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I'm unplugging myself tomorrow. Are you?

Technology is a huge part of our lives. From email to IM to Twitter to Facebook, we use these tools and the gadgets connected with them to communicate with others, keep in touch, and yes, even waste time. I email, though rarely. I chat with most of my friends with Pidgin. I keep up with my favorite blogs, an embarrassingly high number that was recently even higher. I blog about everyday life on LiveJournal, adding even more blogs to the already embarrassing number. I tweet, just like almost everyone else in the world. For most of my friends, a combination of these methods is our primary way of keeping in touch. (I'm also on Facebook, but as I've shown many times before, I'm already in touch with most of the people I care about through other means.)

These are all great, but they can eat up your time. Reading all the blogs I frequent can take up to two hours every day, and after finishing that and reading my email, more entries have popped up. Thanks to Echofon, I get notified when one of my Twitter followers have updated, and of course I check immediately. IMs blink at the bottom of the screen. Email waits to be read. More RSS feeds have updated. An entire day can be eaten by just taking care of basic Internet activity and not concentrating on offline needs. I haven't finished a book since December. I've hardly written in my paper journal in ages, which became painfully obvious when I started writing this afternoon and couldn't figure out where to begin because I've been writing so sporadically lately. This needs to change.

My life is changing as well. I moved back to a familiar place today, and I'm not sure where life will take me next. Boxes still clutter the floor in a different disarray than they did when I unpacked them because I don't want to figure out where to put the stuff. A deliberate ordering is best, but that's hard to achieve while streaming music from the Internet and constantly checking for new mail.

So I'll create a situation where that's possible, and I invite you to join me.

Tomorrow, the fourteenth of February, cut yourself off from your gadgets. That's it. Your computer, your smartphone, your iPod, anything else you can think of. You decide how far you want to go with this. If you want to use the Walkman that you dug out from your basement last week, go ahead. I won't tell.

Some of you might have other plans for tomorrow. I'm not telling you to cancel those if you join in this idea. Modify this plan to your needs if you so desire. After all, you're the one who will gain from it.

Even if you can't unplug for the entire twenty-four hours, set aside a chunk of the day to unplug that you'd normally be online. See what you gain from it. Here's a confession: I technically won't be unplugging for the entire day either--I'll be back tomorrow night to write about the experience! But for accountability's sake, I'll be unplugging from the time I wake up tomorrow morning to 10:00pm.

Unplug yourself. See what happens. See you tomorrow night.

Join me in Valoween Unplugged, where this was originally posted.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
I've been without a cell phone now for a couple months. I can honestly tell you, I'm going crazy. I feel so completely closed off from everything - the only way I have to talk to my friends now is through IM.

It's a sad realization when it hits you just how dependent you are on technology.
Feb. 14th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC)
It really is sad. I don't even use my phone that much, but since it's my main phone line, I'd be completely lost without it.
Feb. 14th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)
I was thinking about doing this anyway since tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I really don't like it. Although I was just planning on not being on IM and if anyone really needed me, they could email or text me. I almost never use my phone but it's there for if I'm actually needed.
Feb. 14th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
Still not doing iiiit~

But, seriously, good luck with it. You're going to go SO CRAZY. <3
Feb. 15th, 2010 05:42 am (UTC)
Our family tried to do this, i think they actually do this on Earth Day, it did not go well here at all... esp. since I rely on e-mail as my main mode of contact for me, and not the phone LOL! This is one of those things where technology is my life-line. If I was around over 100 years ago, I wouldn't be able to use hearing aids, computer with braille out put, closed captioning on TV for entertainment, etc. Just one of those things that is a sore spot for me, as a person with a disability besides human contact, certain things have come a long ways now.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )