It’s Time Again – Announcing The 2nd Annual “Go Dark” Challenge

image I am happy to announce the dates for the second annual Go Dark Challenge.  This year, the challenge will begin at:

12:00 A.M. Saturday, August 14, 2010 through 11:59 P.M. the following Friday, August 20, 2010.

I hope you will join me in what has now become an annual event.  So, what is the Go Dark challenge you ask?  I’m glad you asked. 🙂  I started the Go Dark challenge last year as a kind of fast/break from the electronics which pervade our daily lives.  As I wrote last year,

I started to reflect on all the electronic gadgets that we fill our time up with every day.  We have TVs in every room, DVD players, IPods, Computers, the Internet, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Newsreaders, Radios.  The list goes on and on.

Now, I am not opposed to technology.  I rather enjoy it!  Sometime though, I wonder if I am letting it consume me to the detriment of other more important things in my life.  To me, those things that may be suffering are my relationship and quiet time with God including time in his word, my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my kids, and my other reading.

So, for one week last year, I turned it all off.  I unplugged just to remember what it was like and see what I could learn.  I learned quite a bit from the experience last year and decided to make it an annual event.  I have already had some people express some interest in joining with me for the Go Dark week this year, and I hope you will consider doing the same.  Let’s all grow together.  As with last year, I have a list of rule for myself for this week.  These rules reflect my own personal situation (for example, my job does not allow me to not use the computer there for the week, etc.)  If you decide to join us, you may have other “rules and exceptions” which will be necessary for your life.  The goal though should be to use technology as little as possible.  I also encourage you to post your rules somewhere (in the comments here, in your own blog, etc.) because I think if you write them down, you are more likely to follow them.  Here are my rules which are the same as last year with some minor exceptions:

  1. My black out will commence precisely at 12:00 AM, Saturday, August 14, 2010 and run through 11:59 P.M., Friday, August 20, 2010.
  2. I will turn off the following while I am at home: TVs, DVD Players, Game Systems, Computers, Radios, Cell Phones, Ipods, etc.
  3. No Radio or Ipod in the Van or Truck when I am alone.  Last year, I said none at all, but I decided in hindsight that that was unfair to my family.  My kids love music, and we generally listen to worship music in the car anyhow.  If they are in the vehicle and want to listen to music, I am willing to allow that.
  4. I will not access the internet for any reason for the entire week unless absolutely necessary for work.  Should I need to access it for work, I will limit my access to the immediate need only and finish as quickly as possible. (This means no blogging, twittering or facebook for the entire week).  My plan is to schedule a post to this blog for Monday morning of my Go Dark week announcing what I am doing.  If you follow me on twitter or facebook, you will likely see that post as it is set up to be automatically.  Any other article from me that you might see at Kidmin1124.com or Ministry-to-Children.com will have been scheduled in advance.
  5. I will access e-mails at work for my work e-mail address only during working hours.
  6. My work computer also checks my personal e-mail addresses.  I will turn off the automatic checking of this e-mail address.  I will check e-mails to my personal account once each day at work around 12:00-1:00.  I will only open e-mails from people which appear as though they may require some timely response.  I will not read automatically generated e-mails from the various groups which I participate in (facebook, my blog, etc.) during that time.  The purpose of these exceptions related to my personal e-mail is to allow me to avoid being rude by not responding to personal e-mails which are an integral part of the way people communicate today.  I will not be checking e-mail at all during the opening weekend of Go Dark week.
  7. I also need access to my cell phone for work purposes (it is the number that shows up on my business card).  So, I will turn my cell phone on when I walk out the door in the morning to go to work and turn it off when I walk in the door in the evening.  I will only use my cell phone as a phone (novel idea) and not access the other features.
  8. Computer use will also be restricted to work hours and for work purposes only.

I think that covers it.  I hope you will consider joining me in this chance to take a break from technology.  If you do, please let me know about it.  The more the merrier!  I promise you won’t regret it once you’ve done it.

2 Comments

  1. mnormancarguy |

    I did this a couple of years ago. I felt really burdened about the way that these things were distracting me. I actually took 40 days to do this. That meant no TV, no Internet, no Email, none of it for 40 days. This was a transforming time for me. I think this is a wonderful idea to make this an annual event. When I did this I put an auto reply in my email that sent an email out to anyone that sent me an email letting them know what I was doing and that they should call me if their email could not wait till the end of this period for a response.
    My recent post Parent Video

  2. mnormancarguy |

    Doing this now would require some serious planning (especially if I tried to do 40 days) as I use a lot of technology in kids church on Sunday so I am often on the internet searching for videos to use in the coming lesson.____Anyways, I applaud what you are doing and I think that it might be time for me to do this once again. Hey, maybe I could even get my family to go with this as well. I think it would be good for them to do without these things for a period of time. I think that this would be a good thing to do as we prepare for the fall. Thanks for this post and thanks for reminding me the importance of “being still”.____Matt N.__
    My recent post Parent Video

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