One thing about me is that I rely a lot on listening to things. For my whole life, I always have had a hobby while watching television. Whether it was puzzles or coloring or sudoku, I am someone who can not just sit as a zombie. That’s still true. Good thing there is a ton of amazing content that you just listen to in the form of podcasts. I usually listen to true crime – Serial, Criminology, and Crime Junkies are my favorites. I would definitely consider branching out in the future.

Most websites are not that mobile friendly. I can give so many examples but I’m going to start with every bureaucratic website ever created. I’m in the process of renewing my identification of two different countries. Because of that, I’m always bopping around on one website from the States or another from Spain. They are not built for mobile devices. In fact, they are barely usable in general.

 

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I really love having my blog as a creative outlet. But I also really enjoy creating in other ways. This month I made the first 10 of my birthday cards for friend, family and loved ones this year. I was somehow extra productive without the computer to distract me. While I do use Pinterest and google to come up with inspiration, I wasn’t checking my e-mail or getting distracted by facebook nearly as much as usual.

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Taking care of my computer needs to be a huge priority. I love my computer. I use it all the time. I bring it to private lessons to have my kids play games. I use it to plan lessons. I use it to write and to send e-mails and to watch Netflix. I think this little scare has reminded me that with the sleek design of Mac, it comes with some drawbacks. Namely: it’s a little bit delicate. In the past, I’ve dropped computers. I’ve literally submerged a MacBook Air in a bath tub. Another MacBook went through the ringer on 3 continents and ended up with a keyboard full of rust and mold. I am not the most dainty person. To curb any future problems, it’s time to take protection seriously. I bought a hard shell and a carrying case. I make sure to put both of these in the padded laptop section in my backpack.

For me the most important lesson I learned (which for the record, I’m really not to bad about) is that the longer you want something to last, the more you have to treat it like gold. Good thing my MacBook is gold and can constantly remind me of this fact.


 

I would love to hear about your digital detoxes and what you took from them. Do you find you spend less time using your devices now? Or do you find that you rely on them more than ever? Let me know in the comments section below!

 

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