Last summer I decided to take on a challenge presented by leadership expert Michael Hyatt (a great one to follow on Twitter). Michael went on a two-week vacation, and decided to completely disconnect from his phone, the internet, and all social media. He arranged for someone to notify him in case of emergency. Anyway, he challenged his readers to try “unplugging” for an extended period. We had a 4 day trip to Seattle planned, so I decided to make an attempt at it.
I made a deal with myself to check the screen in the morning and evening just to see if any emergencies were occurring, or someone was desperately trying to reach me.
The first day was incredibly tough without it. You know the feeling if you’ve ever forgotten or misplaced your phone. A slight inner panic occurs. Why? How have we become so attached to those things? In all honesty, I didn’t miss it the next three days. In fact, I felt a sense of peace and freedom being away from it all. During the vacation I specifically noticed:
*My conversations were richer – I was forced to engage with people instead of hiding behind a tiny screen.
*My devotional times were deeper – a barrier was removed between me and God.
*I developed a greater appreciation for the majestic creation surrounding me.
*I interacted with my family and friends more – walking the beach, exploring the area, took time just to be still and do nothing – I even rode in a kayak for the first time in my life!
*The reminder that we all constantly need – that people are more important than things.
And once I turned my phone back on . . . . . . . .
*Not one person had called me during that time!
*My email inboxes at work and home were still overflowing.
*My school building was still standing.
*My baseball Cardinals were still in first place.
*No major news events besides our nation is in debt and the political parties were fighting.
*My dog back home was doing fine – in fact, she was being pampered.
My challenge to you is to give it a try! Especially with Spring Break coming up. The first day or so is rough – but I want you to experience the freedom and peace that comes from “unplugging from The Matrix” for a little while. Please leave a comment below if you are willing to take the challenge and for how long. I anxiously await to hear your stories. Sorry, gotta go – I hear my phone ringing . . . . . . . . . 🙂
I’ve gone completely unplugged for a couple of days before, and it’s pretty refreshing. Recently what I’ve done from time to time is ignore one medium (like Twitter) for a period of time. You are right; there is nothing lost from looking up from the phone a couple of days, and sometimes there’s quite a lot gained!
While there is value in social media through the opportunity to connect and learn, I have found it can be a pretty fickled world too and we have to be careful how deeply we let ourselves get sucked into it. I like the idea of balance!
Great post, my friend!!