Good afternoon, Dear Reader. I know, I know. I’m late to the party today, and I am armed with zero Flash Fiction words on a Friday. You can hop over to my poetry page if you really need to read something painful to your eyes.
My kiddo and I are headed out camping tonight. Last year I bought a car with a more extensive area in the back so we can car-camp. I received the blow-up bed thingamajig this week, so we plan to try it out. It isn’t the fire building or even the sleeping next to a stinky 9-year-old boy that has made me nervous. It’s the lack of internet service we may experience. My kid is totally addicted to his tablet. Although I’ve warned him that it will be limited, I’m not sure his little brain is quite comprehending the sheer vastness of this particular scenario. Well, he’s about to find out. It’s a good thing I’m packing Jenga and Connect Four. There are also some pretty good hiking trails, which I, seriously, just learned about this morning while reading this blog by How To Do The Ozarks.
This brings me to my point today. A digital detox is needed for both of us, and I plan to take full advantage of the situation this weekend. I might…yes…I might even lie to my kid and tell him there is absolutely no wifi/mobile data/internet available. I think, once he overcomes the initial shock, he might survive.
Suppose you’ve been thinking the same thing – that you need a digital detox – and it’s been a while since you closed your computer and ditched your phone or other digital devices. In that case, I have some tips for you. Ready?
Good. Grab a drink and settle in. I’ve got five tips on how you can unplug and recharge this weekend.
1. Warn people.
Not only should you warn those who may be affected by your choice – like my poor child – but you should tell at least one important person that they won’t be able to reach you via FB messenger, email, etc. One friend only communicates via FB messenger and freaks out if she can’t get people. I can go days – weeks, even – without checking FB messenger, so I typically will just let her know ahead of time.
2. Hide your devices.
I don’t like being totally without my phone, but I can leave it in another room (or glovebox) if needed. My home computer hasn’t been on for days because I’m in front of a screen all day for work; I don’t want to do it when I get home. For me, television is not really an issue. I rarely watch it. It might be a bit harder to hide a 55″ flat screen, but do what you can to make it more difficult to veg.
3. Go old school.
I have always journaled via pen on paper, so no worries there. I’m packing a crossword puzzle book this weekend and some paper/crayons. This should be interesting, right? I might also…gasp…pack an actual book with pages that turn. Wow, right?
The internet isn’t going anywhere, and you’ll be able to access it soon. Make a list of things you want to do for fun or necessary projects, and you’ll have the time if you back away from anything digital.
5. Plan your experience.
Try to get utterly disconnected if possible. I’m not gonna lie…getting away from Spotify for 48 hours will be challenging for me. But the quiet is essential, too. I have several life changes I need to consider, and the outside ‘noise’ and assault on my attention have made it difficult to think. As for killing time, there’s always rock throwing (in the lake, not at each other…), fires to build, S’Mores to eat, trails to hike. I haven’t really planned much except what we will eat and where we will sleep. Let’s see where the weekend takes us.
I get it. You may not be camping this weekend. But you can still have a digital sabbatical. You can do all the above tips and then read a book. Or try a new recipe. Maybe take a walk or write a love letter. Here’s something…take a nap or go to the park and do nothing.
I’m curious what you do when you ditch the digital slave-owners. Let me know in the comments. Until then, here’s your song for today. Nothing about today’s post, but I told you a few weeks ago that I really feel like songwriters never get the credit for anything. So this guy…Mitch Rossell…opened for a little-known artist named Garth Brooks last week at Razorback Stadium (WOO PIG….) with his little ol’ guitar and no backup band. Here’s another one of his I just love and bonus: Music Love Travel is featured. He’s recently released this song and is making a name for himself. However, many people don’t know that he wrote the last three songs that have made Garth a little bit of cash. (Listen to what Garth says about Mitch) So, yeah. There’s that. I love a good song…it’s poetry with flair. (And yeah, I might have a little crush.)