What if I told you, right now, you had to disconnect from all your technology for the weekend? Would you say “no problem, I don’t have a phone or use social media or have a computer, so it is easy”? Or would you be like most of us who would respond ” no problem, I can disconnect easily” and know that you don’t mean it and that you would be checking throughout the day.
Last year, I agree to do a Digital Detox with @AmberMac on the Marilyn Denis Show. The segment aired on January 1. I have to tell you, my addiction to using technology was at an all time high.
If any of these resonate with you, it might be time to do a Digital Detox for real – as in actually doing it!
For the record, the above list was mine. I am sure you can add to the list.
My addiction grew slowly. Yes, work did have me online for much of the day, but I had boundaries. I knew I was beyond normal use when I had the phone beside me day and night and during yoga class. It started with my daughter leaving for Thailand and wanting to make sure I did not miss an email should she need us for anything. When she did get sick, of course the email came during the night (her day) and we were asleep and I did not check until later that morning and it was hours after she had gone to the hospital. She got the help she needed but it left me keeping the phone close. And then I got a new phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 3) which allowed me to access all the social channels that my old phone did not. Now that I had the cool phone, I was so going to get even better at social media. Now the addiction was full on.
When Amber put the question out on Twitter, “Who would like to do a Digital Detox on the Marilyn Denis Show”, I immediately replied by ” not a chance, and loose connection with all my friends and family, never”. Perhaps it was the speed of my response or the denial that I would do it, but then the offer came to do the Digital Detox segment. I had to follow Amber’s digital detox rules for a week. Check out the segment here and Amber’s tips here.
On Friday night, as we were on a weekend roadtrip, I realized how much I was missing – from scenery to conversations to quality time with my hubby – by having my full attention on my phone. So I made a “Digital Detox on this weekend” sign and hung it up on my Instagram and Facebook wall. I let everyone know I would be back Monday. And then, I put my phone away!
I did have the phone plugged in and on Saturday morning, I pressed the power button to see if there were any text messages. If there was, I checked. And then I shut down the phone again. We were moving my daughter home from university, so checking text messages was important but not urgent so I checked only 3 times on Saturday. I also brought my phone with me on our dock rescue mission to take photos. And I used the phone camera to capture images of the flowers and wild leeks that we came across on our weekend adventures. But the rule here was, I could only use the camera and no other feature of the phone.
So how did I make out? I felt great! Seriously, Friday night was hard, Saturday was challenging, Saturday night was fine and Sunday was easy. Confession time. I did use my phone for 10 minutes on Sunday driving home and realized I missed part of a conversation so I put it away and enjoyed the rest of the ride home technology free.
I lived life in the moment. I was present and enjoyed it all. You will see me doing this Weekend Digital Detox more often as I see the benefits from it.
I love technology and social media and connecting with others using social tools. I have made great connections this way. I just think we need to make sure we schedule in time to use social tools and more importantly, we schedule in time to be 100% present with the ones we love.
To being present and leaning to UN-Plug from technology for a Digital Detox,
Your “Digital Detox” Partner, Wellness Cheerleader & Culinary Nutritionist
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