Feeling the Need to Unplug in Order to Plug

national day of unplugging

I never used to be like this.

I used to read a lot – newspapers, books, magazines.  I’d carry literature around with me. And I had more human interaction than I have now.  I called my friends.  I knocked on people’s doors at work and in my neighborhood.  I never let a certain amount of time go by before I got in touch with the people I care most about.  I had a cell phone, but to be honest, before I got an iPhone, I hardly used it.

Then I had kids and went back to work, and I relied more on my cell phone to keep in touch with the babysitter, doctors, teachers, camps, activities, friends who helped me get the kids from place to place.  Between working part-time and having two babies, who had time to go online?

But then I started this blog.  And that evolved into freelance writing.  Then my career transformed itself and I now work in the digital space almost completely.  I got an iPhone (from my husband for Valentine’s Day about two years ago, perhaps he is regretting that decision now?)  And now my life revolves around email, iPhones, my laptop and every social media tool you can possibly imagine.  I check my email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. everywhere – on the beach, at the movies, at traffic lights, at the grocery store, and stupidly and admittedly, during spin class.  I look at it as soon as I wake up in the morning and even keep it under my pillow at night (am I a freak?)  I am addicted to my iPhone and checking everything over and over.  The question is WHY?  Am I so important that email can no longer wait to be answered later after I’ve spent time away from all tech gadgets?  It all seems to important, and exciting, and it’s almost like I have to feel the sensation of pushing those buttons on my iPhone to see if I have more email coming in.

Do I have a problem?  I’m  not sure, I don’t think so.  I certainly get a lot of pleasure out of tech, but I do recognize a need to unplug in order to recharge myself as an individual and as a parent.  Plus, my kids spend a heck of a lot of time on digital gadgets and who am I to tell them to unplug when I rarely unplug myself?

I need inspiration to unplug and it’s come along in the form of a National Day!  And the other cool thing is that it happens to fall on Shabbat, the Jewish Day of rest.  I happen to be going to synagogue twice this weekend and I need to spend quality time with my daughter.  So hard can this be?

The National Day of Unplugging is a respite from the relentless deluge of technology and information. With roots in Jewish tradition, this modern day of rest was developed by Reboot as a way to bring some balance to our increasingly fast-paced way of life and reclaim time to connect with family, friends, the community and ourselves. Shut down your computer. Turn off your cell phone. Stop the constant emailing, texting, Tweeting and Facebooking to take time to notice the world around you. Connect with loved ones. Nurture your health. Get outside. Find silence. Avoid commerce. Give back. Eat Together.

The National Day of Unplugging runs from sundown Friday, March 23, to sundown, Saturday, March 24.

To connect with National Day of Unplugging on Facebook, go here:http://www.facebook.com/SabbathManifesto.

To learn more about the Sabbath Manifesto, the on-going unplugging project that was the genesis of the National Day of Unplugging, go here:http://www.NationalDayOfUnplugging.com

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  1. i also find it hard to unplug. but when i do, the big surprise to me is always how much i don’t miss it. until i start the cycle again.

  2. So as soon as I saw the title of this post, I started to break out in hives. I am SO addicted. I am worried about traveling b/c there might not be WiFi. And I, too, check my email first, first thing.
    I’ll try to unplug. But I can’t make any promises. I’m already filled with excuses as to why I won’t be able to.
    And that is kind of sad.

  3. I support you in this. In the last 9 or so months (since we bought the house, really) I’ve pulled back from Twitter and social media on the weekends. Klout score be damned, I survive. I think it’s helped me reconnect with my family, not to mention put my attention into real life matters.

    Shabbat shalom!

  4. I’m going to try my very best. But it will be tough! I do put limits on when I plug-in, and I am resisting getting an iPhone (for lots of reasons). Great idea! Perhaps every Friday-Saturday should be time to unplug…or pick-a-day. I’m getting shaky just thinking about it. 🙂

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