Saturday, September 12, 2015

De Unplugged

Folks who know me know  I love Facebook.  I love checking up on everyone and looking at cat pictures.  I love keeping in touch this way.

When I say "love", I mean "I-must-check-it-every-8-minutes-just-in-case-something-new-happened".  As if something could happen on Facebook without my knowing.

And it's not just Facebook.  I love checking the news and the weather and Instagram and Twitter and email.  I love being connected.

One day in late July, we were in Cabela's and they had this life-sized display right at the entrance encouraging people to taking a pledge to disconnect and get outside.  I walked by then took out my phone to check Facebook.

Later on while walking through the store, the words on the sign kept coming back to me.

I, (Your Name), PLEDGE to myself and to my family, for which I stand, that for one day I will unplug it, power it off, and shut it down, in order to look up and look around. I will set aside the small screen to once again see the big picture. On this day I will not use any smart phones, tablets, tablets, desktops, laptops, notebooks, video chats, instant messaging, emails, tweets, grams that are instant, links that are in, or faces that have been booked. And most of all, I pledge to get my head out of my app, with liberty and just us, for all.

And it hit me---I.  Could.  Do.  This.  Why not?  I would disconnect for a whole (weekend) day.

And I did.  The following Sunday I was almost completely disconnected.  I did send one birthday email and one instant message, but both were emergencies and I had the authority to make those exceptions.  You know what?  I enjoyed it.

I found that I didn't miss having my phone in my hand.  I didn't miss the endless negative and nasty posts and drama.  I didn't miss reading that my political party is wrong and my diet is wrong and things and people I like are wrong.  I needed a break from seeing so many animals needing homes.  It can all become almost depressing after a while.

At the end of the day, I felt more relaxed.  I did miss knowing what was going on (a little) and I hoped if anyone needed me no one thought I was ignoring them.  It turns out the on-line world kept going without me.  No one needed me and it was all good.

A couple of weeks later, I did it again.  This time, there were no exceptions.  I was 100% unplugged.  It felt good again.  I sat outside just reading, got some chores done and was amazed at all the "extra" time I had.

I am going to do it again (tomorrow).  Join me.  Go here, read about it & change your Facebook cover photo to let everyone know where you'll be (I'm using the "instagraham" photo).  Then unplug and enjoy life off-line for one day.  If you think things won't work if you aren't present, I say to you, sure they will - try it and see.


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