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04 June 2015

4 More FAQs for "The Innernet"

FAQs for "The Innernet":

1. (new!) "Is this course just for artists?"
This course is for everyone. Whether you’re a maker, thinker, improver, planner, or producer -- we all need an Innernet/Internet balance.

2. (new!) "Can I use the telephone?"
In my opinion, all phone calls (to anyone) are encouraged because you are making a real connection there. You can decide for yourself based on your life situation and what feels liberating to you. If phone calls are not possible, I think important/urgent texts are fair game, too.

3. (new!) "Do you have strategies for folks to reenter? All the 'good' they have done themselves over the hiatus may be lost with the initial stress of digging back out."
What you choose to do during your Innernet/unplugging/offline time IS the path to creating strategies for yourself for “reentry” online. During the closing teleseminar, we will talk about your observations during reentry and the hope is that this sharing will have a positive and lasting impact on you.

4. (new!) "I'm wondering about a sense of community that might be developed with like minded individuals on this topic. Will there be opportunities for the group to talk to each other and share ideas via internet and maybe extend this beyond the course time?"
The teleseminars will provide opportunities for discussion, as you can call in live and talk to me and the group all at once. My vision, actually, is not to create an online forum for this course, but instead for you to invite painters/family/friends/like-minded individuals from your "in-person" home, work, studio, neighborhood, and life communities to join in the course and movement -- to create your own sustainable Innernet communities. This way, almost all of the connections made in the course (other than the live teleseminars) will be quality, in-person connections. I plan to offer this course 2-3 times per year, so it is my hope that it will become a movement! I know in my own life and studio practice that I need to unplug pretty frequently in order to feel balanced and do my best work.

5. "I will be out of town or busy during the course dates. Can I still take the course?"
YES, you can enjoy this opportunity to participate in "The Innernet" from the comfort of your own home at a time that works for you. Listen to the teleseminars, deepen your experience, and discover how to cultivate a fulfilling life offline while also embracing all that makes technology remarkable. Your registration includes access to the course materials and two teleseminars through July 30, 2015. Take the course on your own schedule, and listen to the teleseminars when you have the time.

6. "What is the calendar?" (click to view larger)

June 5
You will receive an email with the official course packet (PDF download) so you can print it out for yourself. (If you need it earlier than that, just ask!) I recommend putting it into a binder. The course packet is something I have worked on for about a year. It includes everything that helps me unplug: activities I’ve created, questions to ponder, book excerpts, poems, concepts (e.g. Dunbar’s number), tasks, quotes, and more. It’s fairly hefty and a lot of fun. There are no required assignments, but the packet is there for you if you’re anxious about unplugging or ever at a loss for something to do.

June 10
I will host a live lecture/Q&A tele-seminar to prepare us for the Innernet experience. You may submit questions in advance and call in to talk with me live. (Tele-seminar access details will be provided by email and we’ll be recording the tele-seminars in case you can’t make it live.)

June 11
Preparation day to get things in order so that you can unplug. Notify friends & colleagues about your plan.

June 12-15
The heart of the course: our 4-day respite from the Internet. Unplugging can be nerve-wracking and even scary. How you unplug is up to you. I recommend turning off mail and social media alerts on your phone. You might choose to put your phone in airplane mode. You might want complete Freedom. Over the four days, it’s possible that you may need to receive text messages and/or phone calls depending on your situation or profession.

Going offline isn’t an easy thing to do, so you should do what you can and what feels right to you.

During your four days offline, there is no goal to be reached.

You are free to just be and do those things you wish you had more time for......
spend time with family, sit in nature, write someone a handwritten letter, garden, go for three hikes a day, read a few books, call someone you haven’t talked to in years, meditate, paint, dance, cook, sit on the beach, visit a museum, take a workshop, swim, daydream, bake, knit, attend a concert, exercise, and so on. The course packet you will have already printed out has no required assignments. But it is there for you as a support and a prompt if you desire a more directed time offline.

June 16
Take your time going back online and reflect on your four days offline. I will host another live lecture /Q&A tele-seminar to share my Innernet experience, hear from you about your time offline, answer questions, and talk about what comes next.

7. "Who should take this course?"
This course is for you if:
  • You feel like you often don’t have time to do the things you really love to do.
  • You’re a maker, thinker, improver, planner, or producer.
  • You already enjoy periodically unplugging while on vacation, at retreats, at workshops, on weekends, or whenever you feel like it.
  • You like the idea of periodically doing a “cleanse” of any kind.
  • You’re interested in mindfully observing your own digital technology and Internet habits.
  • You are curious about what might happen to your energy level, curiosity, creativity, or mood if you unplugged.
  • You have a fluctuating relationship with social media.
  • You are curious about reflecting on your own Innernet/Internet balance.
  • Your smart phone has become an extension of your arm.
  • Your email is the last thing you look at before you sleep and the first thing you look at when you wake.
  • You’ve talked about wanting to go offline, but haven’t tried it yet.

8. "What is the Course Content?"
This is a one-week e-course about what it means to balance our creative lives online (Internet) and offline (Innernet). Since your Innernet is highly personal, what you will get out of it is very specific to you. Try it to see what the course will do for your creativity and peace of mind.

9. “But I can unplug anytime on my own.”
I hope you do! At the same time, every time I teach a workshop, I see and feel the collective, positive, rush of inspiration and peace that participants experience being offline in the studio together. If we unplug together and share our experiences in this course, our collective consciousness—the nöosphere—will feel a similar rush of inspiration and peace. Since this is an ongoing and cyclical process, my hope is to possibly offer this course two or three times a year as “an Innernet practice” and movement.

10. "What are the Course Requirements?"
Your only requirement is to be curious about the nature of life in a digital world, and to have a willingness to see what happens when you unplug.

11. "Wait, isn’t it a contradiction? An Online Course on Time Away from the Internet?"
Yes. That’s the thing about the amazing digital time in which we live. As a painter, the contrast between my Innernet (life offline) and my Internet (life online) is immense. I frequently reflect on this contrast and often speak about it in my workshops, private instruction sessions, and during my travels. While the heart of this course takes place offline, I’m not suggesting we shun the connection economy and culture in which we live. But I hear from so many of you who feel pulled in different directions, distracted by what is digitally at your fingertips, or just wishing you had more time to do what you love.

12. "What's so bad about the Internet?"
The internet (and all that goes with it) is amazing. But we need to cultivate a fulfilling life offline while also embracing all that makes technology remarkable. I believe we can do both. It is all One. We honor, accept, and acknowledge life’s challenges and the challenging aspects of digital life without judgment when we mindfully set aside a few minutes, or an hour, or a day—or 4 days—to do more of what makes us feel most alive. I’m not alone in thinking that it’s a good idea to periodically unplug and explore our own Innernet in order to be our balanced, creative, grounded, productive, peaceful selves. Yet this peace is not static; it is an ongoing and cyclical process. If you feel drawn to this, my hope is to offer this course two or three times a year as “an Innernet practice” and movement.

13. Create an “Innernet” Community for Yourself (my own addition to the FAQs!)
This course is really for everyone. Invite 10 friends to join you. If you have colleagues or friends who’d be curious about this course—and, even better, with whom you find community and support—please go ahead and share this link. Having a community and sharing your experience will help you have more fun. Cheer each other on!

I hope this is helpful -- see you in "The Innernet."