Photo by Courtney Clayton on Unsplash
When my family and I go to visit my parents this holiday weekend, I am going to do something radical. I am going to take a digital detox. I’ll turn off my phone and not turn it back on until the drive back home. I am doing this because I want to feel free from technology and deep connection with my loved ones. And the only reason I will turn it back on is so that I can listen to an audiobook to distract me from carsickness.
Test drive a mini digital detox
Digital detox. Digital sabbatical. Whatever you call it, this is what I plan to attempt this Memorial Day weekend. I want a healthier relationship with technology. This summer, my goal is to take several longer digital detoxes to untether myself from my phone. This weekend will be a first attempt, or test drive, of a digital detox.
At the unofficial start of summer in the United States, I plan to go off-grid. My laptop will stay at home. I will turn off my phone when I arrive at my destination and zip it in my weekend bag. I hope that having the phone out of sight and out of mind will ease my anxiety about unplugging.
Disconnect to reconnect
Do I have FOMO (fear of missing out)? Yes, a little bit. But I worry more if I spend all my time tethered to my phone. I fear missing out on the precious time relaxing with my family. I choose to disconnect so that I can connect with them IRL (in real life).
Experience moment instead of sharing it
Here’s what I imagine will happen this weekend. I’ll take a moment to linger and take in the scenery or flowers in bloom without taking a photo. I’ll share the view with the people I’m with instead of my friends on social media. Or I’ll sit under a tree and watch the leaves rustle in the wind able to concentrate on the present moment.
Model unplugging to connect IRL (in real life)
Have you ever run to your phone thinking it had pinged only to realize it was your imagination? I have, but I won’t this weekend. With no beeps on my phone to distract me, I’ll be able to better concentrate on the present moment. By putting away my devices, I plan to be fully present with my family in real life. I will look into their eyes when we speak instead of gazing down at my phone.
This week I attended an event at my son’s school about internet safety. Police officers and educators discussed the challenges of raising children in these technologically driven times. I want to model healthy relationships with technology for my son.
How would you feel if you had a healthy relationship to technology? Have you ever taken a digital detox? Are you willing to try? How do you hope to feel during it? When will you schedule it?
Please let me know, but I won’t respond until after the weekend.
Also published on Medium.