Could You Unplug?

I’m currently reading Accidentally Amish from author Olivia Newport.

I’ll be posting more about this book at a later time (that doesn’t mean you can’t run out and get yourself a copy now!) but one of the ideas in the book intrigues me– the idea of unplugging from technology.

Remember the days when cell phones weren’t a necessity? I didn’t have a cell phone as a teenager. Nope, sure didn’t.

Do you think I’d leave my house without one now? Absolutely not. 

Somehow, the idea of driving anywhere without my phone is scary. I mean, isn’t the fact that I have a cell phone in my purse supposed to protect me from the great “what ifs” of life?

And how about email? What’s the average number of times you check your email in a day? I’m talking both work related emails and personal. I bet it’s more than 2. Closer to 5? More than that?

I’d say on average I check my email at least twice per day on most days. There is the occasional day when I don’t check at all, but those days are rare.

So between cell phones, computers, TV and all other forms of technology, can you imagine what life would be like if it all simply went away?

My husband and I have been watching the new show Revolution on NBC. The general idea behind the show is that there was a power outage that shut down the entire world. That’s right– there’s no power in the entire world.

I won’t go into details about the show, but I will say that I find a world-wide power outage idea intriguing. So much so that I have found myself considering what I would need to do to prepare for such a thing, or rather, considering that if such a thing ever happened, how my family would survive. No, I’m not apocalyptic, but it is an interesting thought.

One moment we’re living in 2012 where we feel like the planet is tiny because we are all connected all the time– the next minute it’s literally the dark ages and society has gone backward.

In Accidentally Amish, it’s a choice to “unplug”. In Revolution, it’s not. Either way, the characters find both challenges and relief in the lack of technology that connects them to the world.

Share with me: If you accepted the challenge to “unplug” your cell, computer, TV, and all other electronic devices for a time, first of all, would you, and what do you think would be the biggest challenge?

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10 Comments

Filed under Writing

10 responses to “Could You Unplug?

  1. Lori Dilworth

    I would LOVE to unplug and do on vacation, but there is no way that I can with the electronic communication needs of my students and professors. I think unplugging while taking an online class is just irresponsible 🙂 One day I will!!!!

  2. I’m in the process of unplugging – television’s only used for selected movies, I live and work where there’s dismal cell service (and no landline), and a very slow Broadband makes using the computer something of a chore. It’s circumstance, but it’s also a choice.

    I started with television; I’ve been more of a reader, anyway, so it’s no loss. Not knowing who’s been kicked off the island on “American Idolatry” does not lower my quality of life.

    The cell phone is next. A few years ago I took a trip without one, and realized that I didn’t need to be constantly available (though it was a strange feeling, at first!). Things could wait. I have it here for emergencies, but it’s not much of a communication tool. Good paperweight.

    The computer’s the hardest, but as the connection slows down with increased bandwidth usage for applications which crash anyway, I find myself using it only for necessary research and emails, along with maintaining my blog. (I do use the computer in word processor mode, but never while online.)

    It hasn’t been hard. The world really never seemed small, television was rarely better than mindless, and if someone needs instant access to me to feel connected, they want something I can’t give.

  3. Um, the entire idea gives me the chills. Couldn’t. Do. It. I’m a product of my generation, what can I say? (Although I didn’t have a cell phone until my senior year of high school.) And I won’t even tell you how many times I check my email. Since it’s on my phone…yeah, I actually don’t even know.

    But I did do a TV and movie fast last February for the whole month and it was great. I read a lot, wrote a lot, and spent more time with my husband. I should probably do that again at some point. 🙂

    • I’m with you, Linds. I don’t think I could do it, either. I feel cell-phone dependent while my boys are at school– just in case the school needs to reach me. I don’t have internet on my phone, and still I probably check my email too often.

  4. Heather

    Sometimes I wish I could be more unplugged, but I’m a lawyer and it’s expected that we are online pretty much constantly – at least during business hours. That being said, I could probably go for longer without checking email on my phone on the nights and weekends (meaning a couple of hours in between each time – not more than that). Kind of sad really….

    • I think it’s just our culture now. There’s this sense of urgency attached to everything. We assume that everyone checks their email every hour… I wonder when we’ll have microchips in our brains and we’ll download info straight into our heads. 🙂

      • I think the issue’s really that we have access to a surfeit of information, but not that much is really actionable. The urgency comes from the feeling that somehow knowledge IS action, and that’s simply not true.

        Do you remember “Crocodile Dundee?” In the first movie, the reporter who went to Australia to interview Dundee asked his opinion about various current issues. “You’ve got to have an opinion, you’ve got to have a voice!” she said.

        “Who’s going to hear it out here?”

  5. jessicarpatch

    I’m reading the same book! I wouldn’t have a problem unplugging from technology, except the phone. Like you, I feel safer when I have it while driving. I can call the police or my husband if something happens. I don’t like the idea of feeling stranded.
    And not permanently. But for awhile would be doable.

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