Friday, September 2, 2011

What Unplugging For a Day Taught Me

Monday night I hopped on Twitter only to see (Young and the Relentless) and (Confessions from an Impulse Addict) talking about "unplugging" for 8 hours; no phone, no iPads, no computers... and next thing I knew I was agreeing to join in.

A few others and (Outta This World) joined us.

My husband asked why I was doing this- "won't you just have lots of hours of stuff to catch up on then?"

Good question--but Wednesday morning between 7 AM-3PM I unplugged. And I even took notes. Don't worry-I'll translate my chicken scratch-with modifications added as these were just reminder notes

6:08 AM- Why am I up? I don't need to be up yet! Go back to sleep

6:12 AM- Dang, I'm up- might as well check my email, I have until 7:00 to do so. Junk, junk, junk, a few comments on my blog... check twitter. Dang why did I just reply to someone?? Now they are going to tweet me back.. must stay away.

6:30 AM Lucas comes sneaking into my room- here we go.

6:50 Downstairs getting breakfast ready- I don't think I have ever watched the clock so closely, I feel like my life is ticking away (melodramatic yeah just a bit)

7:22 First beep from my phone-that was an email beep..uh-oh

7:40-Take Lucas to school, come home call my parents

8:45- go to exercise class don't get my butt kicked so badly this time and Ryder doesn't get hurt while running around gym-phew

10:01- Back from the workout, trying to cool off a bit- I unlock my phone and look at main page 15 emails, a tweet, couple of FB- but I DO NOT check any-- I can do this, I can do this

10:28- done with shower, Alex asks to watch another show-Ryder is watching too.... the temptation is really strong now. Must walk away- I go and unload the dishwasher. Hmm, if I get too much housework done Eric might insist on me unplugging more often

10:40- Done unloading, sit on couch to watch show with Alex-so sleepy....drift off to sleep-sitting up

11:00--Bam! Wake up from garbage can being knocked over as Ryder was trying to retrieve his pacifier he threw in there.

And then something interesting happened.... I didn't have anymore notes until 1:00- we were busy with lunch, I put Ryder down for his nap, started some laundry and almost totally forgot about it all....


1:00 folding laundry.. hear my phone beep... I sneak a peak 30 emails- I don't open the emails though, so still not cheating.

1:20- Playing Don't Wake Daddy and Uno Moo with Alex- now the urge to check my email is really great, mindless kids games to that to me... but I was strong and made it

1:50- Go and do my laundry- have my epiphany and am planning this post in my head while I put away clothes

2:07- Impulse Addicts tweets me- though I didn't find this out until later-- asking how I did. Girl didn't I tell you I was an hour behind you!?!

2:30- go get Lucas from school, his shoes are literally falling apartGo right to shoe store

3:08- make it shoe store and I take this screen shot
I made it!

So what did I learn from all of this. That it was good. It wasn't necessarily good to pull myself away totally as there were times it would have been fine to check. But it was good not being bound to the beep.

When I first started blogging I would sit down at nap time and write three or four posts and schedule them for the next several days, as this is when I had time. After I joined facebook, I found myself swinging by the computer more often to check things. And then I got an iPod touch with wifi and then the iPhone. Suddenly it was right there- my emails, the Internet, FB all right there for me to easily access.

I usually carry my phone in my pocket and well, it beeps and I check it. It has almost become automatic. Sometimes I will quickly see who emailed; but then I would find myself responding to that email almost every time. And there I suddenly would be- half listening to my kids as I was quickly reading another email.

So while I am not going to unplug all day all of the time- I am going to set aside times where I ignore the beeps. They will still be there. And when I have some time-I will take and make time to read them. Blogging and social media are a wonderful outlet for me and they are a great thing... but no longer- no longer will I be a slave to the beep.

Have you ever unplugged?

*You can click on the other bloggers blogs names to read their experience of unplugging


  1. While reading this I've checked my phone 2 times. So. Yeah, the whole thing just sorta stresses me out. LOL

  2. I'm bowing down to all of you who participated. I couldn't do it. Unless someone wants to pay me...takers?


  3. I realized that I'm much more addicted to my COMPUTER than my phone.

    And that there are times that I should just put the phone away because I don't really need to be doing two things at once.

    Thanks for joining us!

