A Weekend Unplugged

In a world that runs on technology, with micromachines that run the consumer life, it’s easy to get wrapped up and lost in the ones and zeros that are constantly filtering in.

I’ve noticed that our world is nearly always looking at a glowing screen, be it a computer monitor, a tablet or the phones in our hands. It’s next to impossible to look around and not see someone staring at their devices – whether it’s the park, the mall or a restaurant, you are guaranteed to find someone lost in their device. I am one of these people and it bothers the shit out of me.

I haven’t taken a tally of how much time I spend staring at a screen, but I know for a fact it is way more than I want it to be. At this very second, I’m writing this post using my phone while my kids are watching videos on a kids’ site or challenging themselves on SumDog on the laptop. (The husband is snoring away in the recliner). The tv is even yanking at us – despite no one watching it. I bet the picture is similar in any random home across the nation.

I’ve tried to take steps to reduce my own use of technology – hoping those around me will see what I’m doing differently and join in, but reducing the apps on my phone hasn’t been enough. What I’ve removed, I’ve replaced with something else. Instead of scrolling through Facebook, I’m playing games or reading blog posts. It’s ridiculous.

Our brains are constantly seeking stimuli – something it can analyze, information to process. It’s no surprise we are so into our devices. They’re a constant stream of fresh stimuli. There’s always something new. Why watch that beautiful bird in the tree when we can gaze into the looking glass and see something we haven’t seen yet?

But while we’re staring at our phones, our lives is passing us by. The seasons are changing, our kids are growing and our relationships are dying.

Because my dependence on technology and all that it brings to me is wildly out of control, I am putting the phone down and walking away. I’m not going to use my phone all weekend long. I’m shutting the mobile data off at 3:30 pm on Friday and not turning it back on until Monday at 5:00 am. I will only use my phone for its originally intended use – communication with people close to me. Text and calls is all that my phone will be used for this weekend.

It’s going to be hard. Oh man, is it going to be so very hard. But it’s necessary. I can’t go on like this. I’m so overwhelmed by the time I spend on my device that I want to scream.

When I feel the itch to check Facebook Groups, I’ll grab a book. When I feel the pull to play a game, I’ll go outside with my kids. I’ll find movies to watch. I’ll catch up on the shows we’ve missed recently. I’ll take a walk. I’ll play a card game with my kids. But I will not pick up my phone.

How is your technology use? Do you need a break too? Care to join me? Comment below with “I’m in” and we’ll go in together.

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