Why I Unplugged For A Day

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Tweet, beep, ring, status update, pin it, DVR it, capture it, comment, like, share, repeat. Oh, there goes the Joneses -- better grab a Red Bull and Starbucks so I can keep up!

It's no secret that the world is spinning faster than it ever has before. It is awesome because we have more information and connections at our fingertips then ever before, but it's also so easy to over-consume.


Photo by Alex Valli. (Flickr)

For me, between blogging, going back to work, and normal, everyday text, phone calls, and Facebook, I am definitely taking in too much screen time. Sometimes I feel that it can interfere with my family time. In an effort to change this, my husband and I decided to have an entire day of "no modern technology" to see what it was like and moreover, to see if we could even last a whole 24 hours without gadgets.

Here is why we challenged ourselves to a "no tech" day:

  1. The obvious -- technology is a distraction from each other. As I said, I am frequently sidetracked by social media and electronics. For my husband, he has always been a video game junkie and consumes a ton of screen time there. Even our kids are starting to overload on it.
  2. Bedtime -- I've read plenty about the fact that devices stimulate our brains. Obviously they engage us, which turns our brains on, even if you're not watching porn ;-), but they also emit light that suppresses the body's production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
  3. No break for my brain -- I recently read that people aren't spending time daydreaming or reading as often now that iPhones can be whipped out every spare minute. When I'm on gadgets all day, I'm not allowing myself to be alone with my thoughts.

So, Friday night, I put all of the above together and presented my husband with this no modern technology for 24 hours challenge. I figured it may allow us more time together and maybe we would even get some sleep for once!

I have been having trouble falling asleep lately despite being incredibly exhausted. I think that, by being plugged-in all day, I am literally not allowing myself time to think. I am never alone with my thoughts (see #3). Bedtime is the first time all day that I am alone with my thoughts. So, they attack me all at once, and my life always seems two steps behind the Joneses!

After my weekend unplugged, I feel like I know something the Joneses don't. I know how great it is to be in the moment with my family for a full day. Maybe now I'm actually one trot ahead. While the Joneses are "just checking in" at Starbucks on their way to buy matching Polos with their always-polite offspring, I've choosen to go back in time. I'm going Amish style, and hope they'll never catch me in my sweet horse and buggy!

I first wanted to share the "why" behind my unplugged day because I think so many people can relate. Post about what the day was actually like coming soon! You can read more by me @ inthemomlight.com

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