drawer

My mother is really funny. And don’t imagine a little old lady who knits in front of the fire place all day. Nah. This one runs a dialysis in a foreign country; takes online sewing classes as I speak (to get herself a ‘professional’ hobby for retirement); and fixes her own car. Yes, that one, whose mother did all the parachute jumps.

She’s all things curious and I think Fitzgerald may have referred to her somehow, without the means of bragging in any way because F. Scott’s story was, to put it mildly, weird besides curious.

I mean, who on earth puts their mobile phone (cell phone) – a functioning one at that – in a drawer?
My mother, apparently.

I laughed so much when she told me that my brother has been trying to reach her, to no avail, for the reason stated above, that I thought, I have to write about this.
Even for the sake of laughter.

Today, we furnish ourselves with all possible interactive, wi-fi, intelligent, multi-media devices.
If there’s one that can tell us when to breathe or not, we’d take it!
And we’d put it right next to all the other ones that wake us up;
that beep us when we have an appointment;
that tell us who did what;
that warn us of stock prices, calories, and all sorts of far away threats;
that vibrate every time we get an email, a reminder for something, a Facebook message, or a twit;
next to all the other mighty gadgets that ‘help’ us to “get connected”, “express” ourselves, “live more, do more” (all telecom companies’ tag lines).

Just imagine how many drawers we’d need, if we had to put in all our gadgets away.
Like my mother did.
And how many more drawers we’d need, if we had to put in all our gadgets’ older versions.

So, the drawer made me think of dieting.
Of fasting, rather.
Media fasting!
I remembered about a case where a professor decided to put her students on a ‘media fast’ and see how far they could take it and what they’d spend their free time on. (I hope I’m right with the reference about the book, because I just can’t dig in all my books on the subject of media to find where I read this. I believe it was in Generation Me, where Professor Twenge explained how she gave her students an assignment to stay off all possible media, they’d be used to, for a weekend, and then record what they used all their free time on.)

The results were astonishing even for the students themselves.
A lot of them recorded a positive attitude towards the fasting.
They could spend more time with their family and friends – physically.
Although, they had problems getting connected with their friends now that they had to use a more primitive way, since phoning or texting wasn’t an option, they still felt good after the experiment.

That, in combination with my mother’s phone in the drawer, led me to the idea that I should put myself into a media fast every now and again.
Along with my kids.
Well, once they get into the media obsession.
It will be hard.
But it could be a survival test.
Pretty much Bear Grylls’s level now that I think of it!
In fact, that could be an idea to write a book on the subject: “The ultimate survival guide when all media is gone…in the drawer, or forever”.

For those who aren’t completely repulsed by the idea, here’s a quick recipe for a weekend of media fast (don’t do it if you’re fasting for Easter, it’ll cause malnutrition!):

  • make sure you have securely lockable drawer that can take on heavy hits, fire and other possible means of opening it (lock away all your media equipment there, including the remotes to all TV sets and audio-visual devices)
  • ‘1 cup’ of silence in the morning after you’ve woken up by the grace of the sun – if no sun comes into your windows, or you don’t have any windows in your room, then, enjoy the long sleep. Maybe you needed it.
  • ‘sprinkle’ generously with physical work – whether you work during your weekend, or not (if your professions don’t allow you to media fast, then enjoy the ‘intoxication’ and stop reading)
  • ‘5 ounces’ of conversations with each member of your family – if you don’t have anyone around you, go to the neighbours (the fast is still on, even on their territory, so don’t cheat!)
  • or take a few ‘tablespoons’ from a book, so you don’t get dizzy from the starvation
  • ‘1 to 2 slices’ of focused reflection on what’s happening to you in the moment of fasting
  • drink plenty of water – it flashes out toxins, any way you look at it
  • for those strong at will, you can leave all your media gadgets on. They will be buzzing and blipping and ringing … from the drawer. Be strong! Don’t give in 🙂

! WARNING! fasting may cause nausea, hallucinations, overdose from relapse.
Don’t take it out on the drawer!
Once the weekend is over, you can get back to your usual media intake.
Preferably in small doses.
Write about your experience – what you missed what you discovered.

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