I was woken up on Sunday morning by the sound of my daughter hustling my hairdryer out of the room.
At this point I realised that my day without screens had mutated into a day without technology AKA Nothing With a Plug.
The Offspring took custody of my smartphone, Chromebook and Kindle.
The path to the PC was blocked and I was barred from approaching the TV, washing machine and any other gadgetry.
This was quite a wrench. I mean, I wouldn't say I was totally tech-mad, but this is what I normally look like in the mornings:
But clearly I have survived, albeit somewhat shaken and stirred.
The main trip down memory lane was going out for a walk to buy a Sunday paper. I used to LOVE doing this and did it every week for years. But the The Observer seemed to get thinner and not worth £2 when you could read the 3 or 4 articles you were interested in online for free anyway. And thus the end of the print publishing industry began.
I only had £6 in my purse and in keeping with non-technology day I didn't go to the cashpoint. And no online shopping for me either. I remember when I first started work and used to take cash out of the bank for the week and that was it. I used my budget very carefully and wondered how much extra we now spend just because it's easy to do so.
In the afternoon we did lots of cooking, though I wasn't allowed near the food processor. Between us we made soda bread, treacle tart, banana biscuits and spicy cottage pie. I had wanted to make a loaf in the breadmaker but had to opt for soda bread which is very easy to make by hand. Normally I would've taken a few pics on my phone and maybe Instagrammed the goodies but not on Sunday.
I think that's quite an interesting thing to consider in itself - does an experience that you record and share automatically become more valuable than one you only live in the moment?
If a tree falls down in the forest and nobody Instagrams it and shares it on Facebook, where are all the squirrels?
And there was no iPhone-broadcast music whilst cooking, but at least the kids were spared some of the ripe language that the Foo Fighters are apt to come out with.
Although I enjoyed baking very much, I also found that it was at this point I got most twitchy. When I can see that something's got 7 minutes left to cook, that to me would be a normal time to check out what's going on on Twitter or the BBC News website. I did the washing up instead. It was far less fun.
All in all the day was a bit like being on holiday, or underwater.
So what did I discover?
- We don't really watch all that much TV
I had agreed not to turn on the tellybox but in the end neither did anybody else. They were mostly playing Minecraft.
- Most of it I didn't miss
I am on Twitter and Facebook so much during the week so I don't use them much at the weekend anyway.
- I missed my Kindle a lot
Actually not so much the gadget but the book I was reading on it - I have really been enjoying a book about a 100 year old man which I picked up for 20p on the Kindle. You can't even get charity shop books for 20p these days.
- Real books are good too
Instead I read most of The Lighthouse by Alison Moore, which is terrific.
- Some technology nobody wants
I couldn't persuade anyone to take on the ironing so that was just left for the next day. Oh joy.
- Technology helps me sleep. Possibly.
I had the worst ever night's sleep on Sunday night.
The big lesson for me is that I need to work on my focus. Technology really disrupts that. You're doing one thing and you want to do another, and technology means you can. So I hardly ever do one thing at a time - I read a book but my mind wanders elsewhere so I take out my phone to look up that guy who was in that thing once.
I don't use my memory so much because who needs to when you've got Google at your fingertips? My mind is in too many different places at once and I need to bring it back to earth from time to time.
Several brave bloggers have volunteered to take on the no-tech day challenge. Many more have run away in horror at the very idea. So kudos to:
Jo at Mum Friendly
Jennifer at Jennifer's Little World
Kerry at And Then All I thought About Was You
Pippa at A Mother's Ramblings
Sara-Jayne at Keep Up With the Jones Family
Emma at Hertfordshire Mummy
Elaine at Stars & Roses
Hannah at Cupcake Mumma
Feel free to join in too and leave a link below if you post about it.
The rules as set for this challenge by my daughter are here, where you can also read her live blog of our day. But do adapt the rules to suit yourself - the basic aim is to go as technology free as you can. This is a hashtag-free challenge.
I am interested to know how far you can push this - what is it simply not possible to do, and what do we assume that we have to do, just because we have the tech toys to do it with. Where does technology save you time and where does it suck it up? What's easy, what's a struggle and what does that teach you about yourself?