Jennifer Connolly recently attempted the unthinkable – she unplugged from social media for 48 hours! Read more from Jennifer on her blog.
Last week my husband and I took a short trip to Lake Tahoe for some down-time and much-needed relaxation. Since we drove, I packed all the food we would need, into a cooler. I didn’t want to leave the cabin other than to walk in the fresh air or sit under the trees on the back deck. I thought that would be enough to relax me.
Of course my phone and iPad came along for the ride. I brought several books including Arianna Huffington’s latest book, Thrive.
The book encourages us to focus on our mental and emotional well-being, health, and practice slow-living. Self care as a measure of success, rather than how much prestige and money we have. She focuses on the importance of meditation, sleep, mindfulness, and our society’s need to unplug from too much social media. Hmm….
“And by so-obsessively documenting our experiences, we never truly have them.”
~Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author of Alone Together
Pause…what was I doing?
I decided to unplug, cold turkey for 24 hours! I actually used my iPad to snap a visual of me powering off my phone…which I proceeded to share! That borders on crazy in my book!
As the 24-hour mark rolled around, I felt no desire to plug back in. The second day was more relaxing than the first! Nearing the 48 hour mark, I felt slightly panicked at the thought of all those emails, texts and updates I knew would be waiting for me the moment I fired things back up.
I really didn’t want to plug back in. But I turned things back on around 4:30 and almost immediately posted “dinner” to Instagram.
The relaxation changed, once my phone was back on. Even though I was still in a pristine cabin surrounded by gorgeous nature, I saw things differently. I saw things and wanted to share, not just enjoy.
In 2012, Harvard researchers found that sharing information about ourselves activates the same part of the brain associated with the pleasure we experience from eating food, receiving money and having sex.
The number of “No Distraction” tools and apps to help us stay focused is amazing and disturbing.
- Anti-Social – a social network-blocking software that allows you to avoid distracting sites.
- Nanny – Chrome extension that blocks distracting sites from your browser.
- Self Control – Can keep your computer off-line for preset blocks of time.
- Rescuetime – presents you a readout tracking your online activity at the end of the day.
- Freedom – completely blocks the internet from your computer for a set time.
- Time Out – reminds you to take a 10 minute break every 50 minutes.