How many technical devices do you use in a day? If I’m not checking email or text messages on my phone, I’m sitting at a computer or in front of a screen doing work or being entertained. This was taking an unbalanced portion of every day and it was starting to feel like an addiction. Eventually, I recognized the need to unplug.
Is it easier said than done? In many cases, I think if the temptation is simply removed the withdrawal is not what you thought it would be. What was getting to me before our vacation this summer was how dependent my kids seemed to be on their technology. (When I call them on it, they think I’m crazy) I wondered how they would react to a completely unplugged holiday. Turns out they barely noticed.
We took a family trip to rural Ireland where we did not have access to our cell phones (I refused to purchase roam or travel plans). And although where we stayed did have Internet, the connection was through the phone line and extraordinarily slow. So we made a conscious decision to not use technology while we were there.
Guess what happened? We had more conversations than ever and added into the mix a couple of funny, storytelling uncles. It was so much fun to just sit around and chat. But there was much more to do! We roamed in the beautiful gardens and through the plush countryside. We enjoyed organized activities like archery lessons and go-karting. The kids dug up worms and went fishing. Even Dad enjoyed a round of golf. There really weren’t any moments in the day where we thought ‘gee, I wish I could check email’.
When we returned to Canada, it didn’t take long to pick up the technology again and get back to work. But something changed. I found myself more conscious of my online activities. I made decisions to use and not to use my phone. These devices became for me what they are supposed to be – tools. And I feel more relaxed and in control of them than before.
Are you dependent on technology? When do you make time to unplug? Let me know in the comments.
MarnieHughes is an SEO copywriter, author and online marketer. She works with small and medium-sized businesses to develop their marketing and communications and expand their customer base.
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