Take a Daily Escape from Technology

Well here it is my last post for EC&I 830!

me at lake
Yes I took this picture with my phone, yes I was listening to music, and yes I was using a running app!  I struggle to define unplug.  The feeling I had when I took this picture was an absolute escape from my daily stresses! I was absent from anyone else or the worry of connecting with others. 

This debate was a timely one in the sense that I have never been so consumed with technology in my life as I have been this past 6 weeks.  With report cards, the never ending school emails, a dozen wedding and baby shower group chats, AND this class.  Sometimes I look at my phone or computer and feel overwhelmed and stressed before checking to see what new notification I even have.  Summer could not come sooner for me.  I cannot wait to move back out to my lake, where I am able escape the world of Wifi / the world of being expected to be constantly connected.

Escape is the big word I must question after Tuesday’s debate.  Can I really escape from technology? Casey N. Cep states in the New Yorker,

Unplugging from devices doesn’t stop us from experiencing our lives through their lenses, frames, and formats. We are only ever tourists in the land of no technology, our visas valid for a day or a week or a year, and we travel there with the same eyes and ears that we use in our digital homeland.”

I guess we don’t ever “escape” or “unplug” completely, as Amy suggested on Tuesday, a large majority of people use running apps or listen to music while going for a run.  When I go to my cabin I am still connected.  Could I really imagine spending my entire summer disconnected from all my friends and family at home? No!  My ability to not open my laptop to blog, input marks, or answer an email I happily leave behind. Please don’t expect to see regular facebook, twitter, or blog posts from me all summer. The large majority of days my phone stays in my cabin.  This to me is true relaxation.  This is my escape and I will love every minute of it.  This being said, I love using the apps to track my fitness progress and will continue to wear my fitbit!  I also have the convenience of using data to pay my bills online while I am away!  All the relaxation but yet technology is still there, I am merely escaping the technology overload, not the technology.

Aubrey raised an unanswered question on Tuesday.  She wondered what is the definition of unplug.  Does this mean we are totally not using anything for a month like Steve challenges his students to do.  This weeks article suggest that in fact technology does not improve productivity therefore, could the definition of unplug be more loose?  Could it mean we take a break from our devices to be more productive?

I guess if you see unplugging as an extended period of time, then I disagree we shouldn’t unplug.  Technology is everywhere and it makes many aspects of our lives better. If this is how you define unplug I hope the radio is off in the car to hear breaking news, weather, etc.  Or have a land line to contact loved ones.

Personally I feel unplugging is more about taking breaks and letting your phone and other devices be untouched while you spend time with family, friends, or with just you!

  • Eat a meal without being distracted by incoming messages
  • Go for a walk or a bike ride
  • Lay by the beach with a good book
  • Play sports
  • Go to the gym
  • Colour

Do we need a National Day of Unplugging?  If someone was addicted to technology, by saying no to it is only going to make them crave it more and perhaps binge when they return and let the world know how amazing they feel after this experience.  Let’s talk about moderation.  Let’s teach youth and ourselves to use technology in moderation regularly and encourage creativity and healthy lifestyle choices.  It could begin by reducing technology use, like the screen time diet Mary Beth Minton suggests in this weeks Ted Talk.    In order to screen diet, we need to provide alternative engaging activities to our kids. Give them an alternate plan for what they will do instead.

Plug in or unplug regardless, all in all I think it is important to take a daily “escape” from technology!  Take a break and enjoy something that is not found on a device.  Take time to build relationships or to relax and be at peace with yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Take a Daily Escape from Technology

  1. Great blog post Heidi! I share your sentiment with being able to disconnect from “school” work and technology related to my work during down times, but I always feel like that is the time I need to “re-connect” with my social media. It’s strange feeling. I’m exhausted being on the computer all day, but the first thing I do is open Facebook. I guess it comes back to deciding when and where to use technology to enhance our lives rather than distract from it.
    It was great hearing from you throughout this class. Enjoy the cabin this summer and relax!
    Janelle

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awesome blog this week, Heidi! This blog made me think about how I as a teacher feel so connected all the time to work, but I then asked myself how connected to principals or people in other professions feel? This really made me think!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh, I agree Heather and Heidi. I have honestly turned away from even the idea of admin work because I fear that the job is so connected to work, 24/7! They seem to working all the time!

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  4. I’m also looking forward to the idea of “unplugging” this summer…although it really isn’t unplugging at all. I’m viewing it as rebuilding relationships face to face that have been lacking, due to my increased screen time! Enjoy your summer Heidi!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Heidi!! I like your suggestions for unplugging and reconnecting with family 🙂 Maybe it’s just June but it seems for a lot of us that the countdown to summer is about having time to reconnect with others. Maybe it just isn’t tech that’s exhausting us perhaps it’s the pace of our lives overall? Just a wonder.

    Have a great summer at the cabin!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for another thoughtful post! I liked how you referred to unplugging as “taking an escape from the Daily stresses” I agree that we don’t just need to escape technology once and a while but many things in our day to day lives that can build up and boil over if we don’t take a step back from them every once and a while. Enjoy your summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. I agree that it is so healthy to be able to take a break from time to time. Just as we would take breaks from work responsibilities from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. True. It’s not urgent,yet patents email me and expect I receive information before school starts each day or before the kids go home. I must say I have missed information parents expected me to receive. It’s a challenge keeping up.

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  9. Excellent post Heidi! I am counting down the seconds until I can go to the lake to spend much needed time on the beach and not have to worry about technology for a bit. I feel like I have been constantly staring at a screen with balancing this class, report cards, marking, and the different forms I use technology in my personal life. I struggle with unplugging too! I like listening to my music and using technology to connect with my friends and family who leave far away. I agree that we are never fully escape or unplug from technology. I will be using my phone to the cabin, but I am excited that I can choose when I want to engage in technology. When I am not working I feel that I have an easier time balancing the time that I spend interacting with technology. I enjoyed learning from you this semester! I wish you all the best and hope you have a wonderful summer relaxing at the lake! 🙂

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