I unplugged my modem today. It was hard. I actually felt a shiver of anxiety. I mean, it’s one thing to have your internet service go down because the signal dies, the tower falls, the servers stop serving, whatever. It’s quite another thing to pull the plug out of the wall–not to reboot, but to forcibly go offline.
I can’t trust myself, you see. That’s what I’ve learned the last week and a half. And my distraction level has gone way way up. Course, it was freezing cold in the studio last week, so that was good. I mean, bad, cuz then I just camped out on the couch…surfing. And god knows why. I’m convinced it’s unconscious at this point, that some part of my brain thinks something interesting and/or exciting is waiting just around the next click. It’s not. Honest.
Anyway, I’m so not the only one struggling with this. Here’s an article on a digital detox in the nytimes last week, and a quote that spoke to me, as it were:
“it is so much easier to spend the day” doing administrative busywork “than it is to leap off the cliff into the terrifying unknown of ‘artistic inspiration.’ ” Taylor Ho Bynum, quoted in T. Wayne: 7 day digital diet
You may not consider being online as administrative busywork, but believe me, I can justify an online five minute three hour “break” faster and better than just about anyone I know.
So, onward. The modem lights are back to blinking and doing what they do and I’m back online at the end of a good day in the studio. I felt concentrated, focused. Not saying the work was brilliant, just that I was very present today. Present with a side-car of anxiety, but hey. I ain’t complaining.
Hours in studio: some.
hours online: someone’s at the door, i have to go now.