Taking a Tech Free Day

Okay, so you’re read­ing this blog right now — so you’re either on your mobile device, tablet or com­puter and obvi­ously on the Inter­net. (Thanks for read­ing by the way!). Have you ever taken a tech­nol­ogy free day? Not read any emails, only return impor­tant phone calls/texts, not scoured the internet?

Accord­ing to one of the many fun and inter­est­ing info­graph­ics on the web, in ONE minute (yes, only 60 seconds!):

- 216,000 pho­tos are posted

- 278,000 tweets are written

- 72 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube

- 70 new domains (web­site addresses) are reg­is­tered and 572 web­sites are created

- 11,000 active users are on Pinterest

Yes, in ONE minute. Now I admit to being a heavy web user. For one, it’s part of my full-time pro­fes­sion; two, I man­age this blog; and three, I teach dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing to col­lege stu­dents. So you can imag­ine the time I spend star­ing at a com­puter screen. My eye doc­tor con­curs as I now have a stronger pre­scrip­tion for glasses, need read­ers to see small print and am forced to take breaks to give my eyes a rest. 

I started tak­ing a tech­nol­ogy free day this sum­mer. Dif­fi­cult at first, I now look for­ward to the one day a week (usu­ally a week­end day) where I don’t open my lap­top, only make calls that are nec­es­sary and don’t return texts unless they are an emer­gency. It was like break­ing an addic­tion — not as bad as my addic­tion to diet Dr. Pep­per or dark choco­late, but almost. 

What I’ve gained from my tech­nol­ogy free day is TIME. Time to do more cre­ative pur­suits, read more, relax, go out­side, spend time with friends (and the cell phone is IN my purse with the ringer OFF). I notice when my phone is put away and not placed right in front me, I’m much more engaged in con­ver­sa­tions and a bet­ter listener.

Tech­nol­ogy sur­rounds us and is every­where — its brought much good to the world, to our econ­omy, to our jobs. But there’s also a down­side. Tech­nol­ogy has direct affects on how we com­mu­ni­cate with each other, how we spend our time, how we learn. Ever seen an ele­va­tor open and all you see are the tops of heads because every­one is star­ing down at their cell phone? Ever seen some­one fall or trip on a side­walk because they were tex­ting and not watch­ing where they were walk­ing? Ever been to a meet­ing at work and out come the cell phones and lap­tops while some­one is mak­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion? We can say we multi-task but I doubt one can lis­ten and also read, com­pre­hend and/or write at the same time.

Take a day and put your phone/tablet/computer away. Try it. You may find that the world doesn’t stop, you don’t miss much and you’re hav­ing a great time with your fam­ily and friends because YOU.ARE.PRESENT.

Writ­ten by Ms. Renee Vevea, admit­ted tech­nol­ogy addict in recov­ery.