Paddy – music
This has to stop. This morning I hung around in Asda to listen to the end of Rainy Night in Georgia. Before this experiment, if you’d told me I’d be getting my musical kicks by listening to Randy Crawford on Asda FM before the week was out, I’d never have agreed to it. That said, I’ve also remembered the time when listening to music was an occasional treat that had to be relished. Like so much else in life, it's become ubiquitous and disposable. That’s a shame, and I’m glad of the reminder. Even if it did come from Asda FM.
Stephen – smartphone
It’s the final day of our gadget fast, and I won’t lie to you – I can’t wait to get my hands on my smartphone again. But the experience has been interesting – I’ve enjoyed not having to fret about dropping my phone, or the battery running out, and I’ve even found some substitutes for smartphone apps and games. I’ve discovered that I don’t need nearly as many apps as I thought I did, and that I take my iPhone out of my pocket far too often in the pub. But I’ve also realised that it’s not the apps or the games or the processor or the Retina Display that makes the smartphone an essential part of my daily life – it’s the easy access to information on the move, whether that’s a bus timetable or a bit of IMDB trivia.
Es – Reddit
What have I learned this past week? I've discovered that the human body can survive without cat gifs, useless facts and mind-numbing memes. I will of course return to Reddit, but with a newfound sense of inner peace. When used properly it can be a useful tool for broadening your knowledge. So I'm going to unsubscribe from all the fickle subreddits which offer nothing more than flame wars and stupid memes and broaden my horizons. r/scotch looks a good a place as any to start, followed by r/cursive to improve my penmanship. Es 2.0, here I come.
Sophie – Facebook
Am I the only person who failed? Oh dear. In that case, maybe I have learned that I am a liability who shouldn't be allowed to take part in giving up tech challenges. In all seriousness, I knew that I was checking Facebook too often before we even started. It's not that I spend long on Facebook in total (I think). It's just that I found it very tricky to leave a gap of hours – nevermind days – between each hit. It's also made me realise how long I spend looking at screens – my desktop at work, laptop at home and smartphone at any point in between. If I wasn't using these devices so much, I wouldn't be opening up Facebook so often for a quick sneak peek into the (often inane) lives of my “friends”. One thing's for sure, that period without Facebook felt oddly calming. Come on then, if everyone else agrees to forget it then I'll have no reason to keep going back, right? Who's with me?
Luke – instant messaging
You’re not alone, Sophie: I broke. It was an accident, I swear. Out running, I got a text from my girlfriend and instinctively replied between sweaty breaths. Then once my heart rate levelled out I realised what I’d done. But the guilt is only as bad as the realisation that I’m addicted – I replied without thought. So it’s my goal to stay off texting and enjoy the chance to chat to my friends. On trains, driving, or while running, a text is fine. Otherwise, it’s good to talk.
Lucy – iPad
Naturally, the first day without my iPad proved the most challenging. In fact, for the first few days, anytime I thought of checking my email, reading a news article, watching a funny YouTube video, doing a spot of virtual shopping or in-bed reading, the iPad was the first thing I reached for. It was those moments that made me realise I may need help! It took three days to break the habit – it’s pretty scary (and a tad embarrassing) to think that I’ve become so attached to a device. And I'm not just talking about physical attachment, I am emotionally attached to my iPad – like a child with a comfort blanket. And we all know what happens when you part a child with one of those – tantrums! So, what have I learnt? Well, the challenge has simply confirmed what I suspected all along – that I'm spoilt and undoubtedly addicted to my iPad. I definitely don't need an iPad, but my life is so much more convenient with one in it. It's been emotional, but I for one cannot wait to see the back of this challenge and be reunited with my favourite rectangle. If iPad obsession emerges as a legitimate clinical disorder, I'll happily be diagnosed with IAD (iPad Addiction Disorder).
The Stuff Lent Gadget Fast – Day 3
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