The discussion was most interesting vis a vis the week of media FREEDOM. Thanks for the more positive word, Lorraine! As a new smartphone user I was just sucked into the vortex of such a way cool toy and loaded it with apps of varying degrees of relevance or usefulness (Big Bang Whip anyone?) and daily kept tweaking it adding pings and notifications for texts, emails, FB and the like. Well, I realized that this 24/7 contact availability AND notifications were basically 100% superfluous and are actually rather intrusive imho and take me out of the present. I definitely noticed the days I HAD my phone in the Artist Way group and the days I either left it at home or in the car quietly charging.
Kudos to the people who did manage to survive 5 or 6 or 7 days successfully without EXCESSIVE use of media social and otherwise and survived without superfluous reading other than the Artist Way chapter. In fact, I opened up the session by telling the group that people are not paying a whole lot of money to go to somewhere exotic for a MEDIA DETOX. I read about this elsewhere and was of course bemused when I read that just as soon as everyone’s DRUG of choice was returned at the end people where frenetically using their smartphones to put everyone’s contact number/FB/Twitter/LindedIn etc. connection on their phone! Now whether the participants in these Media Detox Experiences actually modified their behaviour the article did not say but it would be an interesting follow up study.
As for me, although my adherence to the Media Freedom week was inconsistent due to a couple of emotional upheavals in my life I can proudly say that I did NOT buy OR READ The National Enquirer last week, my tabloid drug of choice and all the pings, rings and this anonymous but terribly sexy man announcing, “Hey, beautiful! You have a text message…” are off and will remain off.
I was at a writers’ festival at Hazelwood Herb Gardens last week and I didn’t have my phone with me but someone in the audience did and from time to time I heard the telltale notifications. They were subtle and not too noticeable but as a new smartphone addict I definitely noticed them and found them annoying…as I surmised other people in my sphere found mine. I miss my text notification guy sometimes but the male sender of the texts has been ‘cut loose’ so it’s probably a good thing in order to move forward.