iQuitting completely would be a little bit over dramatic.
But I’m iQuitting or at least reducing a number of habits. Bad ones.
I used to be a slave to e-mail. I still find myself checking the e-letter-box each morning with an alarming neurosis, but I’m slowly improving.
It feels good not to check mails for a few days. I press the delete key more often, and check e-mails considerably less.
I need to send a lot of emails for work, but I’m stemming the tide… slowly.
I used to have two iPhones, one for the US and one for the UK. I still have them because I don’t believe in buying new stuff for the sake of it – but I use ‘pay as you go’ and therefore can’t use any on-the-move Internet services. It’s just a phone. Sure, it’s like filling a Ferrari with chip fat, but it works. I save a small fortune in time and money. Plus in the rare moments when I’m on the tube or waiting for a friend I can sit and think or, god forbid, read a book (no, not a newspaper or magazine, which is just more of the same).
I used to answer these phones and reply to text messages immediately. Now I leave them off for hours, or fail to reply. My friends and even my clients still seem to tolerate me — in small doses.
I used to be up to date with all the programmes that helped my efficiency, whether they be faster browsers, databases or widgets. Now I use a moleskin to write most things down and tend to ignore new installments, or software. You should try paper — it’s amazing — you can draw anything without having to plug anything in, and it has all the latest features like crossing out, sketching, writing and tangible capabilities, only limited by your own skill and page-turning abilities.
I used to desire the latest, shiniest, fastest computer, but now I use the same Mac I’ve had for four years. I recently took it in to be serviced and Apple kindly (despite this rant, they’re still a good company) made it almost as good as new, replacing a number of worn out bits. I hope it lasts another five years. If it’s a little slower than it used to be, that’s just fine.
I used to have a huge hard drive with all my songs and movies on it, in case I needed something. Now I delete all films I’ve watched and all songs I don’t like.
I used to keep chat open in case people needed me. Now I always leave chat off, or remain invisible. They can call me.
I used to have a great stereo, fast car and all the gismos. Now I only have the things here in Berlin that I need, nothing more.
Here’s to iQuitting. I started a group on Facebook, relishing the delicious irony. It got a full eight members before I realised I had to administer every member. Then I realised how rubbish Facebook really was and decided to give up Facebook altogether. I tried deactivating my page, which felt good. Then I realised I don’t really abuse Facebook too often anyway, so I’m back, but Facebook-lite. If you’re reading this because of my link on my Facebook page, that’s automatic, by-the-by.
This week I’ve started purging my Twitter account of useless followers. A few thousand down already, I’m going to see if I can get down under a hundred.
There will be more tales of deactivation shortly. First, I must revel in the sense of liberation I have from iQuitting.
Try unplugging, removing and ignoring.
It’s time to iQuit, bit by bit.