File This Under 'Things That Make Me Twitch'
I’m trying to put a number on the amount of time I spend online each day. Are we counting the time I spend on my iPhone? Yes? Hmm. In that case, I’m going to say at least ten hours each day. Probably more like 15 during those busy weeks. More than half of my day online? It’s sad, but it’s true.
Sometime earlier this month, obviously during a weak moment when my coffee hadn’t taken hold of my common sense yet, I agreed to participate in the National Day of Unplugging, which is happening tomorrow, Friday, March 1.
Let the twitching commence.
From sundown on March 1 until sundown on March 2, I am unplugging. My laptop. My phone. Email. Facebook. Instagram. Texting. I’m planning on setting a “Be back soon! I’m unplugged!” note any place online where people expect me to respond in 30-seconds or less, like I normally do … hence the reason I need to unplug in the first place.
Just after I signed up, I made a mental list about all of the ways that I was allowed to cheat. After all, there would still be work emails to answer, blog comments to moderate and school auction catalog descriptions to edit. I told myself that as long as I waited until after my family went to bed on Friday night, it would be okay. And, that checking my email once an hour would be fine – just for those emergency, need-to-be-dealt-with-now issues … and maybe a Facebook comment or two. Plus, we’re going out of town on Saturday, so posting a few overly filtered Instagram photos wouldn’t really count.
This is a slippery slope, my fellow tech-addicted friends and I’m suddenly regretting not taking them up on the pre-unplugging consultation with a Technology Detox Expert.
To me, the question isn’t if I can unplug for 24-hours, but do I want to?
It’s going to take more than a blog post to sort through that question, I’m afraid. (Who wants to suggest a good therapist?)
Forget the part about having a career that is based entirely online, being a mother in the Facebook, iEverything, technology-at-our-pretty-little-fingertips era is complicated. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but sometimes I worry – do people know me outside of who I am online? Do I give them the chance to?
Who am I without it all?
I suppose this weekend will tell, or at least it will open my eyes to the very beginning of those discussions with myself.
I had a change of heart somewhere along the way and as I flipped the page in my calendar over last weekend and the National Day of Unplugging was suddenly in sight, I made a conscious effort to clear all of my technology obligations so that I can, truly, unplug from sundown on March 1 to sundown on March 2.
I’ll confess, it’s going to take some effort to unplug and there will be more than one moment when I reach for my beloved iPhone in those 24-hours, but I have high hopes. (deep breath) Really high hopes.
Who’s with me?
You can go to the National Day of Unplugging to read more about the movement, sign the pledge and add your picture to the wall of participants.