Dry July

I've never really done Dry July, though I did twice do alcohol free year challenges successfully so in a way I have.  This year I decided to do it and go a few steps further.  Not just exploring my relationship with alcohol but also with tech.

I frequently go months or as mentioned above, years without drinking.  When I was younger I was almost always the DD since I was one of the few members of my friends group happy to dance while sober.

But with tech and the internet the story is very different.  I've been on call for over 14 years straight and I haven't missed a day online or at least working on a computer that I can remember in over 20 years.

So this Dry July I've decided to work on my relationship with tech and the internet too, including a dry 72 hours(sorry not quite ready for a full month) in which I will be heading out to a very cozy cabin in the woods with a box of books ready to spend 3 days sitting in front of the fire reading and relaxing.

The other things I've been working on is news addiction.  I will literally spend hours a day browsing news sites, reading the same articles essentially across multiple services, often about topics that I really don't care about.  I've tackled this by blocking all the news and social media sites on my main laptop, relying on the snippets in my Mailbrew morning mail to keep me updated just once per day.  To make it a more long term change I've also subscribed to a few weekly news magazines with the intention of moving to a much slower news cycle.

Lastly there is my always present iphone.  I actually got an Apple Watch with mobile data with the expectation I would be able to leave my phone behind but unfortunately at the moment I live in an area with very poor mobile reception.  My phone sometimes gets 1 bar of 4G but mostly sits in 3G when at home and in the area so that just hasn't been practical.  I have found ways to reduce my phone usage though.  Using the parental control settings I was able to turn off safari on my phone.  I also removed any social media apps except Stack team app for my hockey team.  It's been real eye opening to see how often I see something and it triggers me to open my phone and instantly Google for an answer to some random question instead of thinking about it or enjoying whatever it is I'm seeing.

Eight days into the month and I can already feel some habits shifting, I check my phone way less, I only open a new tab and type a news or social media site in half a dozen times a day.  I wonder how long they will last though once the month is out.

Whats the longest you've gone offline in the past 10 years?

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Jamie Larson