  4. I usually unplug for a bit on the weekends, but sometimes it happens during the week. It does feel nice to step away.

    I will admit to replying to emails from my phone when I unplug. If I don't do that immediately, I most likely won't ever respond.

  5. Right now my phone is silenced so if it has gone off I wouldn't know it. I better fix that...we are in daylight hours now. ;) I would have all kinds of excuses not to unplug. You did good!!

  6. I loved how you called it "for a day" and it was only 8 hours. Yes, a long time, but you were still able to check that morning. Since we moved to Lehi 4 years ago we unplug completely (tv, computer, etc.) for 1 week. It's part of National Family Week that Lehi celebrates where they encourage us to unplug and spend more time doing things as a family. It's hard the first couple of days but after that it's pretty darn liberating. I need to do an unplug week again, it's been a while. But I totally get it. Thankfully I don't have an internet phone at all so if I want to check it I have to open my computer and can't check anything while I'm out of the house. Otherwise I too would probably answer to the beep each and every time.

  7. I unplugged when we went to Cancun in February, mostly because it cost so much money to check my email and phone, etc., so I just turned my phone off. It was odd, but we stayed busy and it didn't bother me TOO much. ;-)

  8. I unplugged a bit while we were on vacation, but not completely. It's crazy how we are so attached.

  9. Girl, I'm waaaay addicted to all things electronic apparently. I'm so glad this challenge is OVER. But I did realize that I need to spend more quality time with Emma in the mornings rather than check email and texts all day. So I'm making a conscience effort to be a better mother!

    I love looking at apps on other people's phones. Tell me about Todo, texture and google voice?

    Thanks for the shout outs! I think you are 2 hours behind me so sorry about tweeting you while still being unplugged! =)

  10. I love days when I unintentionally unplug. Though I find it hard to come back after a few days of it. I am glad you enjoyed it so much. It is good to learn things like that, isn't it?

  11. HAHA nice post. Glad you've learned something. I have been "unplugged" many many times. I don't have a cell phone at all anymore, I don't have cable, and my husband has hijacked my ipod. All I have is this computer and the internet, but I'm frequently away from the computer for long periods of time. On normal days when I have nothing else to do, I spend a lot of time on the internet. But if I went out with my husband, friends, or family, I wouldn't mind being fully "unplugged" for the day. If I went on a vacation or something, it wouldn't bother me at all to be "unplugged" for a week or more(as long as my husband and son were with me, so I wouldn't need to call anyone to check on them.) I hope to have a cell phone again soon, however, because it drives me nuts when Eric is away from home and I can't contact him. I can e-mail his cell phone but I hate being glued to my computer waiting for a response, and for some reason his texts sometimes don't make it to my inbox right away and I get paranoid that he has gotten in a car crash and died or something. It's also scary to think that if I had an emergency, or my son did, that we would have no reliable way of letting my husband know.

  12. I actually unplug most of the day and save it all for either early in the AM or late at night. After I got my I-phone I OD'd and thought it was best to take a step back. Who knows, I may start to take a peek now and again at my messages....

  13. Good job Em. I haven't ever officially unplugged, but I've gone that many hours without thinking about it lots of time. It's good to not be a slave to our favorite things! :)

  14. I forgot to even try to unplug for the day so way to go for actually doing it! I am sure it was hard to change your reflex reaction to check and engage everytime your iphone beeps. I actually turned off the email notification so that I wouldn't check it as often.

    I frequently check and respond while trying to interact with my kids and it's not really good for any of us. I have been trying to limit my phone attachment and set aside time for emails. Texting and twitter are another story...still have trouble detaching from those. :)

    Congrats on making it the full eight hours!

  15. I need to unplug a bit more too...
    What on earth did your son do to his shoes!?

  16. I don't think I can unplug for long. I can go a couple of hours but no more than that.

  17. Well, I don't completely unplug there are days that I rarely check on things in the online word and usually in the afternoons, I put it all away and spend time with the kids.

    Its all about balance baby.

  18. Good for you! I might go a little insane if I unplugged from EVERYTHING!

  19. Oh my goodness, you made it!

    You are a much stronger person than I could be with this!! But perhaps I will try!

  20. Love this! Wish I unplugged more. I'm good at leaving the work blackberry at home. But the personal Droid? NEVER. It would be like leaving my right arm at home. That would be awful.

