We’re all so tied up daily with our technology, our screens. There are smartphone texts and social media, computer, tablet, and television.
Do we think of life without them? As an introvert over dependence on these technology tools can get in the way of my preference for a quiet mind.
As much as I’ve discussed with my husband the possibility of us taking a no screen day holiday, just one day, he is not sold.
No tablets. Book or Kindle allowed.
No SMS on phone — only calls.
I’ve been researching the idea looking for some benefits that communicate, “What’s in it for him.” The ideas are still percolating before I talk with him again about it.
Then I wondered if you …
Are You Ready for the Benefits of Unplugging?
Thinking about planning a no screen day holiday started with the recent holiday weekend when I somehow was prevented from logging into Linked. In all I had to do to remedy this, I cleared so much history I feel ancient, I cleared enough cache, I bought a broom, and I cleared so many cookies I feel stomach sick.
It went on for five days, and the support people at LinkedIn finally got back in. We never discovered the trigger.
It occurred to me that even though the issue was stressful, I felt less stressed in general and went to sleep more easily. The domino effect of not being able to log in caused me to unplug from my cell phone, my iPad or my computer.
But whether it’s part of a day, one day or a week (which I almost took) there are benefits to unplugging.
Sleep easier with a technology break.
For all my married life, we have never had a television in our bedroom. If I told you how long you’d either guess my age or say I must have gone from the delivery room to the wedding. No television in the bedroom one of our secrets to a happy marriage, and for me, a good night’s sleep.
I’ve already made it a habit not to have any smart device or computer interaction after 6pm. It’s incredible how much easier it is to fall asleep! A poll in 2011 by the National Sleep Foundation focused on our use of technology, and how it affects our sleep quality.
They found the artificial light exposure from all our devices is enough to suppress the release of melatonin, the hormone that controls and assists us in falling asleep.
Also, we are not passive in any screen activities. We might get excited or anxious with television watching, an unexpected email, and some wild discussion on one of our social media websites.
Artificial light along with “passive” emotional arousal in the late hours could spell sleep disturbance.
If you are in a relationship you want to be in longer my number one tip is to get rid of that bedroom television.
Quiet the mind with a short time to unplug.
Technology is a terrific invention. I’m likely a bit like you taking full advantage of it for business and family.
But ask yourself how difficult it might be for you to disengage with “it” and instead have a pleasant people interaction? Or take a walk outside – without browsing your cell phone in hand? Or just think things through without multi-tasking or feeling like you might be missing something?
When I was forced to give up LinkedIn, I found I was more productive. It never crossed my mind I was one of “those” people addicted to technology to any degree.
During my forced respite from LinkedIn, I pulled back from all social media. I queued up three blog posts ahead, got an extra clutter maintenance day in and finally, got to Inbox Zero. In part, the inbox feat happened with the help of my Coach.me, coach Marshall Hughes. He offered brilliant ideas, action language, and regular accountability.
It was a relaxing feeling at the end of most of those five days.
Reflection lets us think more deeply and clearer. Making time to be quiet instead of filling our heads up can help us be more creative. Many times throughout the Bible we are told how Jesus would go to “be alone,” “find a quiet place,” “seek solitude.” While He didn’t need to have a screen day, He did have to withdraw from people and daily activities to quiet his mind.
Today, like taking a boat to a quiet place, do we unhook from technology to quiet our mind? Not much and surveys confirm this.
If we don’t know how to be alone then we might fall victim to feeling lonely. Many introverts know these are two different things. But many of us don’t.
Be social without social media.
Unplugging from screens may be a break that gives us kind of a breath of welcome fresh air. It’s like going on vacation – and that is part of the benefit! Remember when you went on vacation without checking email, or blog post comments or your Twitter feed?
Introverts are social beings just as extroverts. Social media even helps us build this skill. But let’s not let it be a substitute for going to that occasional picnic or party to be with people eyeball to eyeball.
Something saddened me on our trip to Italy this year. My granddaughters would reach for their iPads, okay. When at dinner they “had” to look up something on my son or daughter-in-laws cell phones I flipped out. I totally get the iPad idea to ease the long flight time with two young children. But it’s sad we missed some story telling times at dinner! I’ll regret this, but will the girls?
This socialization piece is catching on because even the travel industry is creating unplug events. Campgrounded is a summer camp where anything digital is prohibited at camp! They advertise is as being “just like the summer camp you remember from your childhood.”
My issue now is that the closest I want to be to a camp is a Hilton Hotel of some kind. Yes, I tired of Holiday Inns years ago.
The point is, unplugging is catching on.
You have to know your audience to talk the right benefits to sell an idea and with my husband I’m still researching for this. Maybe knowing he could be more social fits? He is an extreme extrovert.
Happy Wife, Happy Life.
