Monday, July 29, 2013

Challenge #17: Pull The Plug

Can I just exchange lives with this person please?

Seriously, where do I sign up for this?
I mean I don't know if it is really even possible to look that amazing and serene while chilling out in what I'm sure must be bug infested grasses, but I want it!

I'm the first to admit that I love technology; the two weeks I had to go without my iPhone when it was stolen almost threw me into an acute panic attack. (Did you know that more than 50% of us suffer from what researchers are calling "nomophobia" or the fear of being phone-less!?)

If it has a little picture of a partially eaten apple on it, I probably own it or have a family member who does. I love the endless amount of questions my brain can ask and find answers to with just a few clicks of a finger. I love escalators and being able to call my husband on my cell phone when my car dies on the side of the road. I love writing for hours and not having my hand cramp up because I've been holding a pen for too long.  I love being able to carry around 100 different books wherever I go in a tablet smaller than 1 book would be. I love Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and the way they let me stay connected with family and friends now that I live so far away from home.

But for every one of these modern conveniences there is a price that has to be paid, and that price is time, connection, rest and exploration.

In my head it seems like all these amazing tools would give me more time and keep me more rested and connected and let me explore the world in a way I never was able to before.

So how is it that my head could think one thing but my body feels the exact opposite?  Because my head and society are wrong.

We have become so connected that we no longer understand why or how to disconnect.  But our bodies need down time, they need rest and time to recharge.  Our brains need freedom and space to romp and roam without boundaries and the only way to do that is to unplug from all the white noise we fill our lives with until we can hear the music again.

That's why our challenge this week is to unplug. As creative people it is essential that we take care of ourselves because everything we do, everything we create, is born out of us. If we aren't healthy, our work isn't going to be either.  Not only that but we need fuel for our creative fire and sparks of inspiration, which is why we need to get out into the world and explore and experience things for ourselves, not second hand through our computer screens.  So often we are content to surf pinterest or google images for inspiration and never even leave our homes, but by doing that we limit our sources of inspiration to merely what has already inspired others instead of going out into the world and finding that unique time/place/experience that inspires you and you alone.

Need more convincing to unplug?  Studies show that disconnecting from technology and taking time to recharge can, lower stress and depression, bring your family closer together, help you think deeperbe more effective and efficient, enjoy life to it's fullest and be healthier.  People are even going to Digital Detox summer camps for adults where they can disconnect to reconnect.

And if you need a really over the top, way too dramatic PSA on unplugging to convince you, try watching the video below:

Basically the message here is that we need to step back from the tech and toward personal interactions with one another or with our surroundings.

Ok great, but how?  Sometimes our lives have been so formed around tech that when we get rid of it we have a moment of… "but what am I supposed to do now?"  Instead of letting you be totally lost for what to do with yourself during your digital detox we made a handy little list that you can print out and hang on the wall during the week.  Hopefully it will help inspire you to connect with something other than your computer :)

Finally, to practice what we preach we are going to be pulling the plug on The Art Abyss for the next week as well!  That's right, you heard us.  We think this is so important that we are shutting down as well (I mean Kate and I could hardly have a digital detox while simultaneously running a website now could we?)

So with that, my fine interwebby friends, good bye and good luck! See you on the other side of detox!