Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brown on reclaiming the "real"

I've been meaning to post this for a while, but the actual content convinced me to not worry about rushing it (that'll make more sense as soon as you read it).

Josh Brown has created a list of 13 suggestions on how to "transition out of the world of computers and back into the world of flesh and blood."You can read the full post here, but in an effort to cut down on your internet time, I've pasted the meat of the post below.

With summer finally here, this list couldn't have arrived at a better time. Personally I'm a big fan of numbersr 3, 4 and 13 and with the new place I'm looking forward to dining/partying with some of you dear readers in the near future.

13 Loose Suggestions for Reclaiming the Real

c/o Josh Brown

1. Use only 1 form of social media. Whether it be blogging, Facebook, or Twitter. But never more than 1. And then use that 1 in moderation (see #9). Pick the one that helps you live “for the good of the world” the most and choose that one. I quit Facebook after 4 years a month a go and haven’t missed it at all. I quit Twitter after almost 2 years and haven’t missed it at all.

2. Clean out your RSS reader. Leave only 25 feeds in there and ditch the rest. Then only check it twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening.

3. Throw parties on a regular basis. And by regular I mean once every 2 weeks to a month. It doesn’t have to be 100 people. But get in the habit of having at least 10 people over to your house on a regular basis.

4. Eat 1 slow dinner a week with friends.

5. Get at least 1 hobby that doesn’t involve technology. Preferably one that forces you to be outside and social in nature. And preferably one that forces you to be outside and in reflective solitude by nature (see #6).

6. Practice solitude. Learn to turn off the internet. Learn to turn off the music. Pick up a book. Take a walk. Go kayaking. Sit on your porch or deck. Learn to BE without relying on a soundtrack in the background or a screensaver drawing your attention back to the monitor.

7. Leave your laptop at home. Whatever it is that you think is so important will probably still be there when you get home. No need to carry it with you to work. To your friends. To your parents.

8. Get rid of any stat counters or other analytics that you use to track your blog or podcast. Get back to writing for the art and therapy of writing. Not for a magic number that strokes your ego.

9. Think before you write. Don’t regurgitate. If you are going to speak, say something that hasn’t been said before. Or at the very least builds off of a previous thought. Keep the momentum moving forward. I know blogs are personal so there is nothing wrong with sharing what’s going on in your family life as a way of communicating to close friends and family. But if you’re going to be personal when you blog, keep some perspective that your family doesn’t care about what you ate or what you are currently doing every 10 seconds (cough, cough Twitter). And if you are going to be serious when you blog, be original and thoughtful. It’s time to clean up the blog-o-sphere for all the rubbish that is piling up.

10. Remember technology is a means to an end and not an ends in and of itself. Remember what technology was created for. Keep it utilitarian in nature as opposed to pure entertainment. There are probably healthier more helpful ways to be entertained.

11. When you are around your “emergent-y” friends, find things to talk about besides theology or church or the latest book (see #12).

12. Quit reading theology books. Reality is you’re probably not going to read anything that you don’t already agree with. You’re just going to be reading for more ammunition to make your points on your blog or in your “conversations”. If you’re going to read, read something that you know nothing about.

13. Think and talk locally. Quit talking globally. If you’re going to blog (see #9), blog about ideas or thing that you’re practicing locally. Or conversations that you’re having locally. Quit bitching and/or dreaming about the entire globe. Think locally. Talk locally. Act locally. Save the globe for another day.

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