This mantra is my last resort benefit, and I use it when all else fails. If my research turns up nothing to fully engage him with this idea to take a no screen holiday then he’ll be hearing it a few more times.
We take holidays off to celebrate life in many different ways. Here’s a formula to consider your use or abuse of screen time:
Screen time is = or > or < being active time?
Note – there is hope!
In my research for this post I discovered there are two holidays worth waiting for to come around again:
The National Day of Unplugging https://nationaldayofunplugging.com/ celebrated its fifth year on March 6th this year.
No Screen Week https://www.screenfree.org/ which was May 4 to 10 this year.
What are some benefits for a while of unplugging I likely missed?
What would motivate you to have a no-screen day holiday?
There are 3 places to learn more about more ways you can get your introvert voice heard, or help the quiet one you know. Whether you prefer reading a book, video learning or text/chat coaching you’ll find your way at:
A book, my most recent, for you: Communication Toolkit for Introverts https://bit.ly/CTIonPackt
Just 3 – minute daily video lessons for 30 days, Introverts: The Secrets to Workplace Success https://bit.ly/NooIntroverts
Expert guidance in community and private text/chat coaching, from free to fee:
Jeannette Paladino says
Patricia — I admit it: I’m a slave to technology. Unlike you, I’m on the computer til late in the evening. Partly that’s because I’m a night owl, but also because I play bridge in the afternoons 2-3 times a week, which not only sharpens my mind but I love the game. I do try on the weekends to limit checking email and don’t troll social media networks. But I could do much better.
Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Timing Isn’t Anything, It’s Everything
Marquita Herald says
I am a huge fan of unplugging Patricia! For years I was ‘on-call’ 24/7 with my work and I didn’t even realize how that had worn me down until I finally jumped ship to write full time and made some pretty drastic changes in my life. For one thing I no longer watch TV – at all. I have a regular cell phone which is turned off more than it’s turned on. I am online quite a bit, but most of that time is spent doing research for my work so it’s quiet time I enjoy because I’m learning. I also spend part of the day outdoors – morning walk with my dog and afternoon power walk to keep my rear-end from filling up my desk chair. At night I either read or go out with friends. It is a dramatically different life than the one I used to live and I wouldn’t go back for any amount of money.
Marquita Herald recently posted…Remove the Clutter to Find Peace of Mind
Personally am not a slave to technology. Sometimes don’t bring my mobile with me and, normally, switch it off early evening. Needless to say I have NEVER slept with it next to me.
That doesn’t stop me from being online a lot and doing what I have to and like doing.
Am actually annoyed by all these people who can’t even walk without looking at their iPhone. Am sure quite a few of them have accidents. How about mothers with prams not looking at where they are going but sms’ing and reading emails.
People who at dinner parties checking their phones all the time are actually rude. It’s one thing if it’s a teenager. But adults that are highly educated? They clearly show the host/ess that they are not as important as whoever could be contacted them on the phone. Or how about people that sit on trains and entertain everyone in the compartment with what they are talking about. Sometimes they even talk about issues that are confidential. Such as women being hid from paternal male relatives who practice honour code. How do they know who is in the same train comparment as them?
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Patricia Weber says
The only time I “sleep” with my cell phone is when I am traveling. Then it isn’t really with me but instead, it’s my alarm clock. I have never ever trusted either hotel alarm clocks or even the famous offered wake-up call. So my cell is valuable for this.
Patricia Weber recently posted…Are You Ready for the Benefits of Unplugging?
Jacqueline Gum says
Ahhhh…I have been thinking of this for some time Patricia. I find that after getting out of an hour long dentist appointments I had 68 emails and I actually had a mini-panic attack. Too much stress with all of this. I often find myself thinking that I want a re-do, or an un-do, or simply find a better way deal with all of it; attach less importance to it; limit my time with it without worrying. I remember the old days when a weeks vacation would fill me with anxiety on the way home, just thinking about catching up with a weeks worth of work. I’d ask myself if the time away was worth it. Now it feels that way every day………….
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Patricia Weber says
So well stated Jacqueline! “Now it feel that way every day….” That is the problem isn’t it? Being plugged in constantly.
Patricia Weber recently posted…Are You Ready for the Benefits of Unplugging?
Donna Janke says
Being so connected technically really is a bit of double-edged sword, isn’t it? I love the connections and the information I have access to, but am also discovering the importance of unplugging for a while to relax and live.
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I know I read less in the years since I’ve had a smartphone, but I have taken pains to not put it by my bedside and to leave it off later in the day. There’s that proven dopamine rush our brains get from all those notifications, but really, life is better without so much hum-and-drum to goad us into being less efficient. I think that’s why I love to go camping and hiking so much because I always unplug then, and when at home, I do curtail my use of media a lot on the weekends. I always come out feeling better for the effort in the end.
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