National Day of Unplugging: Review

I know it probably seems weird that after the National Day of Unplugging the first thing I’m doing is posting a blog about it. But I wanted to share my experience.

I have to say that for the first few hours, I was in a nervous state. It’s weird not having a mail account or a Twitter or Facebook account to check. I think I get so used to just “checking” things that it becomes habit and I kind of forget that 99.9% of the things I’m “checking” have no impact whatsoever on my life. So once I got through the initial shock of changing up my habits, I began to enjoy the relaxing silence and something really changed in me.

There’s something magical about the silence when you shut down the TV and turn off the computers. At first it’s a bit boring, but then you begin to talk to your loved ones and the conversations just run along, uninterrupted and you actually LISTEN and you are HEARD in return. My wife and I sat in our living room with a glass of wine and actually just talked and laughed together rather than staring at the stupid TV, complaining that there’s nothing on worth watching, yet we’re sitting there watching anyway. It was awesome.

Saturday was even better. Being cut off from technology is really freeing. Your mind begins to free itself and focus on what’s happening here and now. You begin to experience a freedom that says you can go do things without worrying about somebody interrupting your day, your adventure. I was reminded of how life was as a child, when people actually had to physically come find you if they wanted to change your agenda. It was absolutely freaking awesome. I spent the day riding bicycles with a friend, then actually getting things done around the house that would have surely been pushed off another week had I had a computer or TV to suck up my time.

So for me, this will become a weekly ritual. Though I may push it back to Saturday night to coincide with my religious sabbath day, which is Sunday. I think having that day of no electronics, plus no chores or work will be extra awesome. But it really was eye opening and the most important thing was that after completing it, I logged into my computer and found that absolutely nothing happened that would have changed my life in any way. And I think that’s a big lesson here. The world will not end if we’re not “jacked in” 24/7, and more importantly, life is more enjoyable once we’re disconnected for a bit.