Extending the Tech Sabbatical

 

I am debating to increase my internet sabbatical to two days a week.  For the past 9 months, I have opted for Saturdays to be my Tech Sabbatical. Initially I didn’t think my life could go without technology with one day per week.  Surprisingly I look forward to it.  My friends and family now know not to expect me to check emails or social media.  When I am out with friends, I am not the one who is looked at to search directions or fetch an uber. Not only have I survived this, but I have relished in it. The next day when I do check the tech, I realize there is nothing I have missed.

 

The sad thing is the remaining 6 days of the week, I notice how much my free time gravitates to the phone.  I check emails incessantly, even though only ten minutes have passed since the last time I have checked.  If my day is not busy, I notice this habit becomes more prominent.  My body starts to warn me that it has not adjusted to the shift that had just occurred.  My eyes have become tired, my hand starts to hurt from holding the phone, my head is busy inputting and rearranging data for the next google search to begin.  I’m also overall exhausted.  This evening, I tried to listen to a guided meditation when I got home, and I fell asleep for several minutes.  But I was more rejuvenated with the recognition that additional space from technology is warranted.

 

Perhaps I may need to extend this tech break to more than one day a week.  Or check emails only twice a day.  I have learned to turn the ringer off my phone, I don’t want the sound to give me a serotonin boost. A friend has joked with me that we text too much, and I have become too dependent on responses. The solution: old fashioned letter writing with proper stationary.

 

And I have to admit this is refreshing.

 

I need to set these clear boundaries with texting and technology, because if the framework doesn’t exist, it’s easy to get swept away.

 

My dogs too are also begging for attention, when I get home from work.  Put away the phone and tv, and observe their smiles, snores, and hilarious ways to get my attention.

 

At a recent retreat, I brought up to one of the facilitators my weekly 24 hour tech sabbatical.  I was proud, I had added this into my life.  He noted, “You only take one day off from technology? Why not more?”  I gasped when he said this.  24 hours was plenty, and already absurd when I mentioned it to colleagues and family. Anything more would mean I am regressing back in time or joining a monastery.  But now I think back to that moment.  Perhaps twice a week isn’t so crazy.   Maybe what is more crazy making is to continue the path I am on.

 

 

How has technology impacted your world? Is it under control?  Do you notice how it interweaves into your daily life? Are weekly sabbaticals doable for you?

 

“Disconnecting from technology to reconnect with ourselves is absolutely essential.”-Arianna Huffington

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