“The Experiment”

«This is enough! I have made my decision! I want to spend a week without any new technology. People have done it for generations and generations in the past, I was born when most of these diabolical objects werenot even in the market, so I can! I switch everything off. »


I started this experiment when I came back from vacations. Having been abroad, I felt partially detoxified by the technology and it seemed to me to be a good time.
I was a bit tired by this kind of interdependence between the computer and me and I also started wondering how to do something without tech support  should an hecatomb or a blackout  happen.  .

[I do not want to play the part of the naive but … as soon as I decided to leave withouttechnology I got the flu! And not the light ones, I don’t want to share the details but I can say that on the first day the only thing I was able to approach  were the bathroom ceramics.]



The point is: which are the alternatives if we don’t want to use any  new technology?

– Reading and / or doing crossword.
– Listening to the radio.
– Cooking.
– Withdrawing the board games.
– Doing a Bricolage.
– Setting up the wardrobes.
– Fitting
– Going out.


Day 1. Flu.



Day 2. Influence. Turning off the phone, I found out,  is not possible without  friends and relatives alerting the National Guard, so I decided to keep it on for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening, but only to respond to really significant messages.
Do you remember when we had to pay for the messages? When you just used to write about something really important and urgent? When you had to ring someone to say “I’m thinking of you”? (Except for mom or dad: for them the ring meant two things 1. call me back or 2. I’ve finished the money, can you charge me?) Sending a message meant something. Then messenger appeared, then facebook, then whatsapp. Instant messaging for free (more or less). Since thencommunication has changed completely. We are writing because we are bored, mostly. Whatsapp has made the word a social duty, while it should be a smart medium communication as it was in the past.  Maybe it’s because I work with words, but I’m just tired of wasting them.

Day 3. I feel better, I could watch a TV series. Ah. No. No pc.
Television technically came into use in Italy in 1931, so I might not consider it among the new technologies, but the shows are not much different from the ones in 1931 so I gladly give up.
Reading, unfortunately, makes me nauseous; I try to turn on the radio.
I usually listen to it in the morning when there are programs like “Il Ruggito del Coniglio”, which make me laugh. But after midday it seems like the haven of any kind, so I put a channel of music on and I go singing all afternoon.

Day 4. I’m almost dying.
I’m sure. I still have flu reflux, with stranger stains on the skin and I cannot go to check the symptoms on internet and see how many rare diseases I have contracted.
Luckely, after a few minutes of (pointless) paranoia, I realize that I have a doctor to consult, a good one, who is five minutes far and who could surely reassure me much more than the apocalyptic diagnoses found on the web.
Meanwhile, for the first time since I started the experiment, I realised how much I rely on the internet and the computer in my life!
I have all the files, tv series, video games, photos, friends … (not just those who live objectively far, but also the ones I can’t see as much as I would because of the traffic of a city like Rome Or  is it just an excuse and the truth is that I am a lazy person?).
While I am lost in all these thoughts, I pull out the dusty boxes of board games and reunite the family to defeat them one by one to Monopoli, Chess, Masterchef and Risiko.



Day 5. I ended up in Narnia.
There is a very famous horror film titled “Do not open that door,” well, I guess my closet inspired it. “Do not open that cupboard door” did not sound so good, though. In arranging the winter part of the cupboard I found things belongingto epochs before the advent of electricity, a surprising number of tickets, an alarming green unidentified cluster, and especially clothes I do not event remember to having bought, but this is a common problem of girls, I guess.

Day 6. I finished the third book in two days, but this is actually  not connected with my decision on switching off any type technologies, I’m a bookaholic.
And I’ve also finished all the puzzles of the enigmatic journal, with a pen.
I decide to do bricolage.
But what is bricolage ???
Too bad I cannot google it.
Well, I guess it would be any DIY type of activity, like the ones we did at school when we were kids,  the ones that parents had to pretend to appreciate but that  put right where the dog, cat, grandfather or the postman, could have bumped and broken them, pretending to be immensely sorry. So in a few words any type of  painting, sewing, carpentrying and gardening?

Am I able to do at least one of those? Do I want to do any? Well in fact I wouldn’t mind being able to  dampen the socks on my own.

At the fifth time I pierced my thumb, I realized it was not for me. To paint I need oils, canvases, inspiration … for carpentry at least wood … for gardening, I do not know, a garden? I have a balcony with plants, but my mother has just kneaded them, watered and settled everything and they’re okay. I prefer to read the HP saga, other than DIY.

Well I’ve tried …



Day.7. I go thru the list I had prepared at the beginning of the week:
– Read and / or do crossword.
– To listen to the radio.
– Cooking.
– Withdraw the board games.
– Doing a Bricolage.
 – Set up the wardrobes.
– Going out.

So, I know how to cook, and well, I am specialized in meats but I can also prepare fish, cakes and pasta. But
A) I do not want to! It’s not a passion, I cook to feed me 
B) If you get into my mother’s house, before you get close to the stove you have to go thru the 12 fatigues of Hercules, so usually I leave her  dealing with the supply.

– Cooking.

I went to the doctor, to the theatre, to do the aperitif with don’t-remember-who-don’t-remember-where, so I can consider also going out  done.

I am left with  – Fitting.

The experiment is now over.
To close, I believe that as for everything, it’s  the “how much” that makes difference. Now that I know I can survive a blackout and use the additional time (but what free time do I have lately ???) in various and possible ways, I think I will balance the hours spent on the computer with other activities.
I could even go back to DIY.

It’s not too challenging.

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