Earlier this summer the NY Times began a series on technology and the brain. As part of the series, their Bits blog asked for volunteers to experiment with unplugging from technology and then make a short video piece about the experience. Having "unplugged" from just about everything for 30 odd days to make the Spiritual Exercises, this shorter experiment seemed a good chance to engage in a bit of Ignatian repetition around connectivity and technology.
The editor agreed that looking at the short experiment in the light of my longer experience could be interesting and so I went ahead with the experiment and made a video. I spent two days off the net, one at my usual silent haunt - the Jesuit Center - and the other at home.
I was surprised to find the shorter experiment to be harder, partly because the reminders of how easily I could connect are scattered everywhere at home, and in part, I suspect, because the Exercises keep you focussed on a rather different sort of connection! But even at Wernersville, where I regularly park the phone in the car and there is no wireless, I could hear the siren call of the computer in the small parlor next to the chapel all the way out by the cloisters. (At least I know I'm not alone, a new sign has appeared recently reminding retreatants to consider carefully before they surf the net or check their email).
The video appeared on the Times website last week. You can watch my video (and eight others) here, and read the short piece about the end of the project here. I'm the oldest of the group!