Thursday, October 4, 2012

30 day challenge

Most challenges involve doing something every day. The one I've decided to take on only involves one day a week, and it involves NOT doing something.

The Challenge

I've decided to take one day a week, for a month, where I unplug. That means no email, no Gchat, no Twitter or Facebook. I can't go on the internet, I can't read blogs, and if I want to read news articles then I better pick up a newspaper (ok, or download it on my Kindle. We're not in the 13th century here).

As much as I hate to admit it... I'm addicted to being connected. I've always loved getting messages. When I was little, I'd run to our mailbox several times a day to see if the mail had come yet. The time of delivery was always unexpected, since I lived in a rural farm community and the mail route was long and unpredictable. Obviously, as soon as we got the internet (I was 12, my family was behind the times), I had to have an email address so I could receive mail. I'd send pointless emails to friends just so I could get a "Inbox - (1)" -- new mail!

All of which is fine, but as phones have gotten continually more amazing and there are more and more ways to be connected, I've loved all of them and wanted to be as connected as possible. And my addiction to my Blackberry will be great when I start work permanently at my firm next fall. Law firms demand that your phone be attached to you like a third arm, since it's a 24/7 "on call" business. Over the summer there were several times where having my Blackberry with me constantly meant I was able to answer important questions, making me more helpful to the senior associates.

However. This year I have the luxury of nothing being "life or lawsuit," and I think I should take advantage of that by making myself unplug at least one day a week. It cannot possibly be healthy that I always feel the need to check for that blinking red light on my Blackberry!

I'll still be able to use my Blackberry to make phone calls and get directions to places, but no email/Facebook/Twitter. I might turn off the syncing function before I go to bed the night before so that the phone part still works, but I'm not tempted to check email or social media. Since my Kindle just has books on it, I can use it to read or purchase books from the Amazon Kindle book store.

Since I have to answer emails related to school, TAing, and my various pro bono activities on the weekdays (and often Sundays), I think Saturday will be the best day to disconnect. The chance of me missing an important email on Saturdays is very low.

Let's do this!
So, this Saturday I will attempt to totally unplug. We'll see how it goes! I'll have a full report on Sunday, detailing the internet withdrawal jitters I get.

Are you "slightly" addicted to social media or your smart phone? Have you tried unplugging?

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