2DG_3568My wife Linda and I just returned from vacation. For several days, we stayed at A Valley View Inn of New Bedford—gathered for a reunion with my 92 year old father in-law and Linda’s siblings and some of our nieces and nephews. During our Ohio stay in the middle of the Amish-saturated countryside, our iPhones indicated “No Service” the entire time. No phone. No email. No text messages. No internet. No social media. No blogging. Nothing. Not even a television. We were unplugged.

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It was a little disconcerting at first. What if someone needed to reach us? What if our twin-laden pregnant daughter went into labor? What if my neighbor needed to reach us about something happening to our home? But it only took a day and it was mostly relaxing.

I say “mostly relaxing,” because there were some initial electronic withdrawal symptoms. I wanted to check the weather forecast. I wanted to read the electronic newspaper from back home. I wanted to post some newly captured photos on Facebook. I didn’t. I couldn’t.

2DG_3871While I was unplugged from my normal links to my daily world, I was connected. I connected to our extended family. I talked. I listened. I laughed. I enjoyed the early morning harmonies of songbirds. I enjoyed my hobby of photographing the birds. I listened to the clip-clop of Arabian horses pulling Amish buggies on the road nearby. I connected to God, self and others.

 

Here are a few quick reflections on the experience:

Once I got past the first 24 hours, I stopped the habitual looking at my phone to see if there were any new emails or voicemails.

2DG_3721My attention span increased. I found it easier to keep focused in conversations with family members.

I found a sense of relief from the pressure to constantly read and respond to emails or Facebook messages.

I felt my emotional and physical tank being refilled as I disconnected from the things that drain me and connected with the things that refuel me.

If you haven’t ever deliberately unplugged for a specific period of time, I encourage you to do so. Even if you can only manage forty-eight hours, it’s worth it. Trust me, you need it more than you think. We all do.

 

QUESTION: Have you unplugged recently? Share briefly one thing you learned.

 

 

4 responses to Unplugged Yet Connected

  1. Dawn Carvotta on July 6, 2013 at 2:14 PM Reply

    Excellent! Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Teri Ziegler on July 3, 2013 at 9:22 PM Reply

    I know exactly how you feel! With our property in Georgia we now have one whole unplugged weekend each month. I’ve never been disappointed that there’s no TV, can’t get online, can’t see Facebook most of the time, BUT, GOD and I have our best talks on those unplugged weekends. I hear Him much more clearly with an undistracted mind. He knows just what we need:)

  3. Terry Frith on July 2, 2013 at 8:14 PM Reply

    We are going on a cruise overseas this weekend. I, too, am looking forward to having some “time” with my family as they unplug from their electronic habits. I’m anxious to see if they actually survive. haha!

  4. Janet on July 1, 2013 at 9:54 AM Reply

    Yes, the walk to Emmaus… I think we should all unplug once in a while, and enjoy what God has to offer.

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