To Do: Unplug and Recharge

I was recently at a coffee shop and had the stark realization that everyone around me was staring into a screen.

I picked up my coffee, turned around, and looked for a free table. As my eyes glanced from one table to the next, I observed that every single person was completely captivated by their phone or laptop. I stood there thinking, where are the friends catching up? The conversations, the laughter?  I found a small table in the corner and set up my workstation. I took a sip of coffee and leaned back against my chair and gave one more look around the coffee shop. Nothing had changed; we were still a room full of people engrossed by technology.

I am no different. At times I am so occupied by my phone that I don’t hear the water boiling or notice a friend saying hello. Whoa. Yes, technology is a way of life now — we are able to work, shop, stay in touch with friends, and even pay bills on our phones. Everything is at our fingertips. But for me, that also means that my constant cellular companion always has a home in my back pocket, ready whenever I need (scratch that, want) it. I tend to pull it out when I seem to have a free moment or when I’m bored. But why? Sitting in that coffee shop last week, I made a pact with myself: use the phone and laptop on a need-only basis. The majority of my job is done either on my computer or phone, whether I am writing, researching, editing photos, or a million other things. Which makes it all the more important to get a rest from the screens.
camping
camping
http://blog.freepeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/campLead.jpg
camping

Last weekend I went camping and didn’t have my phone for two and a half days. Really! We were in the middle of a national forest and without any service so it rested very quietly in the glove box all weekend. It was incredibly refreshing to not have to check my phone for emails, texts, or missed calls. I wasn’t worried about what was happening on social media or if I had any new friend requests. I was completely present in that space and time — able to take in the beautiful colors of nature, hear the raindrops on our tent, let our feet dangle over the sides of huge boulders as we looked out across the vast desert. We would climb rocks, go on walks, and stare at the fire, never once reaching for our phones. We read our books by lantern light and shared interesting excerpts aloud with each other. It was peaceful. Life was good.

camping
camping
camping
Now that I am back in LA, I’m trying to make an honest effort to spend less time on my phone. It’s a curious thing… sometimes you have to disconnect in order to reconnect with the naturally extraordinary things on this beautiful earth. 
+ How do you disconnect to stay connected?

21
Leave a Reply

21 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
19 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

I love the sentiment of this. This year for Valentine’s Day, we decided to try the #bigturnoff, inspired by Headspace. It felt good to ignore the phone and actually be present, rather than wonder what has happening in our social media or emails all day. The kids really noticed! The plan is to have a day like this at least once a month.

clementinebuttercup.blogspot.co.uk

I try to set aside at least 2 hours a day where I am not using my phone (outside of at work). I have a no phone rule at my yoga studio and so I try to spend at least 2 hours a day there building real relationships with people and tuning out from the internet world.

http://www.thatscoralynn.com

We have to unplug and recharge, as you say…
In this changing world we need much more power to get through the busy days than people did back in times:-)

I do my best to keep my phone off on my days off. It is refreshing when you realize you haven’t checked your phone in over 24hrs. I honestly don’t get a lot of phone calls. My phone is mostly used for Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr and music. But it’s nice to get away from social media to just clear your mind.

Too true! Being mindful and intentional about tech in our lives is a good beginning. When out with friends and during “dates” it’s superb manners to tuck away the phone and tech and make eye contact.

Warm Regards,
Alexandra
http://www.littlewildheart.com

It can be hard to disconnect in today’s world, I need to start doing more of it. This was a great reminder to start!

-Juliana
http://www.julianaisaac.com

The desert helps doesn’t it! I get the same sense of peace when looking at the ocean as I do in the middle of no where.

xo

Michaela

http://michaelajeanblog.com

http://www.etsy.com/shop/MichaelaJeanArt

I read about a study conducted recently that found that even having a cell phone out (not being used) during a conversation between two people markedly raised each person’s anxiety levels during that time. It’s so interesting to think about the effect technology has on each of us. I’m definitely trying to be more mindful about my use of it, and whether or not I absolutely need to right then and there.

x Samantha
https://splendorandforge.wordpress.com

This is very inspiring and a must-read nowadays. I do notice how often I am on my phone–any free minute of the day I pull it out of my pocket and am looking at it, gazing at friend’s lives without actually speaking with them. It is amazing how much more connected we are when we put the phones down and am present in the current moment!

Madeline
http://madelinemariehall.com/

paige

could not agree more. i constantly notice how “antisocial” everyone around me is due ot the fact that they all have their heads down looking at their phones. i can’t help but laugh. Especially when i see a group of friends sitting around a table not speaking a word. Their pointer fingers dragging down the face of their phones over and over again. i personally think technology has allowed us as a society to achieve things no one ever dreamed of but its bittersweet. It breaks my heart when i see children i babysit and my little cousins sitting inside… Read more »

I think people don’t know how to be bored anymore, or they think boredom is some form of torture. Sure, it can be boring to sit alone with your thoughts instead of staring at a screen, until those thoughts start to wander in an interesting direction. A few years ago I lived in a foreign country for six weeks and kept my phone on airplane mode the whole time to avoid roaming fees. I still kept it on my person to use as a camera, calculator, etc., but being unreachable was so liberating. I looked around my life instead of… Read more »

Taking vacations is the best way to liberate yourself from technology, especially in more rural countries. It’s still pretty hard to stay away from the iPhone, though!

Loved this post. Inspires me to go out and have a day to myself this weekend with no distractions.

I need to unplug more as well. I have made a pact with myself to go on at least one hike per week. : )

http://seedoflifeacupuncture.com/blog

I understand that feeling so well! Unfortunatelly I only disconnect when I travel, I should do it more often though. Thank you for the reminder :)

http://mysimpliving.tumblr.com/

I made a similar pact to myself last year. And while I lived upto it in fair proportions, I still feel the need to turn off all the devices every now and then. Life is so much better without an Instagram filter; the little birdie chirping in the woods is way more melodious than the music in my earphones. And believe it or not, it freshens up the mind much more quicker.
http://lovemagiclife.com/2014/07/13/get-disconnected-stay-sane/

This post was very inspiring!! I totally get what you mean in the summer somehow I just do the same and unplug, I wish I could do the same on a dalily basis, just some days in order to refresh my mind…

https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

I think about this all the time it gets a bit overwhelming. I catch myself not so consciously clicking on to social media and typing in my password to sign in day in and day out. Hour after hour! I realize that it can’t be at all healthy because humans thrive off of each others contact and we can’t do much of it if we are together on our devices all day. I want to try my best to stay away from it, but I need it to promote my brands. Still trying to figure out a good media.

http://www.AphroditeKinks.com

Anni

This post is refreshing. It’s great to hear that other people are noticing the effects that technology and social media have in our society. These 2 videos sum it up, The first one has an empowering message and the second one has great animated sequences which explain the science behind loneliness with social media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRl8EIhrQjQ

I hope everyone here can appreciate this video like they did this post :) I know I did!

April

The irony is we are all looking at our screens typing our comments agreeing to the sentiments in the blog.
Ever seen the film Wall-ee?

What a lovely post. It is so important to remember how to unplug and let go of these things for a little bit. Thanks for the beautiful photos and words :)
xx
mallory
the drifter