Unplugging and recharging. What does it mean? It sounds silly, certainly, but does it have a bigger meaning? Can it actually get rid of some negativity and replace it with positive, connected time?
Unplugging definitely doesn’t have to mean totally checking out. Unplugging can be done without shirking responsibilities or giving the cold shoulder to friends and family. It can be done with purpose. In fact, a space can be created for time with loved ones, get-togethers with friends, really anything that involves respite and rejuvenation. When consistently done, even if it is from just a set time in the morning to the evening, carving out time in the day when there is no need to respond immediately can be a step back to tech-free days of yore.
Forty-somethings can remember that time. We didn’t grow up with personal mobile phones attached to our hands or to sewn-in, side legging pockets. We didn’t even have any tethers to people outside of home, school, activities, and a landline. What does this world of constant tech connection mean for our children? While we have been gradually acclimated to the personal technology phenomena, our children have only known life with this immediate ability to access. How is that affecting their brains? How is it affecting our brains now that we have become accustomed to this crazy world of tech?
Granted, I do appreciate the wonderful sides of technology and helpful automated assistance like ordering groceries online – fantastic! However, I still feel a need to pull back the cord and unplug on a more consistent basis to get back to basics and recharge with good things that are missing or lacking like one-on-one time with my children, spouse, friends, reading a book in the sun, walking the dog without the phone, or just taking some time to rest!
Here are five ways I am trying to unplug:
- Finding one time of day to check email. Batching all the email together, reading and responding in one sitting.
- Putting the phone “to bed” on the charger as early in the evening as possible.
- Silencing text notifications. Keeping the ringer on.
- No phones at the table – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Delaying phone use first thing in the morning. Except if using for a devotional.
Now, I am failing at many of these attempts. However, it is a practice, I am finding, not a quick fix. It is really difficult to break the chains of the phone. I need to remind myself and make a conscious effort to model the goals for myself and my family. Little by little, though, these ways of unplugging do help. They become a more permanent fixture, which leads to more space and time for recharging.
© 2021 Megan Davia Mikhail