Article and photography by contributor Joey Jongeling
It’s important to unplug…
…but it might leave you feeling disconnected. Especially during a time when we can’t see our friends and family, wanting to go offline might make you feel like an outsider. If you’re like me, you often crave a simpler time when technology didn’t rule our lives, yet you can appreciate all of the opportunities available to us as a result of it. The truth is that we all need time away from technology. It’s about balance (as are most things in life) and knowing how to unplug without feeling isolated or left out.
I’ve been taking a break from technology for the past few weeks as I enter into a busy period of my life. As such, I’ve been thinking about what to be mindful of as I slowly start to plug back in. Here are some of those thoughts.
1. Plug Into What Matters – When you unplug, you’re giving yourself permission to focus on other things. It’s important to ensure that those things bring value to your life (relationships, hobbies, self-care, etc.).
2. Set Expectations – Arguably the hardest thing about unplugging is setting expectations with those around us. Tell people that you’re offline on the weekends and won’t be checking emails. If you own a business and a client DMs you, set the expectation that it should be an email instead. These expectations will not only ease your mind, but others as well.
3. Be Intentional – Most of us can’t unplug completely. Therefore, it’s better to shift focus towards being intentional with how we use technology, rather than trying to remove it all together. Find the gaps between what you use technology for and what you want to use technology for. Take small steps everyday to close that gap.
4. Change Your Mindset – When you choose to unplug, you can feel like you’re on your own. In this situation it’s easy to create a narrative in your mind that leads to worry. Am I missing out on anything? Will people forget about me? Will I offend anyone if I don’t respond to them? Be mindful of when these thoughts creep up. Once you realize these fears aren’t warranted, you can leave them behind.
Just remember, the world is not going to fall apart if you decide to take a little break.
Follow Joey Jongeling on Instagram: @joeyjongeling