I know this is a crazy topic for someone who writes a blog because everything we discuss relies on us being connected and online. To discuss, analyze, and keep up to date on a variety of topics we need to remain connected. At the same time it is important every once in a while to take a moment to disconnect from online. Every once in a while the amount of stuff that is happening online can feel like a lot and you can constantly be checking on things. There is even a commercial for a Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge that allows you to check notifications on the edge of the phone with a single swipe of the finger without lighting up the screen. We are increasing the ways that we connect to people and the ways that people can connect to us.
At the same time, I do think it is good, every once in a while, to disconnect. It does not have to be for long, but I always find it refreshing. One of the problems is that the easiest way to disconnect is to literally be in a location where you cannot connect, which is not the easiest thing to do.
Importance of Disconnecting
Part of the reason that I think that it is important to disconnect every once in a while is that it allows us to just re-center and re-focus. Part of the problem can be that the various connections we have online can start to pull us a little thin. When your phone is dinging every 30 minutes or so with a variety of notifications it can be distracting. It is an interesting experience when you can completely disconnect from the online world.
The first day is usually a little bit odd because there are so many times that I will end up checking my phone during the day and to have an extended period of time when I cannot check it feels a little weird. When we are connected at all times of every day it can be strange when we become completely disconnected. At the same time after the first day it tends to be relaxing because suddenly there are so many things that I cannot get distracted by. I am allowed to focus on other things and for a while just be.
Ways to Disconnect
Now while I find disconnecting important it is not the easiest thing to do. The easiest thing to do would be turn off your phone and other electronics, but that takes will power and, from other people, understanding. There seems to be an expectation by some that if you can be connected you should be. So choosing to not connect might make some people agitated or angry even because they do not understand it.
The other possibility that works better for me, is to be in a location that is not connected. This way you do not have to give some elaborate explanation about why you cannot be reached, it is just because of where you are. There have been a couple ways that I have accomplished this. One of the ways is to go camping. In our area there are cabins that you can rent to stay in. We have done this with some family, usually have to hike out, and stay the weekend. The great thing about camping is that you generally don’t want to bring much technology because weight limit is an issue. Also, the fact is that most of the cabins have no cell reception anyway, so you are unreachable. It is an amazing feeling to just be for a little while.
Now camping is not for everyone and even for me it is not high on my list, but I do enjoy it. The other way that we have been able to disconnect is by taking cruises. Now depending on where you travel you might be able to get connected in the port, but at sea you are too far from shore to easily connect. There are ways that you can connect, but it is not for long because it is expensive. The great thing about the cruise ship is that everything is paid for and you do not have to think about where you are going to go to eat or what you are going to do. You can really just decompress and relax.
Some people might argue that being online is how we connect with each other and there should not be a reason that we need to disconnect. At the same time there is a difference in how we interact online versus in person. Also, if we spend too much time online do we ever spend a moment to calm our mind and connect with the world that we live in? If we constantly connect online are we ever truly in the moment in front of us? There is something to be said about leaving your computer, phone, etc, behind and just connecting with whatever is right in front of you, at least for a little while. In today’s world we are becoming more and more connected, which is not a bad thing. Suddenly you can talk to be across the world in an instant, but at the same time it is important to connect to the place and moments where we exist as well and sometimes that it easier to do when we disconnect for a moment.