I use my laptop, and other digital devices, for a lot of things that don’t require them to be connected to any outside sources.
I listen to podcasts, although I sometimes discover to my surprise and dismay that they aren’t actually downloaded.
I use a meditation app.
I read on Kindle and iBooks.
Most importantly, I write books, essays, blog posts, lists and even social media posts and emails–and to write those things, I don’t need the dubious “help” of an online connection.
So why is it always on?
Why do I let my tools make resisting distraction a required part of my routine?
I have no idea. I mean, of course it’s convenient. Sometimes I need to look something up. Or compose the blog post directly into WordPress, as I’m doing now.
But mostly, having it always on means I’m constantly finding myself in a position of doing something someone else chose for me–responding, watching, scrolling–rather than whatever I myself set out to do.
So I’ve decided to give the off position a try. As in, if I WANT to be online, I will turn that on. But if my primary goal for the work I’m doing doesn’t demand a connection, I’m going to just sit here, on my own, doing my own thing.
Remember when you had to dial-up to connect?
I’m gonna work like it’s 1999.
A little inspiration: Cal Newport’s recent piece on Analog Social Media. Worth a read.