I’m Back…

I’m back online and some of you have asked how it went UN plugging for 24 hours. It was good in a couple of ways.
First off, it caused me to be purposeful in getting things done prior to black out. I had to be sure that I met my deadlines so that I was not using it as an excuse to shirk my responsibilities. This was helpful as I managed my time much more effectively and actually got a lot accomplished in a short amount of time.
Secondly, it allowed me to be present with my husband and daughter. No incessant checking email, facebook & Twitter to see what everyone else was doing or to announce to the world what I was doing (as if they somehow wanted to know my every move).
I was able to sit with my daughter and help her work on her school project. We had a great time sitting around the kitchen table as a family free from distraction or “techno – obligation”. I went to her volleyball practice and observed many of the other moms glued to their phones. I actually witnessed a woman reading a book to someone over the phone while watching practice and occasionally looking up to wave at her child. This was a real eye opener. I might have missed it had I too been looking at my phone.
Thirdly, I experienced the freedom from others having instant access via text or chat. I have somehow convinced myself over the last few years that if someone text’s me it must be really important so I should respond instantly. I’ve never been a big text-er. Maybe it is because I prefer to communicate in complete sentences or maybe it is because I prefer to hear someone’s voice. In any event I enjoyed knowing that I was in control over that aspect of connection and discovered that I am not obligated to jump to it just because someone text’s me.
I realized that technology has an important role in society and in my life. I love the fact that I can video chat, share thoughts, pictures and a bit of my self via the Internet and on this blog. I love the idea of using technology to enhance relationships and communication. And now I have a healthy respect for taking a break from technology and UN plugging.
As I debriefed this little experiment with my friend Suzanne, we talked about how many people have lost the ability to engage in face-to-face communication. We have become numb and oblivious to social skills and the art of being with someone. We are often so concerned with what else is happening that we check out of the situation we are in physically in search of something bigger or better.
So in summary, the experiment worked. I have realized the good, the bad and the ugly about the role of technology in my life. I have become aware of my weak spots and how I use it as an escape. I recognize that I can choose to have technology dictate my habits, or I can choose to set healthy boundaries for myself, and how I use technology. I hope to continue to practice UN plugging on a regular basis.
If you have under taken a technology fast, let me know how it went for you….I would love to hear what your experience has been.

Grace & Peace…..Karen

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2 thoughts on “I’m Back…

  1. Sara Clouse says:

    I tried to UN plug. I actually did unplug from the computer for 24 hours (36 if you count the overnight on Saturday!) The phone was harder as it is my link with my sick mother-in-law and kids spread out around the world. I even turned off the TV…when my spouse wasn’t home! 🙂
    I have found that the computer must stay off until I have my “chores” done or my progress on tasks slows waaaayyy down.
    But I have been learning that the phone is not my boss. We let the house phone go to voice mail all the time. Those who matter to me have my cell number.
    So, Karen, thanks for the reminder that we don’t have to answer to the tirany of the urgent.

  2. Karen Cook says:

    Thanks Sara. I like what you said about your phone and think I’ll adopt the “You’re not the boss of me” attitude toward my cell phone. Thanks for stopping by!

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