Lately I’ve been struggling to keep a healthy balance between the online and the offline world. My goal with the Offline Manifesto is to challenge our value system and the importance we give to our phones, tablets, TVs and computers. I want to promote offline habits and warn people about the downside of always being connected.
Digital devices are giving us the impression that were smarter, more efficient and happier. I just want to reinforce the fact that we can live without them. By going offline (even for a short period of time), you’ll rediscover who you are and what you truly want to be.
The 4 Values
I wanted to put in writing 4 offline values I want to live by and their online counterparts :
- Real life interactions over online distractions
- Meaningful life changing experiences over shareable anecdotes
- Long term commitment over quick time wasters
- Deep work focus over inefficient multitasking
Real life interactions over online distractions
Without even realizing it, we’re in a battle between the real world and the online world. Whenever our attention is caught by our phone vibration or notification, we loose. The online world stole our attention away from the real world. It’s crazy that we gave a VIP access to our attention to such a distracting digital device.
It seems like it’s harder and harder to spend an hour with others people without looking at our phones.
Nowadays we prefer looking at our phones than:
- Waiting 30 seconds for our turn in the drive-in lane
- Watching our kids play and listening to what they have to say
- Enjoying the restaurant atmosphere while we wait for our date
- Relaxing on the side of the pool on a hot summer day
- Appreciating some alone time in the restroom
From now one I want to value real life interactions more than any online distractions.
To help you achieve this you can try to:
- Turn off your phone when you’re out with friends and family
- Put your phone on its charger away from you when you’re at home
- Cancel your data plan of your cellphone
Meaningful life changing experiences over shareable anecdotes
Some might say it’s a only a millennials’ thing, but from my point of view this obsession with sharing our glorious moments is affecting a large part of the population. It seems like people are choosing their activities, things they eat and places they go for their “sharing” potential.
From now one I want to pursue life changing experiences without thinking of how they will look on my Facebook feed.
Long term commitment over quick time wasters
It’s so easy to say that you don’t have the time to learn a new language, play guitar or go back to school. Time is not something that is given to you, it’s something you take.
While you waste 2 hours each night listening to the latest HBO series, could you instead do something more meaningful and fulfilling?
From now on I want to do long term commitment and reduce time wasters.
Deep work focus over inefficient multitasking
Sometimes we are so blinded by our obsession with optimizing our time that we convince ourselves that multitasking is a good thing. The problem is that when we do multiple things at once, like answering emails during a meeting, we lose focus on the main activity and we become more passive/reactive. Multitasking reduces drastically the value we bring to the table.
From now on I want to focus more and multitask less.
The Offline Manifesto isn’t final
Ultimately, this journey won’t be easy and I’ll be the first one to struggle with it. It’s the reason why I started this blog project. I wanted to find digital detox hacks for myself and share them with others.
In the near future, I’ll be adding to this manifesto principles I want to follow.
The Manifesto will evolve and change responding to your feedback and my own experience during this journey. I hope that it will be useful to others in their search for a more meaningful life.