So I read today about the computer application called ‘Freedom‘ , which allows you to set an amount of minutes in a day where your computer cannot access the internet. A mere 10 dollars allows you to buy the program and set it up on your pac or mac, and to get yourself some freedom from the tyranny of the internet every so often.
I quite like this idea, although personally I prefer the idea of simply turning the computer off altogether, as personally there’s not much I do on the computer now which doesn’t use some kind of internet access. Even when I am doing extended periods of writing, I still use the net to refer to in different ways, or perhaps to play music. So my own reccomendation is that you turn the computer off altogether, I do this at weekends (barring very occasional abberations) and only use the computer during the week.
As it happens I was with a friend all morning today, discussing rhythms of life. He is a guy with a very busy life, a young family and a demanding job – I was talking with him about the ideas of personal rhythms, and the freedom that it gives to reprioritise the way you live to bring in things like manual work, creativity and things which simply allow one to be ‘in the moment’ instead of working or giving of oneself.
People like my friend are inclined to give of themselves without thinking, and to keep on giving until there is literally nothing left, then they crash. To avoid that crash a personal rhythm can be really helpful, structure can be liberating.
Part of that structure is time away from computers and screens altogether. I can understand why some writers from the old school insisted on using typewriters, like a pen a typewriter has a direct interface with the finished article, wheras with a computer it is mediated, and the result can be a kind of alienation. So to reduce that alienation, get yourself away from the screens, that includes phones.
What we all need to do is recognise the value of what we have, lets not let the tyranny of the internet, the tyranny of the screen or even the tyranny of the urgent flummox us into prioritising them over other things. Lets live in the moment and find ways of reducing the alienation which we all experience from day to day.