Low-Tech July

Adventures in paper, pencil, and a little iPad
By Noel Jesse  •  Jun 30, 2017 at 2:30pm  •  Article

For a lot of years now (seriously more than I can count), I have taken the month of July to do what I have called a Social Media Fast but has turned into so much more. That’s why this year I’m calling it Low-Tech July.  This month I am going decidedly (but not completely) low-tech.

Why am I doing this?

Because it is good for my soul.

I am a tech-obsessed guy in a tech-obsessed age and sometimes it’s good to just stop.  I don’t want to over-spiritualize this but I find that I spend way too much time staring at a screen instead of reflecting on the world around me.  I retreat into my devices instead of spending time with my family, exercising, or reading a good old fashioned book.  My prayer time suffers because of the subtle buzz in my pocket that whispers, “check me, check me.”

So for one month out of the year, I stop.

Sort of.

Some tech is necessary in the world we live in and some has benefits that outweigh the distractions so I am keeping those around.  Here are the low-tech rules I am establishing for July 2017:

No Social Media

Period.  That stuff is getting deleted from my phone for the month.

No Games or News Feeds

These are the biggest wastes of time for me (especially the News app).  Sometimes it’s good not to know what’s going on in the world for a little bit and I really don’t need to get a new high score in Ballz.

Limited Email

During the month of July, my assistant will check my work email and make sure I don’t miss anything essential.  I’m going to set a calendar alert to check my personal email twice a day and I’ll have to do that on a computer because I’m deleting my mail accounts from my phone.

iPad Specific Rules

I plan on doing a bit of writing in July so I am keeping the necessary apps on my iPad but I’m getting rid of everything else.  Essentially, I’m gonna be carrying around an expensive notepad and filing cabinet.

Miscellaneous Accouterments

I bet you didn’t think I knew the word “accouterment.”  See, my low-tech month is already paying off with big time mental dividends!

I will be keeping the following on my devices because they are critical for communicating with people and getting my work done: messaging apps, to-do lists, reminders, GPS and other travel apps, etc.  I’m also keeping music and work-out apps because I like to listen to music when doing certain activities but I am going to keep that to a minimum and not listen to too may podcasts.

Each year I have done this, the result has been very different.  I am looking forward to seeing what comes of July 2017!

See ya in August.

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