Nasir Shadravan

July 28, 2021

The Withdrawal Effects of Shutting Down

I'm on holidays for a few days now. Somewhere remote in France where the internet is ADSL and it is slightly better than dial-up modem. Surrounded by nature, silence and calm. This is a real holiday for me in a very long time.

Somewhere on the way I noticed I keep scrolling Twitter and open Hacker News to read the things I read everyday. Doing so brings me back to my home office where I do work. It keeps me attached to my daily routine. I decided that I don't want to have any of the craze and the never ending stream of content while I'm on my holiday. So I deleted Twitter app and stopped taking my phone with me during the day.

Perhaps it sounds stupid. Many people do this without trying. My father-in-law sits on his lawn-mower for three hours and mows his big field making sure the lines are perfectly parallel. When he's done, he goes on to cut branches for another hour. Eats his lunch, gets to cleaning the road with his air blower machine the whole afternoon. After all that, he gets a beer and reads the New York Times in his perfectly organised garden.

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At the beginning I could not even handle shutting down. It made me anxious and it felt something was missing. I get the itches. I automatically reach out to my pocket for my phone just to see it is missing. When it is with me, I scroll to Twitter app just to see it is not there. Every time, that reminds me of why I'm doing it in the first place.

I look at the nature. Listen to the birds and walk the grass with my son. He asks for the same thing a hundred times and I do that a hundred times. We play outside, swim in the water and go hiking. It is liberating. Perhaps we are made to spend most of our time outside rather than sit behind a desk the whole day. I wonder if that's true! In a few days, I'll be going back home. Maybe it is time to revisit my life choices!