June 23: Disconnect Yourself

In such a digital world, it is easy (and typical) for us to get caught up in the new gadgets, the new toys.  They are marketed as “conveniences” to us, devices that make our lives better, easier.  Now, we have a computer in our hand to tell us when we get an email, when someone takes a picture of us, how far it is to the grocery store, everything.

We have become reliant on technology

We text, we email, we tweet, we post status updates, we tag pictures, we post blog updates, we instant message, we send photos, we take videos of our cats.  We have phones, tablets, GPS units, heck, they even have internet connected watches now.  Seriously, how connected do we need to be?

I know I am guilty of it.  Here is just a picture of how my evening shaped up tonight:

  • Juliet got home from work right after a Tweet Up (#TNI) was finishing up
  • We head out to the bar for dinner/drinks
  • After were there, Juliet answers texts from her coworkers
  • We compare pictures from friends on Facebook/Twitter
  • I text one of our friends to see how they’re doing
  • Juliet calls her mom on the phone
  • I took a picture of our dog and sent it to a friend
  • Now I am writing a blog before bed

Seriously, can we not just disconnect for a day?  I know I am not alone in this.

So here is my challenge to you.  Take a day. 24 hours.  Turn off.  No computer, no phone, no internet, no twitter, no Facebook.  Sure, carry your phone just in the case of an emergency, but turn off all your data services. Do not tempt yourself.

So, before you say it, I will.

I will put my money where my mouth is.

This weekend is June 25th-26th and I will go 48 hours without being connected to the internet or on a computer.

With a dedication to a blog post per day for the month of June, that means I need to get Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s blog posts done tomorrow, as well as my Foto Friday post.  Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

But I will take my own challenge.  I am going to spend my time with Juliet, with the dogs, being a family, without external influences, without external connectivity.

I will follow up this blog on Monday/Tuesday with photos and a write-up of my digital sabbatical.  A weekend of freedom.  48 hours untethered.

Day 23. Way 23. Disconnect from your digital addiction. Enjoy the freedom of old times. Get back to basics. A smile, a handshake. No internet.

Can you go without the internet?

Can you forego a few tweets?

Join me in a digital sabbatical this weekend, June 25-26.  Share your commitment below!

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  • Dana Flynn

    I am totally addicted  to facebook and twitter.
    That being said, I spent the month of November 2011 without Facebook – approximately the same time I got onto twitter.
    It feels good to disconnect. I may just take you up on this challenge.

    • I actually only signed up for Facebook a little over a year ago I believe, I was a long standing holdout.  I go in waves of my frequency of visits to the site.  Lately have been spending more time on Twitter, so the break will be good for me.  Just forget about my digital persona for a weekend.

  • I disconnect all the time when the internet goes out here in Costa Rica. Does that count? 😉
    Seriously though, I go on vacations without technology and love it!

    • HA! I was waiting for one of you guys traveling around South America or Central America to make a comment like that, but at the same time, you know first hand how nice it is to be disconnected from technology and more connected to the world around you.

  • ZenNihilism NA

    This is a horrible idea. If I were to “disconnect,” it’s very possible that I wouldn’t have any contact with any kind civilization for days at a time. Technology is only bad if it hurts existing or keeps you from developing normal, healthy relationships. If this isn’t the case, I don’t really see any reason to take you up on this challenge, as it wouldn’t benefit me at all, and could very possibly hurt me, as many important aspects of my “real world” life (e.g. work, long-distance friends, finances) are only available to me if I’m connected. Also, I would get lost a lot. So, while I appreciate the intention behind your post, I’m going to have to stick with the 21st century and all that entails.

    • Thank you for dropping by and leaving your comments.  My intentions when posting this were purely selfish as my goal of this blog is not to preach opinions on matters that I do not apply to my own life, so I do my best to lead by example.

      This scenario is not for everyone, as you stated, your connectivity to the outside world might completely depend on technology, and that is fine, then this is not for you.  Fortunately for me, I do not work on the weekends, I know my current financial state enough to get me through 2 days without checking it, as well as the fact that I don’t mind picking up the phone to call a friend to hang out.

      For myself and some of my readers, we have family, friends and other connections that do not require technology.  I look forward to a weekend of not checking Twitter/Facebook, not constantly reading my RSS feeds, having to use a real map instead of GPS based technology.  It will be a weekend with my wife, my dogs and a new region of the country that we just moved to a few months ago.

      Thanks again for your comments, they are appreciated!

  • Uhmm… honestly, I don’t think I can do that unless someone throws me into the wilderness without any gadget with me. Then, I’ll be forced to not connect with the world. 

    Technology has been an integral part of my life the moment I turned five, I think, so it’s gonna be really hard for me to abandon it. However, maybe – just maybe – when I can get to push myself to take up your challenge, I might do so. Wish me luck though! I don’t think I can stand it! Crap!

    • I understand completely!!  It is how we connect with friends, how we find places, manage our bank accounts and so many other things.

      To me, I love technology.  I work in the IT field. But there is part of me that just loves to disconnect and not deal with the constant blinking lights of gadgets. I love the moments to disconnect with the internet and just pour myself into the world around me.

      With that in mind, I want to give it a full 48 hours and just not worry about the internet, social media, etc.  Might my website hits drop, sure.  Might I miss a discussion on Twitter?  It is a possibility.  But at the end of the day, I think this will also enrich my life and give me some great perspective moving forward

      Best of luck if you choose to do it!  Let me know how it goes!

      • You have a point! I MIGHT actually try it, but maybe not now. My academic life requires me to be glued to technology all the time, so maybe when vacation hits, I’ll give the challenge a shot. 

        So, have you finished the challenge yet? How did it go? 

        • Completely understandable.  Like I said, it might not be for everyone at the same time.  I start my sabbatical at midnight EST, so 3 hours 15 minute from now.

          • Good luck! Tell us how it goes! 🙂

          • Thanks! Went well, was a very relaxing weekend.  Will have a blog post upcoming on it today/tomorrow!

  • Jacs_13

    Done.  I’ll join!  

    • Awesome!  I think a few days away will be a great chance to explore and enjoy the world around us! Would love to get your thoughts on Monday!

  • It’s funny because one of my followers on Twitter assumed that since I was going on a trip last week, that I was going to be disconnected.  She was surprised to find me tweeting from my adventure.  I do unplug for a week each fall but that’s mostly because I’m a cheap ass and I don’t want to pay the additional fees for “roaming” while I’m in the Caribbean.  

    • I agree with the Caribbean thing.  Most times when on vacation, my phone is off unless absolutely necessary.  This past road trip, we tweeted and posted photos from the road, so it was fun doing that, but with our upcoming trips to the caribbean in August and January, you can better believe they will be completely off the entire time.

  • Tech blackouts are something we have built into our daily lives.  We consider them like tech off-sets for always connected.

    In addition to limiting usage on weekends, we also take several tech free breaks throughout the day.  Long walks with no phone or computer, meditation time – anything to keep us from permanently going down the digital rabbit hole.

    • I love the idea of doing it daily, for even short periods of time, just to get away.  

      When I was in the corporate world, we would often take lunch as a group and leave our phones behind, just to get away from them.  I think that separation helps balance our needs/expectations when it comes to our connectivity.