I have written before about being a Crackberry-aholic. I truly am always plugged in. Between my Blackberry, laptop, iPad and such I am always in tune with what’s going on at work, in the social elements (Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook) and I’m always reachable. But recently I had the chance to truly “UNPLUG” from the world and let me tell you I think it saved my life.
I took a vacation and spent six of those glorious days camping with my husband and son. We had no electricity where we were staying so needless to say I had no TV, no cell, no laptop, no internet, no Twitter and no text messages at my disposal. I thought I would have major withdrawal symptoms since I live on my phone and computer. What would I do with nobody reaching out to me to solve a problem, or someone needing me to approve a project item? How would we survive with no DVR or TV? I wasn’t sure but I was game to find out.
Day one was a bit tougher than I thought. I kept reaching to my pocket for a phone but it wasn’t there (I did have it charging in the car in case of a medical emergency). I had to resort to just truly enjoying my vacation and the wonderful world we live in. The state park we were at was huge and there was plenty to do that didn’t require my phone or laptop (which I left the laptop at home as well).
For the next five days I managed to read six books on my Kindle (ok it’s techy, but was better than six hard back books), I played eight hour of cards with the family, I spent two hours daily swimming in the river and we managed to go hiking twice. All of it without my technological plug in to the rest of the world. At the end of our six day stay I truly didn’t miss being plugged into the world.
I continued that unplug mentality for the remainder of my four days off before returning to work. In my 10 days away from work I had only made a handful of calls to my family and friends on the phone. I didn’t rely on my faithful friends Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to share my who, what, when and whys of daily life. I didn’t send 1001 emails and I managed only 10 text messages the entire time off. I had truly unplugged from the hectic world we lived in and it brought sanity.
I know most people don’t care that I got to unplug but since being back for less than week I have already noticed certain things in life.
- I don’t check my emails on my phone in the evenings as much. I have learned to turn off work after a certain time and know it will still be there in the morning.
- The click, click, click of people who text or email on their phone is rather annoying sound. (I didn’t really hear it previously.)
- I realize more often when people tune out of conversations to return text messages and emails instead of realizing it can wait another 10-15 minutes while we enjoy the face-to-face company we are having right now.
- I enjoy the quiet of life now. Just being and enjoying the beauty and sounds of the world around us is so peaceful and enlightening and I look for more opportunities to enjoy it.
- And finally sometimes we just need to be. Be in the moment and be with the ones we love. I truly valued the time with the family. I honestly miss playing Uno for hours with my little one while being in a tent.
I believe every once in awhile we must all unplug. I have challenged myself to unplug daily in some way shape or form. I challenge you to do the same.