Note: If this blog seems to have a bit of a different tone that is because it is adapted from one I wrote last summer. Since National Day of Unplugging is this weekend I thought it was appropriate to share now!
You may have heard of The National Day of Unplugging or something similar. It’s a simple idea, put away your devices, unplug yourself from electronics and take some time to unwind. While this “holiday” was inspired by the Sabbath and started by Reboot, a nonprofit Jewish community, the importance of it grows as our dependency on devices does.
“But Wait,” you say! Why am I reading about unplugging my devices on a blog on my smartphone while waiting in line at the supermarket?! Isn’t that just full of contradictions? Well no, because National Day of Unplugging starts tomorrow night (March 9th, 2018) at sundown and you need time to prepare! So, wind up your old alarm clock, set your DVR and get ready to spend the day practicing the ancient art of speaking to people. Go for a walk, read a book, connect with nature and most importantly, look at the world around you. Remember the world? Remember before everyone’s device was attached to them like an extra limb? Remember when it would be totally and absolutely rude to have someone you were talking to look away and read their mail? We’re all so nostalgic about “simpler times” (I know. I’ve seen the memes) but it’s time to unplug and think about why we loved the simpler times. They were relaxing and quiet and just plain simple. Even if you were on a computer or watching TV, that was all you were doing, no juggling of your tablet and phone with one eye on Facebook and one on Netflix. Simple.
Now if you’re like me and the idea of being away from email for 24 hours gives you heart palpitations or your job is online, and you don’t really have the choice to take the day off, remember that every step counts.
Sign off of your personal social media for the day or even just the afternoon and take a walk outside. Meet a friend for coffee and promise each other to leave your phones in your bag until your drinks are done. Disconnect for even an hour and relish in how good it feels to be free from the never-ending information overload and focus on your surroundings. You’ll be amazed at what will start to stick out as important, at what your brain can come up with when not faced with the constant stream of other people’s ideas. Problem solving, motivation, organization, it can all stem from a clear mind and you may just find the inspiration you were looking for inside of you, instead of on Pinterest. And remember, your phone will always be there waiting for you 😉