Could you go an entire day without your smart phone, computer, iPad, iPod or TV?
On Sunday, July 31, a host of my colleagues and friends took the Unplugged Project’s 24 Hours Unplugged Challenge. They put down their smartphones, turned off their computers and enjoyed a day without being “tuned in” every single minute.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering if I participated in the challenge—sadly, I did not. And it may be an excuse, but I truly had too many deadlines I could not ignore that day—all of which needed my computer, social media networks and cell phone’s full attention. However, I have made it a point to “unplug” for a full day in the past and I have to say, it’s hard, but doable.
And so enjoyable!
Because even though it is challenging (hence the title of the event), there was a time when we were not always “plugged in.” And the world did not stop because of it. So even though it didn’t happen for me on Sunday, I cherish the days I’ve been able to make that happen. On those days, I’m able to give undivided attention to my kids, my husband, my family—it’s like a 24 hour vacation without going anywhere.
For organizations an in business, unplugging can be hard. And coupled with the fact that many of us mesh our personal and business lives into one nice big gray area, it’s even harder.
So I ask you this:
Is an unplugged challenge feasible at work? What if you were just given a telephone and a manual register? Would you survive for 24 hours?
Have we become addicted to the ease of technology and our jobs? Is it healthy for us to be as accessible as we truly are these days?
Are you willing to give an unplugged challenge at work a try?
I’m not sure I can go there yet. But I encourage you—especially when you may feel stressed out and overwhelmed—to choose a day where you take part in your own 24 Hours Unplugged Challenge.
It’s amazing what a day of rest and old-fashioned conversation can do.
Melissa Harrison is principal at Allée. Her “plug-ins” of choice include: email, Facebook and Twitter But on the off-chance she’s not there, she’s most likely enjoying a much-needed 24 hours unplugged moment.