17 Responses to “The Big UnPlug”


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  1. I love this post and I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one realizing how wonderful it is to disconnect sometimes. I actually just wrote about it today (great minds think alike).

  2. I did this once on vacation, and I LOVED it. Just plain unplugging really made the trip magical.

    • Someone told me the unplug sector of the travel industry – remote vacations with no cell phone, tv, computer – is the fastest growing area for the industry. I believe it. We all want the break but it can be hard to unplug.

  3. Super post! We do his when we go camping every year and I feel I recharged. I gave p social networking for Lent and that yielded good things too. Thanks for the great thoughts!

  4. Thanks, Shannon. I gave up my personal Facebook account over a year ago (actually guest posted about it here!) and I’m still very happy with the choice.

  5. It sounds so nice, but I don’t know how I could manage it for a whole week. Eventually the moment would come when I had to turn everything back on and catch up on a week’s worth of email, voice mail, etc., and that sounds more stressful than keeping up with it daily. I would like to become less dependent on screens for entertainment, though–just turning on some music or sitting outside with a book really helps my brain recharge.

  6. Wow I love this post!

    I found your writing so enjoyable I’ve just signed up to your blog too.

    You’ve really made me question whether a technology break would be a good idea for me too??? Especially when you mentioned that you felt like you had enough time to do the things that are important :)

    I’m so inspired, can’t wait to read more of your work,x

  7. Queen Mary

    This was delightful! thanks for sharing it with us! I learned all of this a year ago when I did a Whole Living “fast.” the part about screens and sleeping has actually been proven empirically — as a chronic insomniac, I learned it! Her blog is really well written and I enjoyed reading stuff I already knew!

  8. Hi Rachel,

    I love the post and I love the experimental nature of your personal challenge. It reminds me of an experiment and personal challenge I crafted for myself earlier this month. My window was shorter than a week (72 hours) and the guidelines were different but it was hugely rewarding like your digital sabbatical. The short version is I didn’t eat, read, watch (anything electronic), listen, browse, modify, run errands or have any nonessential communication with anyone. If it wasn’t related to creating something or sleeping I wasn’t doing it for 72 hours.

    When we stop consuming for a period of time – either partially or completely – it’s amazing what our lives can look like. Good for you!

    Note: When you’re fasting you can’t get food poisoning. I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with that or that would have wrecked everything else.

  9. Jo

    Oh my gosh, I love love love this post! I have been feeling like unplugging for months now. Your post might be the push I need. So much of my life I’m not living because I’m checking on something online. Time to break that habit… thank you!

  10. About a month ago I made myself a deal that I would turn off all screens by 9pm. It’s by no means as thorough as a week or even a day, but I find I sleep much better on the days I achieve this goal and get more things done with this ‘extra’ time that i have. Great post.

  11. This was a great post. I sit in front of a computer all day at work and by the end of the day I can feel drained. I try to make sure to unplug on the weekends so that my mind and my eyes are refreshed for the week. I think I am going to work harder on turning off the technology and living presently in the real world.

  12. While visiting family over my kids’ spring break, I barely touched a computer for 4 days. Just enough to check on my Etsy business. In fact, that’s how it is every time we visit. There is so much other great stuff I want to be doing, conversations I want to be having, or be doing nothing at all, which is also fantastic!

    It helps me put technology in perspective… When I come home to many days’ worth of emails (and facebook posts and so on), with so much to deal with I know I can’t look at it all and it is actually easier to dismiss the unimportant and move on. I need to apply that perspective on a daily basis!

  13. Jen

    I completely agree with this idea – it’s great! So often I find myself mindlessly surfing the internet or watching TV even though there’s nothing really on… and before you know it, hours have passed! I really like the idea of committing to one day a week of being offline… now I just have to choose which day!

  14. What a fantastic idea. My kid’s school encourages a screen free week every term, but we’ve never gone beyond being TV free (and computer free for the kids but that changes almost nothing). My work is in web, so I can’t go completely screen free without taking a week off work, but I’ve recently started limiting drastically the amount of work I do at home/night – or really, not so much the amount as the spread over time – and it feels awesome to have my nights back again, and yes, to get to bed earlier.

    Of course, I’m writing this on my smart phone while nursing my toddler in the middle of the night, LOL! Wonder if I could get her back down now?

    (Actually, I wrote this in the middle of the night the other night, but for some reason didn’t press submit! I did get her back down though :) )

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