As an experiment, I decided to get away from digital media for a while and see what that was like. Sort of like the National Day of Unplugging in March, which encourages people to unplug for 24 hours. But I did it for 184 consecutive days, with fewer people to keep me company.
After hours of driving "fast and furious," there's a fear of letting go. After all, what if you drop the ball on something when you let your guard down? What if you lose your edge or can't ramp back up into productive mode again? People even become addicted to the rev of busyness.
Of course, there are other ways to moderate screen time and move the kids outside for Vitamin D and physical activity. But as I hear the delighted shrieks of children having fun, I know that camping is one very good way.
Ever noticed how dinners with friends have turned into dinners with friends -- and their phones? Or how, more often than not, the last thing you do before bed and the first thing you do when you wake up is swipe open a device?
Breathe in the sounds, the smells, and the peace of a summer day or evening with your kids. Let the beeps beep, the pings ping and the alerts land on deaf ears. Turn away from your screen, and toward your children. You won't regret it.
Disconnecting forces your mind to process an event differently than if you're simply going to tweet it. It's hard to experience what's all around you when you're spending every moment with your eyes glued to a screen.
The Internet is a writer's friend and a writer's enemy. It gives us community and support in an otherwise very solitary profession. It's a generous platform, especially for writers. But the Internet is also a big problem for writers.
While we sat by the fire that night, I thought about how our Twitter and Facebook feeds were trapped in their digital prison all day, and a spool of memories unwound in my uncluttered mind. I remembered things I hadn't thought about in years.
Our tech-tethered lives are making millions unwell. While that may be good news for Big Pharma, we in the sustainable wellness community have a better idea: try a digital detox -- learn to cut the cord and take your life back from tech.
Perhaps I'm trying to do 'family' as I now relate to it, the images from years ago contained in the dusty photo albums my parents have. Maybe I'm hoping that by adding to it and continuing it, the legacy contained in the albums adds legitimacy to my broken family.
Spring is all about new growth and renewal, and I'm going work on containing my screen time over the next three months. To stay accountable, I'm going to keep a journal to see what I notice. Will I struggle? What will I gain? How will I feel mentally and physically?