So, this is what I did NOT have for a weekend:
No background sound of the TV. No celebrity entertainment. No news. (In fact, I had no idea until today that there had been a Paula Deen stink and that she had been let go from FoodNetwork. – Wow!) No yelling over XBox games. No Facebook updates showing me folks on fabulous trips, having grand times, doing much more exciting things than I! No reading my regular blogs, keeping up with others’ routines, workouts, mantras, meals, no reviewing posts of their WOD, which is Workout of the Day in Crossfit terms. No photos of healthy meals consisting of oats and chia seeds. No new ideas for another Green Smoothie . . .
No looking up trivia on Google. No shopping site updates with the latest deals. No constant barrage of technology flowing into my head.
This is what I DID have for the weekend:
Early mornings on the porch with only the birds. Quiet cups of coffee reading a book. Long and hilly walks with our dogs. Boys performing crazy tricks and games on a trampoline. Stories about the lack of fish in the lake. A grand time watching the boys ski, and a little go on the skis myself. Meals with no TV or game distracting the male minds from the table. Nice talks with actual faces rather than tops of heads bowed into a video game or phone. Fireflies. Smores. Chores. Sun. Rain. Peace. Feelings of rest and no-stress.
I think Pulling the Plug is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. Technology is great. It is helping me write these words at this very moment. However, it also invokes a need to do more, multitask more, be more, stress more. It can take away the art of creating and develop in us a need to merely consume more. More Apps, more music, more shopping, more comparisons.
Technology can take away the joy and the experiences of life happening right before us. We can so easily miss the views, the sights, the interactions when our heads are buried in our laptops, phones or IPads. Some researchers say that one in three people felt worse after visiting social media sights. From experiences, family vacations, body image, birthday greetings or online friends, the opportunity for envy is right at our fingertips. Pulling the plug on social media at times helps folks refocus on their own lives and all the good there.
When technology is always on and around it can be so hard to find stillness and quiet. It is in the quiet that we can reflect and evaluate our lives and listen. I know I can’t find that quiet with my IPhone nagging at me, a text popping up or a screen flashing.
Basically, life happens right in front of us daily. This life is short and real and can so easily be missed is we are staring at a screen. So, how do we manage to balance our growing dependence on technology and our real need for real life interaction and experiences? Like so many other things in our day to day world, it is one more thing to balance in a healthy way to keep us healthy. Pulling the Plug can become a skill or a habit with lots of benefits if we can learn to discipline ourselves to actually pull the plug at times. I truly think it made my weekend much fuller and more alive.
If you just can’t imagine how in the world you would actually unplug here is a list of 19 ways to do it! I’m sure you can find one that will pull you in!
Are you addicted? Think you can Pull the Plug for a day, a weekend, a week? Do you check your phone first thing when you wake? Ever compare yourself to all those FB posts?