What are The Symptoms?Taking a retreat from your phone, laptop or tablet may be in order if:
- Each time your phone chirps you absolutely HAVE to check it. Resistance is futile.
- Your Facebook friends know what you're doing, thinking and eating throughout the day. Every day.
- You've blown-up your significant other's phone because they haven't responded. You've given them 30-seconds to do so.
- You see a person in real life and can't connect with them. You'll Facebook them instead.
- You frequently stop talking with the person in front of you in order to check your phone.
- Eating a meal without checking your phone is uncommon.
- Your typical response times to email is 3-seconds.
- Your children recognize your obsession and rush to bring your phone to you each time it beeps, rumbles or squawks.
How to Unplug
If you've reached your critical max for online-associations, here are some ideas to help you unplug.
1. Decide how long you'll unplug. Maybe just an hour? A day? A weekend? Decide what's best for you given your current projects and commitments (no sense unplugging to relax and losing your job over it).
2. Make it easy to do. Maybe set a timer if you're looking for a 1-hour break. Put your phone on silent so you don't hear every email that lands in your inbox. Turn off your laptop and put it away. Shut off your desktop computer and put a Post-It reminder on it that you're taking a break. If you're unplugging for a longer period of time, be sure to respond to all important emails and possibly set up an auto-email responder to let interested parties know when you'll be available again.
3. Focus away from technology. You have a life outside of technology--trust us! Plan a date night, go see a movie, pack a picnic or a day-trip. Focus on people and places rather than what's happening online.
When you've completed your break, be sure to Facebook us because we're dying to know how it went.
Here's a great info-graphic we found about unplugging (HT: DailyInfographic.com) :