Life Unplugged (well, at least a little bit)


“My name is Colleen, and I am a digital addict.”

Like most digital creatives, I spend a huge chunk of my life in front of a computer. At work, of course, but also at home — checking email, following some Twitter feeds, seeing what’s going on in FaceBook land, reading a number of blogs that I follow, and writing for my own.

After many sleep-deprived weeks of working, parenting, and lots of ongoing projects (including this blog), I decided it was time for a digital break.

Last weekend I traded it all for a well-deserved and long-overdue visit with some friends to share some great conversations and several glasses of wine. Despite being completely unplugged for two whole days, the world kept going without me and I really didn’t miss all that much. (Okay, so I did get a little twitchy once or twice, but all in all it wasn’t that bad.)

This week I’ve tried to continue my somewhat unplugged streak. Instead of spending an hour or so on the computer before bed (which they say is the worst thing you can do, by the way), I’ve been using that time to curl up someplace comfy and lose myself in a good old-fashioned printed book for a while. I’ve been more conscious of how often I just “pop in” to check what’s happening online, and I’m trying to consolidate and limit it to more predefined time chunks.

Today I planted some flowers in the back yard, and then planted myself outside in a chair with a beverage to enjoy them (both the flowers and the beverage). Well, okay, yes — I’m out here with my laptop, too. But I’m enjoying the fresh air and just got buzzed by a curious hummingbird (way cool!) — two things that just don’t happen in my indoor office.

Being connected is certainly important for me personally and the work that I do, so I’ll never abandon it entirely. But there’s something to be said for intentionally stepping away now and then and enjoying what’s right there in front of you.

So when is the last time you really unplugged? What filled the spaces in your life that the missing 1’s and 0’s left behind?

photo by peasap

2 Replies to “Life Unplugged (well, at least a little bit)”

  1. I know what you mean, Colleen. As fun as it is to keep up, it’s often a very passive activity–time spent reading Twitter feeds is time spent not creating. Whereas reading a great book–or listening to great music, or going to a museum–often inspires me to attempt a creative endeavor myself.

    1. For me it’s a procrastination tool. When there’s something I really don’t want to do (like clean the bathroom, for instance), I will suddenly remember a thousand things I need to check online. I guess I keep hoping the house elves will arrive on the scene if I just wait it out long enough.

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