Monday, June 16, 2008

Courtney: Unplugged

Around 1:30 last night, I came up with a genius idea. (deciding to wake up Dustin to talk about it turned out to be a far less genius idea...) I am giving up TV and Internet for a week. *gasp* (was that just me?)

I suspect public reaction ranges from "so?" to "who cares?", but those of you who really know me will realize the scope of this commitment. You see....I love TV. No; I LOVE TV. I always have, and to some degree I suspect I always will. But I love a lot of other things as well, and I certainly don't devote as much time to them. You know, important things like reading, exercising, cooking nutritious meals, talking to my husband.....the list goes on. I don't think TV is necessarily a bad thing, but its role in my life has gotten a bit unbalanced. Without a drastic step (OK..drastic for me!) I don't think I could make the shift to the more "normal" habits I'd like to have.

Now, I won't lie, I do have a safety net for this daring experiment: DVR. I think you could probably give up anything if you knew everything you missed would be saved for your later enjoyment. It probably defeats some of the purpose of the whole exercise, but at least it's a start.

As for the Internet portion of the equation, I think that is a necessary sacrifice as well. It takes up a fair portion of my day, and although there are some great aspects to it (keeping in touch with friends, settling disputes via google, etc.) there is a significant amount of time wasting to it as well. (P.S. I fully understand the irony of spending an hour on the Internet drafting a goodbye letter to the Internet...I understand it, but have not escaped it.)

My main goal is to take back control of my time. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like there are never enough hours in the day, but I need to recognize my role in creating that crunched feeling. Even bigger than that though, is the desire to engage in my life more. At times I feel like I'm just existing, rather than growing and thriving. I think removing some of my biggest time and energy suckers, will allow me to put the focus back on what I truly want my life to be about.

For those of you rule stickler type people, my self imposed limits are this:

  • No television until midnight on Sunday 6/22. (the week technically began last night at midnight. I set blogger to post automatically...mind blowing I know!)
  • One exception- Tuesday night gathering at the Mitlo's. My rationalization is this night is much more about the social event than the TV show that we watch. My reason for going every week is to see friends and catch up, not to see who got kicked off of our latest program.
  • The Internet stipulations get a bit more dicey, as it is necessary for work. I've settled on this:
  • Work email is acceptable. Personal email is not. (Sorry friends...if you need me feel free to call or even stop by. Those are experiment sanctioned interactions!)
  • Internet is to be used during work hours for specific job tasks only. (Yes, this includes blog surfing, but limiting it to the workday only keeps it from crossing over into nightlong decorating gallery searches)
  • Quick utilitarian Internet uses are permitted (how do you like that for a sketchy rule?!): examples include mapquest, and Because let's be honest, not even I can manage to overdose on sites like that.
So, wish me luck! Hopefully I'll return in a week, rested, fulfilled and energized. Or at least ready for a "So You Think You Can Dance catch-up marathon" (I kid!)

(Oh- and if you're wondering....Dustin's participation in this event is voluntary. He has yet to sign on.)


  1. Courtney, I'm very proud of you. I too have often contemplated giving up some tv or internet time.... it can just take up way too much quality time that I could be spending with Jon or playing with my kids. Even right now as I'm typing this, Nolan is sitting here saying "I want to play a game with you!" (stabbed in the heart). I admire what you're doing and you'll be blessed, I'm sure! I may just have to have to try this myself... can't wait to hear how your week went! :)

  2. So cool Court - I'll be waiting to hear how it goes. I gave up tv for a week awhile ago but never internet AND tv (gasp!). Lately for me the pull has been much stronger on the internet b/c I really only watch tv at night and not much during the summer. But I've contemplated for a long time taking a week long hiatus from the computer. I know it would be so good, but I have yet to bite the bullet. Have fun - can't wait to see all the projects you get into!

  3. Good luck sweetie!
    And smart move, Dustin (not signing on)...:-)