Unplug Me Now

Are you guys talking about this…unplugging?

I hope so.  Even the execs at Google and Facebook are talking about it (Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device – NY Times.)

Danny and I certainly talk about it.  Since we started the blog, we have become more and more active on-line, of course.  And it’s WONDERFUL to be able to do this – to blog.  But with that also comes the desire to be plugged in at all times.  I’ll admit that it’s a huge struggle to walk away, to read a book, to stop and go on an outing, to fit in time with friends, etc.  We are constantly trying to fit more into the day.  And failing at it.

Many top execs. have said they are concerned about the lure of constant on-line stimulation – and that it can cause a profound physical craving that can hurt productivity and personal interactions.  So true, right?

An exec. at Facebook full out says to “Log-off once in awhile and put down

[the device].”  And Google has started a “mindfulness” movement at the company to teach employees self-awareness and improve their ability to focus.

Guys, we all need to do this.  Let’s all develop our own Mindfulness Movement to help us unplug and have more togetherness with those we love.

A few strategies I’m working on:

Staying off-line on the weekends (as much as possible.)
(This works, you guys!  I’m telling you.  Really staying away from the phone and computer for a longer period of time seems to slow down my “need” to check everything.)

Staying off-line in the evenings (as much as possible.)
(This is going to be a new effort for me.  And a hard one.  I write my brains out in the evenings.  And I’m going to try and do that earlier in the day.  We’ll see how that goes.  Today I had a goal to be done by 5:00 pm.  It is 5:04 as I write this.  🙂  🙂

Continuing my daily walks
(This is the best focus / recharge I know of.)

Lots of cuddling/chatting/hugging/dining/hand-holding with Danny
(This one’s my favorite.  🙂 🙂

What is your strategy?

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  1. CountryMouse July 26, 2012 at 10:16 am - Reply

    I have to say that is a hard one for me, turning it all off and walking away. I live in the middle of nowhere (2.5 – 3.5hrs to the nearest town)and the only people I see every day and most weekends are the lovely people I work for and their kids who I am governess for. Evenings are my time for talking to my family, my boyfriend, the outside world and the same goes for weekends. I never used to rely on technolgy as much as I do now but meeting my Mr Sparky changed that and when you are depending on that technology to have a relationship, to talk to each other then it is super hard to turn it off. I do however wish you luck with 'unplugging' as I do think that it often interfers with face to face interactions.

  2. Sharlee@believinginsomething July 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Funny that you mention this. I have actually been thinking about going on a "media fast" for a few days before the end of summer. I stopped using too many social networks and that has helped me feel a little less connected, but I know that choice is not for everyone. I do leave my phone alone on Sundays almost completely. I don't take it to church, I leave it in my purse during dinner at my moms, etc. I don't have my updates sent to my phone either, I don't use my phone for that. That way, anytime I turn the computer off, I'm a little more unplugged. Honestly too much "connecting" can wear a person down. Oh and cuddling with the husband…well, that's the best! 🙂

  3. {Jessica} July 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Mara, my husband and I were just talking about this recently. We both notice the cumulative negative effects of being 'plugged in' for too long, too often. I recently completely deactivated my Facebook account because I found myself logging in to check up on things WAY too often. It was almost becoming stressful to me to always trying to be caught up – silly, I know, but true. The only social media method I connect through now is my blog (which I don't intend to stop). I think that making a conscious effort to unplug is very necessary. We stay off technology at night and as much as possible on the weekends and feel all the better for it! Enjoy the cuddles:)

  4. Charlotte July 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    I blog in my spare time so being unplugged in the evenings would mean being unplugged completely.. although I'd much rather blog for a living than do what i do now.

    The weekend suggestion could be good, though it would definitely be a struggle!

    My way of unplugging is that at the moment i dont have a smart phone, so have to be at a computer to check things, and I no longer have facebook – just my blog and the accounts associated with it (twitter, pinterest etc)

    It's important to remember to make time for real life as well as online life

  5. Michele July 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    We do it by not having smart phones and a curfew for when all electronics go off. Since we are students, our curfew varies day by day, so we talk about when we think is a reasonable time for us to finish up homework or free time on the computers. Not having smart phones or cable really help us! We even get free cable but decided not to hook it up because we were worried it would detract from our relationship.

