Polling Post #3: Put the Phone Down and Step Away Slowly

Polling Question #3: Unplugging                                                                                                                        

One of the questions asked during the Women’s Advancement Compact kick-off event was: When was the last time you unplugged? While some scoffed at the notion of turning off their blackberry, iPhone, iPad, laptops, etc., others might have come to the harsh realization that I have: I never unplug!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

However, studies have shown the benefits of unplugging can result in improved focus and productivity. Also, when you put your phone down and practice being present, research indicates that it can reduce stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

While all of the benefits of unplugging sound great in theory, I just cannot see myself realistically unplugging. What if I miss an important email because I was “unplugged” to unwind and reduce my stress? Well, now I am even more stressed than before!

In fact, while researching to write this blog post I found a startling fact, which stated that according to a British poll 66% of us are afraid to be without our cell phones. The fear of being without a cell phone has actually culminated in a new phobia called nomophobia. Let’s just pause for a second and consider the fact that we are all so consumed with being plugged in and constantly in contact to people that we created an entire phobia!

I hope most of you laugh at the idea that nomophobia exists, but for those of you, including myself, who laughed and then went “oh wait, that might be me”, it’s time to take a step back and dare I say it, figure out how to unplug!

Take A Baby Step

Unplugging can mean different things to different people, especially depending on what a person can realistically turn off. It can range from extremes, such as designating a room in your house to be a tech-free zone, or minor things, such as participating in the National Day of Unplugging. If you are looking to get serious about detoxing from your technology addiction, then check out some of these tips.

My first step towards unplugging is to devote an hour a day, possibly more on the weekends, to turning everything off. You could spend quality time with your spouse, kids, friends, pets, or even by yourself. Maybe you could start that book that has been sitting on your bookshelf for months or have a no phones at the dinner table rule; the options are endless!

My challenge to you and to myself is to find time each day to unwind without using any technology.

Leave comments below about what your first step will be!