…then you could grow a very long beard, live off of nature, yell at strangers as they walk by and not care about your clothing. Of course you would eventually go crazy…but there’s a good chance that would happen anyway. Okay I’m not advocating you do any of those things, you don’t have to smash your phone (even if you want to sometimes) and you certainly don’t have to live in a cave. But you do have to take note of your connection habits and how much time you spend online. For a few days just pay attention to every device you own, how and when you use them and how much time you spend using them. If you take a critical look I think you’ll realize truly how much time you spend connected. On any given day I will visit facebook, twitter, instagram, ESPN, CNN, weather.com and check my email (100 times) watch TV, listen to the radio. There are plenty days when I really DO want to smash my phone and move my family to the nicest cave around (Jess would kill me if I ever brought that up.)
So how do I manage it all?
Well it’s pretty simple actually; not easy…but simple. I just commit to spending about an hour everyday disconnected; I turn the phone to silent, put my computer in sleep mode and turn off the TV. Then I sit in a meditative state and stare at the wall…for exactly one hour. You probably don’t believe that do you? In reality what I do is play with my daughter, run some errands, write, sit and talk with my wife or mom or dad or sisters or friends, visit my grandparents, mow the lawn, go for a run, go for a trail run (my favorite) exercise…the list is endless. What I hope you realize is that this list is full of very simple, everyday activities that anyone can do while shutting off.
Shutting Off is the beginning…not the end!
Your time spent shutting off isn’t the end, meaning you don’t just turn off the tech for an hour and that’s it. Rather shutting off is the start, it’s the beginning of something epic (hopefully.) Shutting off is the first step and not the last one. Once you’ve made the commitment to spend time shutting off then your options are endless, just take a look at the list above. There are so many different activities and people to share those with that we hope you get excited about shutting off. Because you’re actually getting excited about reconnecting with your passions or friends or family members. I understand that “life” gets in the way all too often; however if I was honest with you than I would admit that sometimes I just spend too much time online. Life isn’t supposed to be lived vicariously through a screen or through your friends online, sure they might be doing something fun but so can you.
Do I have to backpack in the mountains and poop in the woods to shut off?
Listen…I love the outdoors and I love backpacking and I truly believe that it can be a transformative experience in your life. So I hope that you will consider working with us to take a trip. But NO you don’t have to backpack to shut off. Shutting Off isn’t only for the wilderness, in fact it’s my belief that the benefits of shutting off are equally as tangible on a daily basis. So just try it tomorrow (or heck start today) turn your phone off, turn your computer off, log out of your social media and go visit your grandma, or take your significant other on a tech free date.