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National Day of Unplugging

The USA took a leaf out of my life and declared March 5 to be ‘National Day of Unplugging’.

I have had two ‘social-networking-free’ weeks so far, one in January, one in February. At the end of both weeks, I have not felt the desire to go back to trawling through status updates on Facebook or Twitter. I don’t even check FB unless it is to post an update myself, greet a friend, or reply to a message that can’t be done via email.

This hasn’t done much for my productivity,though. The time spent off-line is spent running around with you-know-who, which in itself should be a good thing.

I do, however, feel a huge sense of relief not having to be burdened with 400 new tweets or 20 new FB notifications every time I log in. I look at the ones I want to and ignore the rest.

I found out about NDU via the Motherlode blog and I think it is such an excellent idea. They, of course, meant no cell phones, email, FB, Twitter or any technology-related activity. Just reading about it makes me want to click a ‘Like’ button somewhere.

(A sleeping bag for your phone.)

I do think that it should have been called the ‘World Day of Unplugging’ instead of keeping it just to the US. Not that this will stop us from stealing the idea, of course.

Only, there’s no fun in having just one measly day away from technology.That’s like vowing to eat no chocolate on the second Saturday of January. That’s no good.

How about once a month? Or at the end of every quarter?

Or if you’re very brave, how about unplugging once every week, as the Sabbath Manifesto recommends? I must admit here that I did try ‘Web-free Sundays’ when M was a few months old and I was beginning to get overwhelmed with deadlines, a cranky baby and  trying to stay on top of life’s other demands. I even came up with a doodle of a spider on the computer to remind me to switch off the laptop and pick up the long-handled broom and sweep out the cobwebs (‘web’-free, get it?) instead .

That, as you can tell, didn’t last very long. I don’t think I want to disconnect so completely, just an occasional break now and then to help me focus on the important writing jobs makes a big difference. I do like the idea of a whole day away from my computer, though.

The trouble is, what would I do with those little stolen minutes instead?

What about you? Have you tried unplugging?


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