Do you remember what it was like before technology, when phones had cords, payphones were on every corner and you actually received written letters? Many of my clients can't even remember what life was like prior to laptops, cell phones, Facebook, Instagram, incessant texting and/or emailing.
I can – and I can tell you it was a mixed bag.
We didn't have the burden of immediate connection nor did we have the luxury of it. We had rules and boundaries vastly different from today's. No one ever called your house after 9 pm or before 9 am unless it was an emergency and never during the dinner hour from 6 pm to 7 pm. So from 9 pm until 9 am and during dinner we had quiet time – time when there were no rings or dings!
We spent this time with the family, ourselves or in uninterrupted sleep! Imagine for a minute 13 hours a day without communication outside of the people you are living with or with no one if you lived alone. No internet, no checking voice mails, emails, texts, no Facebook, Instagram, no dating sites – just you and/or your inner circle.
We had little option but to interact with each other in a face to face manner. We knew how to entertain ourselves, how to enjoy our own company, how to be bored and be okay with it. We knew how to relax, unplug and unwind from the day. We didn't know what was happening half way around the word as it was happening and didn't need to because we knew in reality there wasn't much we could do about it. We didn't have 953 friends, we had about 15 or so with an inner circle of about 4 or 5 3 am friends. Three am friends are those people you can call at 3 am and they will actually answer!
Getting in touch with them at 3am was a a bit of an issue. Should you call the house and wake up the entire family? And if you didn't have a quarter for the pay phone how could you even make the call? Collect? Who remembers that?
I am not suggesting we roll back the clock 20 years. I am suggesting we occasionally give ourselves a a digital detox. Maybe 14 hours a day of no connection to the outside world is a bit much for you – what about 1 hour of awake time maybe during a meal and during your sleep?
What about 1 day a week when you are off the grid?
Could you handle it? Would your be stressed about missing calls, emails, texts etc?
Or would it be a a relief to be disconnected for short periods to reconnect to yourself, your family and loved ones, or to nature?
Digital Detox Challenge
Here is the challenge – detox from your electronic device for any amount of time you choose.
Then let me know how it went.
Were you stressed, were you relieved or was it a feeling somewhere in between? Let's start the challenge and the dialog. Can't wait to hear how your digital detox went!