    Also, this might sound strange, but I found yoga really helps. It's wonderful to have time to reflect while exercising. Helps me to slow down and appreciate people a bit more.

  6. Lottie July 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    i try and unplug when my husband gets home as i think it is really important to spend the time together but it is so hard sometimes especially when i hear my phone go off, or he is reading his book and i just sneak a quick look at twitter. so i am not quite there yet but trying is the first step right? 🙂

  7. kh July 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I've been thinking about this a lot too… I recently read this article from Spring 2008 that really made me think it's time to disconnect now and then!


  8. AVY July 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I only bring an old mobile phone when I'm traveling, so that I can't get online. Totally worth it.

    / Avy


  9. Anonymous July 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    1. I think not having a smart phone is huge. Or going out without even taking your phone (doesn't work when your child is not with you, ie on a date, but when the whole family is together, it's great).
    2. Un-subscribing from the majority of my facebook friends has been awesome since I really don't care what the girl-who-sat-next-to-me-in-second-grade is doing!
    3. Not using the computer when my child is awake (he makes it easy by attacking the laptop if I do have it out – it's good motivation to put it away!)

  10. Lena July 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    In addition to the benefits of unplugging on romantic relationships, it will make you a better parent at well!
    Children want/need/crave eye contact. It's sad to think of leaving an impressionable child with memories of their mom/dad staring down at their smartphone/tablet/laptop to check on things of no real importance….. like game scores, the constant barrage of status updates, instapics of other peoples vacations, idol twitter feeds, pinterest posts on cupcakes….. ultimately that stuff doesn't have any long-term meaning or value to anyone's life. But if my child will remember me gazing at them with a loving smile, I'll be able to say I was a success at motherhood.

  11. Molly July 26, 2012 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    In the evenings, my husband spends too much time in front of the TV and I spend too much time reading blogs. So we decided that Friday nights would be our only TV/laptop evenings. So far it has been really nice. We are getting more done at home and we are going to bed a lot earlier. It turns out watching TV and messing around online distract you from noticing when your body would naturally get tired.

  12. Amanda July 27, 2012 at 3:02 am - Reply

    Thanks for addressing this topic. I've been thinking about this issue on and off for some time now, but my attention was particularly caught by a recent article in Newsweek that describes the growing prevalence of Internet addiction and how the Internet can rewire our brains.

    My weakness is news articles. Every morning I open my email inbox to a barrage of newsletters from various national newspapers/news magazines, and I also follow many of them on facebook. It's gotten to the point where I can't read it all, so my first goal is to pare down my online reading material to a more manageable level.

  13. Jane July 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    This was very timely for me. I've been thinking about it a lot lately after I read a few good articles on the subject. This one was probably my favorite because unfortunately I identified really well with what she described, and I've got some serious neuro-pathways to divert.

    Segullah-The Battle in Our Brains

    Anyway, I know I am missing precious moments with my sweet little children
    because I'm logged on. see here:How to Miss a Childhood

    I find that social media that perpetuates real, meaningful relationships is the only social media that deserves my time. And as far as blogs, I've tried to narrow it down to the ones that inspire me, or as Moroni would say "that which inviteth me to do good."

    Sorry, now I'll just climb down off my high horse. 🙂

  14. Lexi July 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    I'm actually headed for a much-needed vacation tomorrow morning and I've vowed to take a real break from the online universe. I'm thinking little will change without my constant watch over twitter for two weeks.
    ♡ Lexi
    FASHION: Glitter & Pearls
    WEDDINGS: Glitter Weddings

  15. Bids That Give August 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately, we must admit that nowadays relationships are becoming more and more superficial, without any true contact or communication. Most of our communication today is based on sending msgs or chatting on the Internet. We must perceive the problem and question what are the true values of love, communication and life in general.

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