Mention to anyone with computer savvy that your laptop has somehow gotten slower over recent months and they’ll ask you the same thing: “have you defragmented your hard drive?” Defragmenting works by taking small slivers of information stored in various locations and consolidating them so that they’re in the same place on the drive and thus easier to access in larger chunks. Hard drive fragmentation is a great metaphor for - if not a literal manifestation of - what’s happened to our brains over years and years of processing small bursts of information. 2009 took fragmentation to a whole new level given the rise of Twitter and the social acceptance of texting people as a substitute to making phone calls.
That’s where the one week digital cleanse comes in. I’ll be defragmenting my mental and psychological hard drive during the first seven days of the new year, and I invite you all to participate.
The cleanse will begin at 9am on January 1. This gives everyone a chance to text and tweet their new year’s well wishes, and theoretically begins upon waking up the morning of January 1. The cleanse will end at 9am on January 8.
*email only from laptop or desktop computers
*cell phones can only be used to make calls, and no text messages or e-mails are allowed - if you receive a text, you must reply in voice over the phone. E-mails must be returned from a laptop or desktop computer.
*no use of Twitter or any other social networking site - this includes reading as well as posting.
*no visiting of any entertainment or gossip sites. (No need to detail which ones - you know what they are.)
I floated the idea last week on Twitter to see if anyone could envision themselves doing this, and the responses were interesting; some said they could definitely do it, but many were resigned to the idea, calling it impossible. If it is impossible, than my theory is already proven and we’re in big trouble as a society.
This can be done, people. Do it with me. When we pop back up on the grid on January 8, let’s trade stories on what it felt like, how hard it was, and maybe how hard it actually wasn’t.