Actually, I’m more than ready. Why? Because after nearly three years of constant connection, I went almost three weeks with minimal technology. Limited internet, no cable. My only connection to the outside world: my phone. Guess that’s what I get for moving across the country.
At first, I felt stressed about my lack of connectivity. I was worried I’d miss an important e-mail or message, but then, I had a bit of an ah-hah moment. I realized that contrary to popular belief, everything in life doesn’t have to be instantaneous. Nothing people would e-mail me about, post on Facebook or tweet could be important enough to need immediate attention. If it was, they’d call.
My anxiety started to leave, and I quickly began to appreciate the simplicity of a less connected life. I found other, sometimes more productive, ways to spend my time and learned to work more efficiently when I had the opportunity to connect. I read more, explored my new city and watched some classic films that I hadn’t seen in a while. I stopped living my life around technology, and I learned to concentrate on the present.
Honestly, it’s pretty great to be re-connected, but I definitely gained some insight from this experience. Now, I try to set aside some time each day to disconnect. This helps me focus on other projects or just simply relax. I don’t feel the need to constantly check for new messages, and I know that everything doesn’t always have to happen instantaneously.
So, here’s my challenge for you: try disconnecting. I’m not suggesting you go three weeks, but I think you could start with part of a day, a full day or, if you’re feeling crazy, maybe a whole weekend. Find creative ways to spend your time that don’t involve an internet or cable connection, and re-discover what life was like before we were all constantly connected. Don’t worry, your e-mail, network updates and voicemails will all still be there when you re-connect.