Unplugged!

I returned to daily journaling recently (at the urging of a friend!) and, although I’ve decided I mostly use it to whine about whatever happens to be irritating me, occasionally I have one of those “lightbulb” moments. AH HA! The most recent one involves my relationship with the internet and other technologies.  I do SO love the internet! If someone was to take my connection away for any length of time I know I’d be like a smoker without cigarettes or a foodie on a diet, the withdraw would make me cranky, whiney and hard to live with.  It’s a bit embarrassing to admit how much I love it.  Now, I’m sure there are lots of things about the internet that are unloveable but I just stick to the things I do love. Posting on my blog, working on my website, Facebook, Twitter, chat groups, art groups, shopping, more Facebook & Twitter, email (I have multiple accounts), reading blogs, looking at my friends websites…well I could go on but you get the picture.  Of course I also use my computer, without the internet, for photo editing, creating digital art, paying bills and a variety of other tasks. The downside is I that when I am doing those everyday tasks I tend to also get online Once there I become attached to the computer like it has an umbilical cord. If I were able to do what I need to do, enjoy the social/fun aspects of the internet for a short while and then leave there would be no problem.  But, as I said, I am an addict and that’s just not how it works for me.  So I spend an incredible amount of time online clicking, reading and typing followed by more typing, reading and even more clicking.  Add into that the telephone calls and texts that I receive and send all day, the additional hours spent staring at a television screen (watching shows I record on the DVR and just have to see) and I feel like technology is taking over my life!  SO, getting back to my “AH HA!” moment, I have been weaning myself away from the electronic world a little bit at a time.  I started with just a couple hours at a stretch.  Amazingly, I survived – as did all my online “friends”, my blog, and the world in general. The last three weeks I’ve managed to “unplug” for several eight hour time periods.  As I suspected, it’s pretty amazing what a difference it makes in my productivity!  For eight straight hours there is no internet, the phones are unplugged or silenced, the television stays off and I have an entire day to work on projects, art, chores and reading that I “never have time” to get to.  I don’t plan these days when I know I’m going to be away from home anyway, that would sort of defeat the purpose and negate any kind of bragging rights I might have too. 🙂 It’s a liberating feeling to be around the technology but not be using it. I gives me a feeling of control and, being a control freak…I LIKE IT! My goal is to gradually increase the days and hours that I unplug until I find a comfortable balance.  In the meantime I will celebrate each little victory! Do you have things in your life that hold your precious time hostage? What would make it worth giving those things up?

Something to ponder,

Lynne

P.S. I do make an exception on my unplug days for my iPod! 🙂 I may be able to pull myself away from the internet, phones and DVR but my music addiciton…well, that would be a whole new project to tackle – and an entirely new blog post!

6 thoughts on “Unplugged!

  1. I wish I could unplug. I’ve been wanting to paint more but I would always rather just sit around and be lazy or I have school work to do.

    1. Darren, I think sometimes we don’t notice the opportunities we have, even if they are just for an hour or two! I’ve been trying to capture whatever time I can get instead of waiting until I’ve got 8 whole hours…that doesn’t seem to happen often. Even though I don’t have school work I’ve got lots of family obligations, housework and – like you – times when I just sit around and be lazy, so I understand where you are coming from. I hope you can carve out some time for yourself soon!

  2. Lynne,
    I feel like I could have written this blog today! I am so there with you and this whole technology thing. I too rely on it for work, bills, networking, opportunities, friends, shopping, blah, blah, blah. . . I always feel stressed, anxious, on edge and I think my dependablity on technology has a lot to do with it. (Or maybe it’s the 10 cups of coffee.) When I take a day to go out and photograph, or take a few days to go camping (the only technology there would be a flash light) I feel sooo much better; relaxed, centered once again. While I understand that I need technology for many things, I still prefer having conversations in person with friends rather than in cyberspace, I still prefer looking at art hanging on a wally rather than a website and my favorite entertainment is still being out in nature, observing wildlife and listening to the songbirds or the wind in the trees. It’s all so much more meaningful when you can truely see, hear, smell and touch what you are experiencing. All this may seem slow and boring to the younger generation but I think we need to remember what that slow life is all about and partake in it daily. Technology seems to be separating us more and more rather than bringing us together. So, Lynne, I wish you luck on your journey. You will be faced with many temptations along the way, just remember what’s at the end of the path you seek; liberation! 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts April! I always feel better when I get out and shoot photos or just enjoy being outdoors. Although I’m a bit of a hermit who used IM’s and email to avoid interaction once I make myself get out and be with people it’s really much more rewarding! Good luck to you too!

  3. I really need to have an “unplugged” day. Or better yet, a whole weekend! My job involves being on the computer 8-10 hours a day. Afterwards, I’m either web surfing or playing games on my personal computer, or staring at a TV. I’m anxiously waiting for Spring to arrive so that I can get outside more.

    1. Oooh…a whole weekend! That would be amazing! 🙂 Oh, yes, spring will be here shortly and I can’t wait for that either. I am TIRED of being cooped up inside!

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