The Unplugged Series: Chapter 1: Digital Fasting

Digital FastText messages, notifications, emails, on demand movies, likes, hashtags, @’s, snapping photos & filtering, laptops, Bluetooth headphones constantly streaming music, and wifi hotspots.  It’s hard to get away from the digital stimuli in today’s society (as I’m typing on the WordPress App on my IPhone, see what I mean?).  But, sometimes the stimuli can take us away from what’s important… real life and it’s potential experiences.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology.  Technology makes up-to-date information instantly available at our fingertips, it makes my work day more efficient, it gives me access to all types of streaming entertainment, and it helps us stay connected with friends and family around the globe.

But, sometimes we just need to unplug.

A couple of dear colleagues of mine, from my days in Boston, introduced me to the concept of “digital fasting”.  Basically, taking some time for yourself and being untethered and unplugged from your phone, email, internet, cable, streaming music, etc.  I’ve never gone on a meditation retreat like they have, but I definitely can appreciate the benefit of being less distracted and being ever more present in the moment.  It makes sense.  Why wouldn’t I want to have an increased chance and opportunity to fully experience moments in my life?

Just think about it?  When’s the last time you were at the dinner table with your friends or family just eating, laughing, sharing stories and savoring the taste of each bite of food vs. glancing over for every vibration and ding of your phone?

When’s the last time you took your morning jog and were in tune with the ambient sounds around you, the sounds of your footsteps hitting the pavement, being aware of the air flowing in and out of you with each breath vs. listening to your latest favorite tunes on your headphones and mindlessly running?

When’s the last time you took in an amazing sunset or an amazing view with your loved ones and savoring the moment vs. trying to capture the best photo and finding the best filters for it?

It’s easier said then done.  I know it.  It’s a struggle for me everyday.  But, there has to be some balance in our lives between the benefits technology can offer and knowing when we’re too “plugged in”.  Are we truly living and experiencing life to our fullest when we are so attached to technology?

Healthy lifestyle changes never come easy.  But, I’m going to make a conscious effort to find moments day to day to not be tethered to all my tech toys and to also put aside some specific time each week to unplug.

I’m going to continue this short series to discuss other reasons, benefits, and ways to unplug in future posts.

Signing off and unplugging for now…

~AndyK

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