Thursday, December 4, 2014

On Experimenting With Comparative Silence

Its only comparative. I'm still trying to do two or three things at once.  Baby steps.  Two days ago I began experimenting with eliminating my electronic tethers--my computer and my iPhone--from the bedroom after 9:00 pm.  Its a bit difficult to do right now because Mr. Aimai is out of town right now and I need to talk to him or text with him at night.  And our daughter, the Jethi Chori, is away at school and I like to text with her at night.  But, on the other hand,  what I really do with all this electronica is bounce around the internet all night long and I can never fall asleep from the hum drum excitement of the constantly refreshed screen. The most interesting thing about exiling my computer is that I've discovered that the urge to check email, or check in with the innumerable conversations I have online, or google some fact, or check to see if I need to order some book or gift, is like a kind of uncontrollable tic.  As I sit in the bedroom reading, or sewing, or watching TV and reading and sewing--so I'm still multitasking--I can feel my mind wandering from what I'm doing and I reach instinctively for my googlebox thinking "I'll just check" or "I wonder what that actor's name is?" or "what are the exact dates of this event in the book I'm reading?"  There's always a good reason to do this. But the leap from the thing itself to the internet is terribly destructive to actually doing whatever you are doing.  It seems like its additive but its really subtracting.  I realize that I was watching tv, or reading a book, or working on some writing,  and also sitting with my computer open in my lap, and my iphone ready to hand, in case on or the other connection was slow.  So I might toggle between working on an online book and reading the internet on my iphone, or texting with one child while surfing the internet on the computer.   At any rate last night was the second night, for me, of the new regime and I was positively giddy as the hour approached when I could put away the computer and the phone and consider myself unreachable.   Now if I could only put this into practice during the day.

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