Tactilian Living - Unplugged Explorations

I invite you to spend time on this web page and then shut off your screened device.

If aliens landed on Earth they would assume that humans worship glowing screens. 

I started a blog post with this line in January 2011 as I resolved to spend less time on the computer.  A two-year foray into the online world of weekly blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube, left me burnt out and deeply troubled with the ubiquity of screens in modern culture. 

Bye Bye Borders (Bookstore chain closes. Shot on 120 film in Boston. 3/11)
A couple of months later I wrote a follow-up post: On the Importance of Touching Things.  I used phonebooks, postage stamps and dictionaries.  I read novels.  I used a Polaroid camera.  I walked outside at lunch rather than eating hunched over my computer.

These unplugged explorations led me to coin the term Tactilian Living.  I was heartened to learn that I was not alone when longtime Create Look Enjoy subscriber Lindsay wrote in response to On the Importance of Touching Things:  

Just wanted to let you know I found your posting this week really inspiring.  It definitely resonated with many of my own frustrations with our changing world and my place in it.  And I particularly loved the accompanying images.  Thanks for making me think =)

Previously, in September 2010, I wrote about the clarifying properties of a three week internet fast.  In response, Jarimuse, a twenty something industrial/transportation designer, commented:

Internet fast is a great idea.  I did it myself too. Only email, nothing more.  I did it for almost a week.  Being a twenty something, offline is almost impossible because my friends use twitter and facebook to make sense of life.  It felt very good after 2nd day of fasting.  I felt totally un-jacked from the system. Your post made me think alot, thanks!

Texting #1
So...  Give Tactilian Living a try.  Step 1: turn off all your screens.  Get out a book.  Write with a pencil.  Use the phone book.  Meet a friend for coffee.  Here's a good one:  If you drive, do not use your remote door unlock/lock button, use the key.  For those on public transportation, look at the sights, hear the rumble and strike up a conversation.  Yes, you might find that tasks take longer, but you will be practicing mindfulness, touching and living in the present moment of reality rather than in an untouchable cyber one.  And yes, you need to unplug the earbuds too.

If you take digital photographs, shoot film.  (You mean I have to wait to see the pictures?)  On the Sensuous Experience of Using a Film Camera is one of my most viewed posts.

Try screen-free living for an hour, then a day and then a week.  You can do it!  Join the Tactilian revolution.

If you have a related link, email me (john@johnnordell.com) and I will post it here:

Unplug Your Family