I am unplugged one full 24-hour period a week. No email, no digital search, no social networking, no snackable content, no long-form digital anything... no Digibabble... OFF. Nada. Nothing on, not even on airplane mode or offline status.
Me -- with an addict's jones if one of my many devices isn't within easy hand reach -- I am offline, off grid, off net, totally off for one full day a week.
And here is the truth: I don't get the shakes; I have no anxiety; I don't feel a sense of keen loss or extreme need -- despite my inability to even semi-unplug the rest of the week. In fact, I go to sleep with a tablet on my bedside table and wake up to C&C -- coffee and computer. Kind of sad when I see it written out like this, articulated as a true tale, but it somehow it works.
The outcome? I have a 24-hour vacation every week. My meals are longer and more enjoyable (no doubt my guests' feel that same way too as my quick-draw mobile is not obnoxiously placed on the table for emergency view...); I spend more time reading... more importantly, meandering as I read since I am not caught in an electronic funnel; I follow stories or thoughts in a different way -- pay attention in a different way; spend more time with family and friends -- talking, hanging, playing ball, walking the beach, thinking, really connecting... you get the picture.
When the time is up, I automatically plug back in and I'm at it again -- jones and all -- but I have a little saved memory that opens and smiles on me from time to time and helps me to keep my healthy cynicism about our digital obsessions (versus true digital exponential) nurtured and alive.
Full confession. I wish I could say that I came to this activity by personal wise choice based on the true understanding that I am not saving the world from sure catastrophe if I neglect my connection for more than a minute.
Truth is, I observe a Saturday Sabbath and many years ago made that life choice, and while in my younger days it occasionally (more really) chafed on me, today I find it a blessing and look forward to throwing that switch to full off.
My good friend Suli shared the following two pieces from Fast Company with me. Here is what he sent:
"Thought you may be interested in Fast Co.'s step-by-step instructions for ditching your devices and navigating the world without an Internet connection:"
"And they did a follow-up on lessons to be learned:"
Then I read this. Listen:
"The whole world is a cyclone. But once you have found the center, the cyclone disappears. This nothingness is the ultimate peak of consciousness." - Osho
And there you have it. Once a week I am in the eye of the storm and honestly? That is a place to share but the experience is as real as you are, if you get my drift.
So pick a day, a time, an event even -- try it, get yourself into the center of the storm. The sudden clarity will buffet your senses in a way the winds didn't. Enjoy -- trust me on this. It won't kill you, only makes you stronger. Thanks, Freddie.
And let me know...
What do you think?