The Cost of Being Constantly Connected

digital detox
digital detox

“Being connected in a shallow way to the entire world can prevent us from being deeply connected to those closest to us – including ourselves.” –Arianna Huffington

Let’s talk stats (because numbers are kinda my thing):

• On average, people spend 2 hours per day (a whopping 8% of their day) on their cell phones. • 67% of cell owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. • 44% of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night. • 29% of cell owners describe their cell phone as “something they can’t imagine living without.”

(Source: PewResearch)

Do you fall into any of these categories?

I’ll be honest… I do. I definitely couldn’t live without my cell phone and I’ve been known to obsessively check for updates (sometimes for more than 2 hours a day…).

I’ve recently gotten to thinking (inspired by Arianna Huffington’s Thrive and my own personal experiments in escaping) about what my hyperconnected lifestyle is costing me.

I’ve been missing out on special moments with my husband, time spent being present and REALLY HEARING friends and family, and a more mindful connection to my body and my higher purpose.

What’s it costing you?

When I really started to dig deep into this issue, I realized how completely unnecessary it was. I mean, 15 years ago Zach Morris was just about the only person I knew with a cell phone. People DID live without them. Could I?

Yes, yes I can.

I’ve recently proclaimed Saturday my cell phone sabbatical – it’s incredible how liberating a day of digital detox can be! I’ve been asked how I do it… Here’s my Saturday protocol (+ a few other tips for disconnecting):

• Keep it simple (& temptation free): I let my phone battery dip to zero on Friday night before bed (or overnight if necessary) and I wait to charge it until bedtime on Saturday night. • If it’ll ease your mind, set up an in case of emergency plan with close friends & family. Let them know where and how they can reach you ahead of time (it’ll help to define what an emergency is, too!). • Make plans (get directions, show times, make reservations) ahead of time OR just fly by the seat of your pants – because why not?!?!? • If you sleep with your phone by your bed to use its alarm (like me), set that baby on airplane mode for the night. You’ll protect your dome from wacky radiowaves (if you believe in that type of thing) and you won’t disturb your beauty rest. • Start your day without your phone – that means NOT checking email or Facebook as soon as you wake up. Set a time when checking in is OK.

Do you struggling with unplugging? What have you found that helps you?