Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Digital Cleanse

If you follow John Mayer on Twitter you would know that he is undergoing a digital cleanse. Not to be confused with a colonic cleanse…but I’m thinking it’s probably just as freeing …to not be weighed down by binary material.

He challenged people to take his self-prescribed and described “One Week Digital Cleanse” with him on January 1st until January 8th. When I first read his proposal, I thought it was a spoof…because under J. Mayer’s ‘guidelines’ you can use cell phones, laptops, and desktop computers. The rules are: send email only from laptops and desktop computers, NO texting (or emailing) from cell phones or blackberrys…ONLY phone calls, and NO social networking sites, like Twitter, or Facebook or entertainment/gossip sites.

My first reaction was: “Huh, this is a digital cleanse?” But because the blackberry is now as commonplace as the blueberry, this could be difficult for some. He is making the point that fragments of conversation on social networking sites and the use of texting is becoming a substitute for making phone calls. He’s going back to basics…communicating through emails on the computer and actually talking on the cell phone. For him...the old fashioned way.

For me...the old fashioned way was…the phone attached to the kitchen wall. 1 phone: 6 family members. And when it rang we all ran for it. Today when our house phone rings no one makes a move. But the phone rarely rings…the only incoming calls are automated calls from computers with a lame offer. Heck, our door bell doesn’t even ring. If someone comes over they’ll text and say “I’m here” and one of the kids will meet them at the door.

I could have easily done the digital cleanse. (Nothing like a purge to start the New Year.) It would have been a snap, because I'm not a Twitterer or Facebooker, and I mainly text with my kids, because for them…Texting is The Preferred Method of keeping in touch with ‘rents.’ That way, they can keep the convo to a bare minimum… “Doing fine. School’s fine. Roommate fine. Fine. Fine.”

It will be interesting to find out how easy…or difficult it was for John Mayer and those who took the digital cleanse with him. Will a week without digital toxins work as a laxative and get real conversations flowing again?

Maybe a cleanse is a good idea, every so often…Or maybe the cleanse is just a poopy idea.

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