Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Digital Fast - Day 2

... in which KT Cat finds success, failure and revelations. The rules are here. Day 1 is here. In short, I'm giving up the Internet, social media, digital games, music and alcohol and cutting my caffeine intake to see if it changes me.


As I had suspected before I started, avoiding agitating sites on the Interweb Tubes left me more mental energy to be creative. You only have so much fuel in the tank every day and each stimulus spends some of it. Yesterday, I went to work and was able to knock out a lot of fairly complicated things I had been postponing. By about 3 PM, I was mentally fatigued, but that happens every day and in this case, none of that was due to me waving my arms and yelling about distant things.

Still no coffee withdrawal headache caused by going from 3 drinks to 2. I didn't feel any kick from the midday Diet Coke, so I'm going to drop that one as well and go down to just the morning cup of French Press.


Work is different than puttering around the house. My day at home was something I wanted to do. My day at work was fine as I like my job, but it's still a job. By the end of the day, I "needed" a brewski or two, so I had them. Zig Ziglar says share your give up goals as your friends will help you stay on the straight and narrow, so I'm being honest on that one. I pondered dumping that requirement for the digital fast, but for reasons I'll share later in this series, I decided it was best to stick with the hard core approach.


Music is a waste of energy at work. As I said yesterday, that has shocked me. I can't get over how much mental fuel is spent just listening and how much of a distraction it is. The YouTube rants I occasionally throw into the mix are complete poison. No, no and no.

Yesterday, a coworker left for lunch and unwittingly left his laptop playing music in the background. In this case, it was 1950s doo wop. When Randy and the Rainbows' Denise came on, it was unbearable, even though it was quiet. I put on my own headphones and tried to drown it out with some Gregorian Chant, but both were insufferable. I ended up stuffing his laptop in the trunk of my car. We all laughed about it, but the conclusion was inescapable. Music is a drag on your mental powers. That makes sense as your brain can only hold 4 things in front of you at the same time. The music is going to take up one of those slots, so unless it's masking something even worse, it's going to be a hindrance.

I Can Read Again

It's only been two days, but I can read books again. This is another surprise, although it shouldn't be. It stands to reason that the more quick hit pieces of information you consume, the harder prolonged concentration will be. This morning I was able to sit and read a book I started at the beginning of this fast and consume the required section without effort. Had I been on Twitter or my latest smartphone game, reading anything for more than a few minutes would have taken effort.

So today - less caffeine and no brewskis. We'll see where we are tomorrow. Thanks for all the comments. I really enjoy hearing how y'all have experienced similar things.

1 comment:

Foxfier said...

Interesting on the music-- I've got several stations for different moods that work for me, and then of course there's talk radio.

When I'm in the mood where I start to wonder "Wait, wait, you keep waiting for her to forgive you? What, exactly, did you do, and have you tried to actually fix it, or just sat there saying that you 'gave in to temptation' and waiting for her to go 'oh, it's OK'?" (for an example from recent times...) then I listen to King's evergreen classical, or anime music, or the Gregorian chant channel.

I don't do anything on youtube, though, so that might help? (TuneIn and IHeartRadio, and-- of all things-- Rosary Army's Scriptural rosary, turned low enough I can't really hear it. That is mostly tucked against my belly when I'm pregnant, though, so the baby can hear it.)

Sometimes I do need silence, too, though.

I'd warn you not to go too far overboard with cutting caffeine, though. The headaches can catch up to you, and might make the beer craving worse.

Do you do any minor exercises for the endorphin rush? Like the desk push-ups or windmills or other "mom" aerobics.