(Note to my fellow writers: This post was written by my partner-in-crime (and life) Karyn Claflin. In my opinion, occasionally unplugging from the world is one of the more helpful things you can do to keep your creative spark alive.)
Do you remember a time when the internet wasn’t a thing and no one had a cell phone? I have to think back a ways, but when I was growing up it wasn’t common to have access to the internet at home.
And when we did get internet at home, it was the dial-up kind where you had to actually wait for it to connect.
I remember resisting the smart-phone craze for quite some time.
But now, it seems we’re practically all connected 24/7.
And that’s amazing. I’ve met wonderful people that I’d have never met otherwise. We have access to so much knowledge at our fingertips. You can learn about pretty much anything from a Google search.
But it can also be quite distracting. I’ll hop on my phone to check my email, then it’s an hour later and I’ve been mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. What happened to my weekend?
And it can be kind of stressful, feeling like you always have to be connected. Like if you aren’t, you’re missing out on something.
This past week, I went on a road trip with my partner. He wanted to go somewhere where it was almost zero-dark so he could explore the night sky with his telescope (and wow, that was amazing. I had no idea there were so many stars we couldn’t see due to light pollution!).
We ended up in the middle of a desert park in Utah several miles from civilization.
When we got out of our car, we were both struck by the complete silence. It was wild. Even living in a small town like Champaign, there is so much noise in the background.
Being in the middle of nowhere also meant unplugging from everything for 2 days.
No phone ringing. No email alerts. No texts. No distractions from actually living and enjoying life.
It was so energizing to be away from everything. All the conveniences of modern life can be amazing and helpful, but it can also be easy to spend your time distracted.
Do you think you could disconnect from your smartphone for an afternoon, a day, a week? How much more time might you have to do the things that really matter to you?