Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unplugging: Is It Really That Important?

I was listening to Rise Up Country with John Ritter on Sunday while milking and he was focusing on how we need to unplug and have some "me" time. This isn't the first time I've heard someone say we need to "unplug". Unplugging is when you turn off, well, everything. Hide the cell phone, turn off the TV and computer, and stuff the MP3 player in a drawer.

Gadget Hell!But I have to ask: Why? Why do we need to unplug? I understand the concern about information overload, and it's definitely true that watching TV or playing on the computer right before bed will affect your sleep (I know that from personal experience).

But what good does unplugging really do? For some people, plugging in is how they relax from their stressful days. It's the way they escape the horrors of real life and submerse themselves into a more enjoyable fantasy for awhile. They get to pretend they're an elf in some alternate reality, or watch people from New Jersey whose lives are way more crazy than theirs, or lose themselves in music that speaks to their soul.

Just because the relaxation involves an electronic gadget, that doesn't mean it's a less effective or inferior way to relax. What works for some people won't work for others. And if anyone tells me I need to give up my Kindle and read a DTB because it's time to "unplug", I'm coming after you. ;)


  1. I think we can relax and be plugged in. Sometimes, plugging in helps me recharge (haha) because I get to connect with like-minded souls and swap stories. I get my daily dose of inspiration or laughter. If technology connects us, then it feeds our need for socializing--and we are social creatures, after all. But I do think that sometimes it can distract us from the world in front of us. My husband and I occasionally impose a few-hour ban on "glowing boxes." No cell phones, iPads, laptops, or TVs, just an afternoon or evening of reconnecting. We take walks, cook together, talk over a pot of tea, gaze at the stars--something to connect us to each other and to the physical, tangible world. Sometimes we forget that there are full moons, constellations, sunrises, and birdsongs outside our front doors that can feed our souls, too. So, like anything, I suppose, it's a matter of balance.

  2. I've found that I might think that I'm relaxing when I'm playing games on the iphone or some such, but it's stressful because my eyes get tired, and I feel that I 'should' be doing something else. (I know, human *be*ing vs human *do*ing).

    I find that a cup of tea does the trick much better.

  3. Ah, that awful "should" word. You can find my stance on that over on Merry Farmer's "A Waste of Time" post in the comments. :)

  4. Only you can truly decide if unplugging is helpful to you. I know a few folks who suffer withdrawal when unplugged. Me? I walk dogs, but always carry my phone, you know, just in case... :)


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