Why It’s Important to Unplug


What does it mean to “unplug” today?  It means staying away from all electronics and technology to get back to yourself, the nature around you, and the people close to you.

I went camping recently, something I haven’t done in nine years.  Camping was always a summer constant with my immediate family growing up until my sister and I were old enough to get summer jobs.  We broke out the tipi (what else would you expect from my eccentric father), hung tarps in trees around the camp site for shade and protection, and enjoyed each other’s company through old stories, songs, and s’mores galore.

I’m also a ’90’s kid where “getting away from technology” was forgetting your cassette player at home.  Which, heaven forbid, I would since the latest N’SYNC album went everywhere with me, camping be damned. What has changed for me since my last camping trip besides the heart-breaking fact that N’SYNC are no longer together?  (Insert me singing “I Want You Back” to my computer screen here.)

Technology is everywhere, ingrained in our lives so deeply we feel like we “can’t live without it.”  Besides the fact that my job and degree wouldn’t exist without the Internet or a computer, the rest of my life is full of electronic joy and distraction of all sorts.  I wake up every day to the alarm on my phone, work and play on my phone, and keep in touch with friends, family, and current events on my phone.  My DVR records all my shows so I can watch them whenever I want.  My e-reader and iPod fit more books and music than the average ’90’s record store or library.  The Internet has anything and everything imaginable from cat videos to quantum physics, for crying out loud!  Why would I ever want to get away from it all?

Remember: most, if not all, of the technology you use every day is something you CAN live without, just as the generations of people before you who “got by” just fine with what they had.  Entertaining yourself without a wireless Internet connection is easier than you think, just as camping isn’t the only way you can unplug.

Read a book or magazine (the kind made from paper, not pixels).  Chat with friends all in the same room and pay attention to THEM, not your phone in your pocket.  Take a walk, hike, bike, swim, or run.  Play with your pet.  Cook a nice meal (preferably avoiding the microwave as much as possible).  Write something down on paper with a pencil or pen rather than typing it out.  Take up a craft that uses more imagination and creativity than electronics.  Or, sometimes I like to do this, sit near your open window or on your patio and listen to the world around you.

To unplug from the present is to plug back into your true self and open up the world around you.  What will you do to unplug today?

About Mandy Norman

Mandy is a content manager and designer by day, and crafter/hobby writer/thinker by night. Her relationship with her cat, giraffes, music, and caffeine are borderline unhealthy, but nothing stops her from speaking her mind and “making things look pretty.” She mans two blogs in her spare time, whatmandythinks and whatmandyloves. See All of Mandy's Posts

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