The Digital Paradox? Talking Online About the Importance of UnpluggingI have some great news: Rewire Me was mentioned on iHeartRadio’s The Melting Pot last week! Inspired by our suggestions for a digital detox, the hosts, Tim Mihalsky and Ashleigh Speidel, and their guests talked about the importance of unplugging from their phones, social media apps, online alarms, and other assorted gadgetry.

“Let’s face it: Technology is an integral part of our lives and it’s not going anywhere. We use it to keep ourselves organized, to find information, to communicate professionally, to keep in touch with our family and friends. The idea of totally abandoning it for an extended length of time just isn’t practical for most of us.” As I listened to the show—on my computer, of course—I was struck by the paradox. Yes, it’s important and healthy to unplug. But where do you draw the line? Certainly not now—not while you can learn something from an online radio program, read our wonderful website, share my digital detox tips via social media, take a picture of yourself enjoying the whole process, and post it on Instagram so everyone can see how rewired you are by unplugging!

Let’s face it: Technology is an integral part of our lives and it’s not going anywhere. We use it to keep ourselves organized, to find information, to communicate professionally, to keep in touch with our family and friends. The idea of totally abandoning it for an extended length of time just isn’t practical for most of us.

So what about drawing the line? As convenient as being constantly connected can be, “too much of a good thing” certainly applies to our devices and the onslaught of email and social media that consume so much of our time and attention.

I think the answer is remembering that technology is our tool, not our boss. (Perpetual buzzing and beeping notwithstanding.) We control the “off” switch. We need take the time to look up from our screens, to fill our senses with experiences, sights, and sounds, with actual people, not their digital doppelgangers.

Here’s my plan:

  • Take advantage of the marvels and efficiency technology has to offer without sacrificing my humanity in the process.
  • Plug in and recharge my heart and mind at least as often as my phones and computers.
  • Be present in everything I do.

What’s yours?

Rose

Rose Caiola
Inspired. Rewired.

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3 Comments

  • Tara Green
    Posted August 6, 2014 6:50 am 0Likes

    I really think this is the best advice I’ve ever read about unplugging:

    “Plug in and recharge my heart and mind at least as often as my phones and computers.”

    I’m going to make it the wallpaper on my computer and phone!

  • Magdalena A. Kosha
    Posted August 8, 2014 9:58 am 0Likes

    This is a topic you can discuss it in several blog posts because it is very real and have several components as to why people are so much hooked into their technologies. About ten years ago I realized that all I was watching on TV were commercials interrupted by a movie or the latest horrible event that happened in different corners of the world delivered by the daily news often repeated 24/7. I am not ignorant, but I realized that in order to keep a positive and sane life, I needed to get limited amount of news just to be informed. So ten years ago I get rid of my TV and since all information has been coming from radio stations of my choice and Internet that I can filter. I read books, blog posts, and webpages. As for phoning and texting, I decided to live by the old formula which is I do not answer my phone when I am in company or walking my dog. The ringer is off. If it is important people can leave a message. If I am out with other people, we already had to find a time to actually meet which is difficult in our busy world. Finally we found a time so it would be unfair, not to mention rude, to be interrupted by a call or text that often “I just called you to say Hi, because we have not been in touched for a while”. Since I am working from home, the ringer is off and I am checking regularly for calls and voice mails. I only have my ringer on when I am expecting important call(s). E-mails are also checked regularly and answered in priority. Text, only if it is appropriate and often just to say “can I call you now?” or to relay a brief update on something important that will later be followed by a conversation anyway. I feel that texting cuts the human contact and also awkward to type. I think when one realizes that his/her life is being taken over by virtual reality it is time to set up a system such as how much time should be spent on being online, texting etc. I know many people that work on line for example have their daily time frame set up when they are checking for comments on their blogs or webpage, answering e-mails etc. Other daily calls, e-mails, and texts traffic are being answered by filtering and priority. My daughter told me ‘we got used to to have an instant reply so when it does not come I start to worry if something is wrong’. I think we need to re-train ourselves to whom to answer instantly and find the appropriate form of communication. So it is all about balancing just like anything else in life.

  • Suzi
    Posted August 9, 2014 8:31 am 0Likes

    Yes unplug the mind and plug in the heart! Remembering “Who’s the Boss” is key. Thank you!

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