Last week I took part in the Thanksgiving Unplugged challenge and unplugged from my digital devices on Thanksgiving Day. Since my family celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday this year, it turned into two days of unplugging. Then Saturday rolled around and I really was enjoying not having to check my phone constantly. I loved being disconnected with Facebook and Twitter….so I took another day off.
After three days of unplugging, I felt rejuvenated and ready to get back to my online life.
I really enjoyed those three days of unplugging way more than I thought I would. I also learned a lot. Three days off made me realize how addicted I really am to my digital devices and how much my brain just needed a break. It made me remember what it was like just a few years ago when I didn’t even have email on my phone, let alone a Facebook account. I know we all have our online lives right now, but we can’t forget to live our lives offline as well.
3 Lessons I learned From Unplugging For 3 Days:
Clear Your Temptations Before Your Unplug: On Wednesday night as I was starting to log off of everything, I couldn’t even figure out how to log out of Twitter on my phone. It literally took me five minutes and a Google search to figure out how to do it. They don’t make it easy to unplug! I had to log out of everything on my phone so that I had no temptation to login. A few times during the three days I opened up my phone to check Facebook but I realized that I would have to put in my name and password in again, and that was enough to get me not to look.
Unplug To Get Clarity: My three days of unplugging consisted of movies, family, friends, sleep, and books. It also consisted of a lot of thinking about my priorities. When I started my unplug challenge, I was stressed about a few things in my life. After a few days of just letting them go, I realized that those things weren’t that big of a deal. They weren’t worth worrying and stressing about and really weren’t something that I even wanted to continue to pursue. Unplugging brought major clarity to my priorities. I realized that I had been so focused on the failure of one thing for so long that I forgot to see all of the other successes that I had. What I thought was a failure really wasn’t, it was a learning and growing experience. If I hadn’t stepped back, I really think I would be continuing down a wrong direction and not the one that I know will bring me happiness in the long run.
Unplug to Be Present: While unplugging I wasn’t distracted by what was going on online and my husband even noticed that I was more present. I would ask questions and have more discussion. I didn’t need to retreat from the family Thanksgiving to see what was going on online. All I cared about was my family and friends that I was talking to at that moment in time. Being unplugged made me see how much other people aren’t present. My husband would be on Facebook during a conversation and I would get so annoyed. But, that is how I normally am! Everywhere I looked I saw people on their phones while walking, shopping or eating. I don’t want to miss a moment being consumed by non-important information on my phone. I would rather stay present with the people who are really important to me.
I loved those three days so much that I have now decided to do this unplugging on a weekly basis by unplugging on my nights and weekends. I also have a goal of unplugging for a week over Christmas.
It really was so beneficially for me to have this time that I really think you should do it, too. If you are like me, you need this unplug break to realize how dependent you are on your digital devices. You need to see how your mind is always working and thinking about what other people are doing on social media. What matters is here and now and what we do with each moment offline, not what is on Facebook.
Do you unplug? What have you learned while unplugging?
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