reflections on my first national day of unplugging

march 3-4 was the 2017 national day of unplugging (ndu). i think i learned about the ndu through timewellspent. i put it on my calendar back in january, realized it was the day of the urban ag conference, and figured i’d do it anyways. i decided to do it sundown (536p friday) to sundown (538p saturday). here’s what came up for me:

how i got around

because i didn’t have my phone to look at the time in my room, i just got up when i felt like it was time. my oven timer told me that it was 630a. because i didn’t have my phone to check the train times, i just left the house when i was ready. it was nice to just let things flow.

what i paid attention to

because i wasn’t listening to anything on my walk or reading anything on the train (though i could have read a book), i just observed things around me. i was much more intent on people watching and listening. even though i walk to and from the train station almost the same way every day, i definitely noticed some houses i hadn’t before.

fewer texts out means fewer texts in

one thing i’ve realized is that texting is a cycle that i must be an active participant of to keep going. i always imagine i’m going to come back from 24h offline and have zillions of texts, but it almost never happens. it does happen sometimes, but rarely. the first few times i was a little butthurt. but i’ve noticed that days when i’m on my phone, i get a lot more texts. so now my operating theory is just that when i’m texting people a lot, i get a lot of texts. and when i text people infrequently, they respond in accordance. and all this is making me think (which i actually think i knew before) that our addiction to these devices is really self-driven. it’s not everyone else’s fault that i’m too tired to my phone. me texting them prompts them to text me and then we get a conversation going. but fewer texts out actually results in fewer texts in. and it’s real nice to not feel overwhelmed by my phone.

definitely a good experience and now that i’ve tech sabbathed twice, i think i’m going to try and do it monthly.

one thing i didn’t do that the sabbathmanifesto website suggests is to commit to ndu in a group of people. in the future, it’d be nice to do it in community with people. i think enjoying the time unplugged together would be nice and then we could also all reflect on it together afterwards.

next year!

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