I’m always talking about physical vacations but I thought to address the notion of taking a digital break – a vacation from technology – after reading a New York Times article “When phones interfere with Flight Safety”. If you’re reading this post, you’re probably like me – digitally wired. Your computer is always up; your phone rarely leaves your side; you have either an iPod, iPad, iPhone or all three; you’re looking for a device that does it all; and you feel out of touch if you don’t check your email or Twitter account at least twice an hour. But sometimes even the most “connected” of us, needs a break – a vacation from technology.
What does that vacation look like to you? Is it for a few hours, a few days, a weekend? Can you stand it or do you feel totally disconnected and out of the loop? Does it even feel like it would be a vacation or would you be more stressed because you think you’re “missing out on something”. When you go on vacation, do you just pack your cell phone and leave the other devices at home or do you bring them with you?
This past weekend I was away from FaceBook, email, Twitter, the blogosphere, social media, my iPad, and any other electronic device that wasn’t a necessity as I executed double birthday parties for my husband and oldest son. Eliminating all the above from my daily routine freed up an amazing amount of time and actually helped to keep my stress levels low as I operated mindless to obligations or deadlines. My vacation from the cyber world felt good I have to admit.
Every now and again, I allow my brain and my fingers a vacation from the texting and the reading and the responding and the engagement. Though I’m not transporting myself to a tropical island with this exercise, I am transporting myself to a simpler time when I didn’t feel pulled by hundreds of invisible wires. I make it a point to not wait until I’m on a vacation to take a vacation from the sometimes chaos of cyberspace and all its technology.
In the end, the break doesn’t kill me – it only makes me sharper. The flooded inboxes are a chore, not a challenge. Everything is handled in due time and I get a friendly reminder of what’s really important afterall.
*Picture courtesy of salon.com.