Sunday, February 21, 2010

Today's Spiritual Message: Going Offline (Practically)

I've been meaning to continue sharing what I feel are uplifting, spiritual messages each Sunday.  Now that my wife and I have sworn to drink the blood of anyone or anything that keeps our daughter up past 7:30, the posts should be more regular.  (Translation:  we just put her on a strict, regular routine.)

If you're a regular C.A. follower, then you're probably my brother.  If you're not, you probably still know me well enough to know I'm a goon for Gmail, Chrome, Google in general, and being online 28/7.  (Yes, the extra four hours is meant to show absolute dependence.)  In fact, for a long time (too long), I maintained an email notifier in both my browser and on my desktop.

Can you say email paranoia?

There's priding myself on responding to emails quickly, and then there's just being obsessive.

My wife and I have found that we often jump at the sound of an email and run over to the computer screen, frothing at the mouth.  Why?  How many emails require a response within five seconds?

In a move that will most likely cause one of my law school colleagues to literally wet himself if and when he finds out, I've (well, we've, actually) decided to remove both of my email notifiers and only check my email about twice a day.

Yes, I've decided to finally take the advice of the 4-Hour Workweek author, Timothy Ferriss.  More productivity, less distractions.  If anyone needs me in a hurry, you can call me.


I don't aspire to own a crack-berry (or at least be an email addict), I don't aspire to tweet all day, and I don't aspire to perusing old chums' walls all day.  In short, I aim to avoid and lessen my somewhat ostensible online addiction.

My wife and I have found we feel very liberated and much freer to be with each other and take care of things we need to get done.
Has your jaw returned to its normal position yet?  Well hold on because I'm not done yet.

Another thing my wife and I have discovered is how much filth there is on every day Web sites (big surprise here, right?).  We felt sick and tired of skimming "news pages" only to find them laden with bikini clad women and other kinds of salacious nonsense.

The solution?  We've decided to block all images by default and only unblock the sites we whole-heartedly trust.

Sound a little overboard?  I don't think so.  There's a lot of sleaze out there, and we found we didn't have to go looking for it in order for it to come to us.  Yes, many pages seem rather dull without a solitary image, but my fidelity to my wife and maintaining a happy marriage hold a much higher value to me.

Okay, you can put your jaw back in place now, I'm done.


Christy said...

Yes, I will miss our computer tans from all the time spent in from of our screens, but it really has been amazing how much time we have saved and how there is much less worry when entering a site.

Steph said...

I love that! And I support you 100% Although it's hard, cutting back on online time will feel great. I go most weekends without even getting on the computer at all and I don't miss it. Neither Jon nor I have internet on our phones which I'm grateful for. Less sleaze and distractions = more spirit and happiness :)

CCF & JRF said...

Wow! I'm curious to hear how the experiment goes. I just imagine a lot of websites not being entirely functional without images. Perhaps I'm wrong.


Fletch said...

Yes, shutting of the email is one of the best things for increased productivity if you can afford to ignore people for a bit.

I commend you for your dilligence.

dan said...

Agreed - there was a good article in this month's Ensign (that we just got yesterday) about this.

We got rid of our TV for almost a year awhile ago and found that we didn't miss it at all. Even now that it's back, we still don't have cable and only watch Lost (and occasional sports)

Cougar Abogado said...

CCF - it's gone pretty well. Yes, there are some sites that are pretty much worthless without pictures or Flash, but, there you are.

If there's a site that we really want/need to see, we ask each other before unblocking everything, so we often find that we can get along fine with just the text or the few sites we mutually agree are okay (or at least momentarily).

CCF & JRF said...

For work you will live and breathe e-mail and eventually likely be tied to a blackberry so I strongly suggest by all means, limit yourself while you can! Soon your job wont allow you to.

I am surprised about what i find doing general innocent image searches as to what shows up, but obviously there are a lot of people posting those images for them to be that frequently showing up.

I recall the internet at the beginning in the earlyish 90s when I took a course on writing web pages most had at the time no images. I could never go back to that. Well that and the fact i have personally no reason to need to worry about the occasional surprising grown up content picture(s) that shows up.


Cougar Abogado said...

Yes, not having any images certainly changes things, but it also helps keep me from overlong distractions on pages which, in retrospect, I'm really not all that interested in to begin with.