Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Unplugging Observations

As I mentioned in this post, I turned off my phone, computer, and television at sundown on March 1 as part of the National Day of Unplugging.

Here are a few of my observations from that 24-hour period:
  •  I knew I'd be tempted to log onto my computer or turn on my phone, so I planned out a few technology-free projects ahead of time.  One of them was cutting out newsprint in different sizes for the family room wall, which I hope to cover with frames/canvasses/signs in the near future.  Another was ordering pictures and printing journaling for a hybrid scrapbook layout.   
  • After Noah went to bed on Friday night, Brian and I read instead of watched television (he read the newspaper; I read a book about Photoshop).  While part of me wanted to be watching Downton Abbey (we just finished Season 2), another part of me thought it was lovely to be reading beside my husband. 
  • Even though we didn't watch television, we did listen to three Raffi CDs on Saturday.  (We had planned to take a day-long road trip, but then our kitchen faucet needed replacing, so it was off to Home Depot and then back home to install the new faucet.)
  • You might need to sit down for this one...I had to consult a printed phone book!  What?!  I know, I know!  Who uses a phone book anymore?  Someone who can't access her phone or computer, that's who!  We decided to go to Mass on Saturday, but we weren't sure about the time.  Was it 4:30?  Or 5:30?  I can't remember the last time I flipped through a phone book.  Luckily, we had one in the kitchen.  And I must say, it was just as fast--if not faster--than googling the number.  Shocking, huh?   
  • I use my phone on a daily basis to jot down notes/ideas/to do items, but a piece of paper and a pen work, too.   
  • At times, it was really quiet in our home.  And quiet equals absolute heaven for an introvert like me. 
  • While in the car on the way to Home Depot, I found myself reaching for my phone (when Brian drives, I typically check Facebook, Instagram, etc.), but I quickly put it back in my purse.
  • I felt calmer and more focused.  I still accomplished a few things, but I didn't feel rushed.  I liked having fewer distractions, and really enjoying uninterrupted time with my family. 
  • When I first mentioned the National Day of Unplugging, Brian said, "Why can't you unplug on a day when I'm at work?"  So you can imagine my surprise when he joined me in unplugging his devices for 24 hours.  Thanks, Babe!  That meant A LOT to me.
Certainly, unplugging for 24 hours was a good start, but I think I need to unplug more often.  I'm seriously considering unplugging once a month--possibly from Saturday night to Sunday night. 

Are you looking for additional ways to unplug?
  • Check out this Sunset magazine article about a family who lives in a technology-free home.  As in, they do not have a microwave.  Or use a computer.  Or watch television.  Now, let's be real: I couldn't part with my microwave or get rid of my computer or completely do away with television watching.  But I really like how this family spends quality time together--reading books, playing board games, talking, and creating art.  And the maps on their walls are so cool!
  • This Momtog blog post about making more time for play also resonated with me.  If you're a mom with young children, you might find it thought-provoking, too.   
Now, it's your turn: Did you participate in the National Day of Unplugging?  If so, how did it go?  Was it beneficial or agonizing?  Would you do it again? 

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