Information overload and the joy of going cold turkey

I went to see James Gleick speak at the British Library a few weeks ago about how we are constantly subjected to almost infinite amounts of information. I talked to him about this afterwards, and we agreed that self-filtering is an inevitability. Not spam-filtering; self-filtering.

I walked home to Hoxton thinking about this, and had a Eureka moment somewhere around Clerkenwell. I threw my iPhone in a bin. I expect a homeless person now has it; best £500 I ever threw away.

The next day I bought a little Nokia with a decent-ish camera on it for £50, and downloaded my phone numbers on to it from my laptop.

Then I took the laptop into my office and haven’t brought it back. I now live without a computer.

It was like giving up drugs. That Saturday I lay in bed reading a book. I have started scanning Time Out over lunch to see what’s on, and now go to see interesting stuff in the evenings like I used to. I’m not sure why this has happened, but it has. My partner has commented on how relaxed I am and how much more I seem to do in a day.

I am aware of the common pitfall of reformed addicts so I hardly ever mention this to my friends. The ones who have noticed think I am a weird luddite. I feel a little like the only AA person in a pub. They all sit checking their iPhones frantically every minute or so, and me? Well, I don’t.

OK, I’ll break my rule. Try it; it’s great.

Tim Pyne, Creative director, M-Hotel, by e-mail

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