Unplug: Disconnect to Reconnect
Last week, many of you sent us your goals for the upcoming year (you can still send them to me – I personally read each one). When it comes to lifestyle, many of you are looking for ways to more deeply connect with your friends, family, and the world around you.
I’m 100% with you. In our digital age, between an out-of-control inbox, millions of daily tweets, profile updates about how your BFF just ate an entire pizza, Pins, snaps…etc. it’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed to keep up. We get bombarded with information that causes us to become desensitized to the people we actually want to be connected with.
We crave those push notifications, retweets, comments and likes so much that we become digitally addicted and run on a disconnected autopilot.
We have so many stimuli pulling at us that we forget we are still dealing with humans on the other end of the line. And yet, we wonder why we feel disconnected from a world that has never been more connected? It reminds me of something that I read recently by Rick Warren:
We rush out the door and say, “Hey, how are you doing? Nice to see you.” We don’t even look people in the eye. We’re not really talking to them. If you do that, you’re going to miss a lot of potential in other people…”
Isn’t that what a lot of us do with our social media interactions? Not actually connecting with one another?
In the book How to Win Friends & Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie and associates (I highly recommend), Duke University sociologist Lynn Smith-Lovin says, “We’re not saying people are completely isolated. They may have 600 friends on Facebook . . . and email 25 people a day, but they are not discussing matters that are personally important.”
I’m guilty, but I’m trying my hardest to unplug and reconnect with interactions that don’t require an emoji or smiley face to tell someone you are trying to be nice…
So, I decided enough was enough and went for it to see if I could even do it. At the start of this year I deleted all social platforms off my phone and recently added email to that list. Yes, email… Talk about removing temptation.
That might have been a little extreme and very difficult, but it has been 100% freeing. The first week or so without email, I was constantly worrying about missing out on game-changing, venture capitalist emails related to DIY Active. While I’ve never received an email like that in the 7 years we’ve been around, when you can’t check your email every 1.5 minutes those thoughts cross your mind.
I still connect with everyone and get updates when I’m at my desktop, which is 9+ hours a day, so I stay up to date. But those other hours, the ones when I’m home hanging with the wife, is my time. Time to just hang out, catch up on our shows, read or just be bored.
Yes, be bored. Instead of using that mobile crutch to aimlessly scroll through pictures of other people’s lives (yes, they ate the entire pizza!), I actually have to find something to do with my time. Who knows how many hours we spend scrolling instead of talking with the people in the same room! Instead of personally connecting with the people right in front of us, we connect with people we don’t even know. In truth, I’m glad to be bored again instead of mindlessly scrolling. It was about taking back my time!
Because that’s what it is, my time. I don’t think social media or my email needs my attention from the moment I get out of bed to the moment my head hits the pillow. That’s my time.
Or at least it is once again!
We want to know your story! How do you disconnect? What inspires you? What drives you? Heck, send us a picture of your gym and we will feature it on Facebook!