  21. Great post, Emmy! I was just unplugged for almost 2 whole days!! I didn't think I'd be able to do it, but something was wrong with my e-mails not coming to my phone and I was out of town with no computer access...long story but I made it! I would like to try the unplugged thing when I was actually HOME, though.

  22. I think it's great to unplug. I actually do that one night a week now so the hubs and I can just sit together and be. It's a hard, hard balance as a blogger.

  23. We had a stake-wide media fast when I was at BYU. I made it almost to the very end. But this was pre-iphone days for me and I was still on my laptop during classes. These days? I'm sure I could handle doing it, I just have no desire to try.

  24. What a really great idea, and congratulations on doing so well! I went through a period where I felt like something like this would be impossible, but I can now thankfully say that I'm not addicted to the computer like I once was.

    (And I'm feeling a weird sense of irony that when I click "publish" you are going to get an email beep. At least being unplugged was just a trial, right?)

  25. I turn down the speakers so I can't hear things come in. Otherwise, I just can't resist the urge.

  26. Good for you!!

    I haven't had a problem. I am a little bit older than you and so I raised my kids without technology. I was thinking about that as I was reading about your day with your kids. It definately was a different time. (I may have to blog about that someday).

    Now I love to blog but I get busy and leave it for days at a time. I have never been on Facebook - I am kind of anti-Facebook and I have never been on Twitter.
    Now I am glad as I have an addictive personality and surely would never put my phone down - ha ha.

    I sometimes wish for a week where all technology has to be shut off - I always wonder what my kids would do if they weren't looking at their phones every 5 minutes. It would be interesting.

    Technology definately rules the world.

  27. Way to go girl! I have been thinking about doing this lately! I complain all the time about how I never get anything done around the house. Hmmm... I wonder why?! But still it is a good way to unwind and relax I think! So I like your idea of having times where you unplug and times where it's ok!

  28. Isn't it interesting? We are so used to "swinging by the computer just to check". I tell my husband, that's how I communicate, I don't talk on the phone, I check my email. That's how I arrange VT, playgroups, STUFF. I feel though that sometimes I do facebook and email check because I am avoiding doing other things. Like as if because those emails could say something important, they are more important than ....starting a mindless kids' game. Yeah....I feel so refreshed when I am gone for 5 hours and don't check my email. I will do the challenge and go unplugged for 8 hours...just not today:)

  29. I think I will try unplugging from my computer someday. I am always grabbing my laptop to check emails, read a blog or check twitter.

    Glad you made it!

  30. Funny, I've just been thinking about all this kind of stuff recently. I totally need to back off, too.

  31. lol, I loved the comment, can't clean too much. So true!

    I've had an iPhone for 4 years now and it's crazy how addicting it can get as more apps come out. But, it was nice to have this weekend! I checked on the Seahawks game, the USU game, FB at night. Even while camping, I was still using it. Just not as much. Thank goodness the Edge network sucks now!

  32. You did really good. I've unplugged, but cheated. It's hard to completely unplug especially when the kids are napping and you have a minute. One day I will ask my husband to hide all the technology and try and unplugg again for real, but today's not the day.

  33. Ahh... very nice post! :) The iphone, although I adore it, is really almost TOO much. I'm just way too accessible to the outside world, when the world that matters MOST, my family... Is right here with me. And funny footnote, my phone totally beeped at me as I started reading this post :) It's so great to unplug sometimes!

  34. I kinda do this unknowingly when we have really busy days but I need to do it JUST to do it, like you did. Thanks for the inspiration.

  35. I'm definitely having to learn to unplug more now that baby Lucas is here. In fact, in order to get me to sleep on Sunday, my mom and husband took my cell phone away. My computer is downstairs, and I can't really take the it's just me and the baby. I don't think I'd want it any other way. :)

  36. Yes, I have forced myself to unplug. That is why I only read blogs on Wednesday. Too much other stuff wasn't getting done! LOL

  37. i unplug by accident frequently. sometimes i come home to missed calls and tons of emails. other times i come home to nada, zich, zero, and i think man that was nice:) i am always finding a balance of being plugged in an unplugged way. is that even possible. not sure i've ever achieved it. nice to think i have though. i woke up at 6am this morning also. didn't have to be up. couldn't fall back asleep. that's what i get for going to bed at 10pm! better get back to staying up late again:)