How many of you know you have a “digital addiction”? You check emails in the middle of the night or before you even get out of bed. You’re scrolling through Facebook in the bathroom or during lunch with friends…or worse while you’re having “quality” time with family. Most of you would freak out more if you lost your phone or computer than if you lost your wallet.
Some call all these tech devises THE NEW DRUG.
I’ve gone to friends’ houses and the entire time I’m there their kids (1 year old to 18 years old) and even the parents are on some devise playing a game, Snapchat, Facebook, texting, watching a movie or some other mind numbing activity. I’ve even been in mid-conversation with people at their house (which they invited me to come) and they stop talking to answer a text. Keep in mind none of them are CIA agents or on-call emergency doctors—which I would be OK with them needing to answer a text immediately to save a life or go after a double agent—but none of my friends are that important.
I remember my parents forced me to talk to our guests (mind you I hated it) and hang out with them because ignoring our guests would be rude they said. As a kid I hated this but as an adult I realized I learned how to be “human” from it.
All of us could use a DIGITAL FAST. I’m guilty of being too obsessed with my computer or phone. Checking my email way too much and getting sucked into the black hole of Facebook and celebrity trash. Time away from this is good for all of us, right!!???
Exciting idea or scary?
National Day of Unplugging….a 24 hour fast from your digital devices starts today at sundown.
It’s sad we need a day to remember to get our heads out of our technology…but here we are anyways!
Thank goodness for Reboot, a cultural nonprofit dedicated to affirming the value of Jewish traditions and creating new ways for people to make them their own—and the founders of The National Day of Unplugging.
The National Day of Unplugging—which will take place in the 24-hour period running from Sabbath sundown March 3rd to sundown March 4th—is an adaptation of our ancestors’ ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones. In other words: A 24-hour digital detox, people! You don’t have to be Jewish to do this…we all need this.
Join me and others tonight at sundown as we turn off our phone, computers, iPads, and dare I say our TV and everything else electronic and get back to the basics . . . if we even remember what that means.
If you’ve forgotten how to live without your electronic babysitters please let us help you come up with some ideas.
Cook your favorite meal for friends and/or family or have a potluck and get everyone cooking. Sit around a table (not a TV) and talk to each other. Phones off! Have a theme of the night to make it fun. Don’t talk politics or religion (keep it debate free)…just learn about each other, laugh and reconnect.
Read a REAL book. Not something on your device. You know the one on paper. If you don’t have a good one go to your local book store, get a coffee and get lost in all of the knowledge. I just love real books! I’m one of those people who writes notes in the margins and hi-lights great quotes.
Go on a hike in nature or even in your community. I know when we take a walk in our neighborhood we always talk to a neighbor or even meet someone new. If you go out in nature take a real camera, journal or a sketchpad and be inspired by what’s around you. Nature is where I get the most inspiration. Take time to just appreciate and observe nature because it’s far more beautiful than anything online.
GET SOCIAL…in the real world
Go to a play, a friend’s house or out to dinner. Go on a day of visits. Meaning, pick 3-4 friends or family that you want to visit and spend 1 hour at each and go visit them all. Tell them what you’re doing so they know you’re trying to reconnect with a few special people—and they are one of them. Or heck, invite them all to your house! We all crave companionship…in real life, so go visit people that it would mean the most to--people at nursing homes, the hospital or family or friends who are all alone. Or visit people who are having a rough period in their life from a loss, divorce, health issues or just loneliness.
Writing is my therapy and when I have quite time I love to write about anything. If you’ve been thinking about writing a book, now is the time or thinking about starting to journal, now is the time. Are you going through a transition in life? Writing is the cheapest way to clear your thoughts and clarify what you want to do next.
Go to your local nursing home, food bank or even park and see how you can help. There are so many places that could use your help. Clean out a room, garage or closet and go donate what you don’t need to a local shelter and then ask how you can help them today or tomorrow. Go through your cabinets and box up some can goods and take that to a local food bank or several churches accept donations for their congregation. I once had boxes of bedding, household items and took it to a local church and they said they have several elderly and poor members who would benefit greatly from these items. Don’t make this complicated…just make time for it.
Do Something New
This one is simple, pick something you’ve never done and do it. It can be as easy as go to a new restaurant, park, museum or even neighboring community. This is all about exploring for the sake of exploring. I remember when I was growing up my parents would often take us on a Sunday drive and we rarely knew where we were headed. My dad would just say we’re going on a drive we won’t know where we’re going until we get there. We all have such “scheduled” lives, taking time to just explore the world around you can be soul feeding and absolutely fun.
Trying something new could also be something like taking a class, checking out local Meetups.com in your area or even sky-diving. Just go out into the world and see what you’ve been missing.
Ready Set GO??
Do you see how your addiction to the digital world is keeping you from the incredible life that’s right outside your front door or within your own home. Don’t make this complicated just try it!! I hope you use the next 24 hours to actually take a digital vacation and live in the real world free from your elementary school friends’ updates, checking spam emails sent at 2am and mindless googling. Let me know how it all goes in the comments or on FB after you try this.
*PS this doesn’t have to only happen on March 3-4th is can happen any day you choose.