I recently watched this really intense film called Disconnect about a group of people’s search for human connection in a technological world. It terrified and saddened me, so the FBG Unplug Challenge couldn’t have come at a better time.
I’ve been silently observing what social media has been doing to those around me for years now … I see how toddlers no longer pick up phones and pretend to have conversations (they instead start swiping and looking for pictures) or how couples at restaurants never engage; they both just sit and play on their phones. It’s been freaking me out! I don’t like what technology is doing to the human experience. I miss connection and went into this challenge hoping I’d connect with my inner human — and I did. Along the way I noticed other perks, too!
6 Perks of Unplugging
1. You’ll notice anxiety reductions. You know how Erin advised us not to grab for the phone in the morning? Well, not grabbing means you don’t see the heap of emails waiting for you. Enjoying your morning as a present human being — free from distractions — is calming and then some. You’ll also ditch that pesky Fear of Missing Out phenomenon. Because when push comes to shove you’ll survive without knowing someone’s outfit of the day.
2. You’ll sleep better. Before you can have your awesome morning moments, you’ll first need to get some amazing sleep. Unplugging does just that. Bright lights from computer screens mess with circadian rhythms so shutting down early helps you shut down early.
3. You’ll stop bumping into things. I swear I can’t text and walk. I constantly run into low tree branches (#tallgirlproblems) and trip when I’m otherwise occupied with something on my phone. My body appreciates me so much more when I’m looking where I’m walking.
4. You’ll learn something new about yourself. When I unplugged I paid attention to when I’d want my phone. When I was waiting in a line or in an elevator. I’ve grown so uncomfortable with silence and waiting. It felt good to tackle those moments where I hide in my technology and expose them for what they are: fear of solitude. I’ve since learned that solitude grounds us to the world. It provides the stillness and quiet time needed in order to reflect and grow.
5. You’ll connect better with friends and family. My husband and I went out for dinner sans phones, and we talked and laughed and had a blast while watching the other couples around us sit in cell-phone silence. It was nice to look across the table and say, “Hi, I see you.” It also increased the fun when I went to a theme park with a friend and left my cell phone in a locker. I felt like a kid again. I was living in the moment instead of looking at everybody else’s moments on Instagram.
6. You’ll silence the comparison monster. This is my favorite perk because I’ve been a victim to and witnessed other’s defeats after going a round with the comparison monster. Evil beast that it is, when you stop checking social media sites, you stop focusing on others’ green lawns. The monster disappears and you’re left to your own adventures and happy moments.
What was the biggest perk you received from unplugging? —Tish