Almost Unplugged

I took my computer with me on vacation. But I never turned it on. Never even took it out of the bag.

At first it wasn’t deliberate. I figured as soon as we had less than perfect beach weather I would get caught up on personal email and check both work emails. But the first cloudy day was ten days into the trip. At that point, I figured work could wait. Even posting something new here didn’t seem to be a priority.

The “experts” tell us we need to spend more of our lives unplugged, taking a break from social media and email. I’ve never been sure about the benefits. I like to know what is going on in the world, and I have a lot of news feeds in my email. After two weeks more or less unplugged, I’m not sure I am any better for it.

On the other hand, skipping social media doesn’t bother me. I’m not sure if I have posted anything to my social media acounts in 2022. (This blog doesn’t count – it auto-posts.) But I know for some people even an hour away from social media can induce anxiety.

Not checking my email is another matter. Most of what I receive is routine – posts from blogs I subscribe to, news alerts, offers from various companies I do business with (and bills of course) and a myriad of other things. There are even a few personal messages mixed in.

Those I did check during my vacation, using my phone and only answering if necessary. I also looked at prayer requests from my church’s email prayer chain. Anything else I figured could wait. Which may explain why I had more than 800 new unread messages when I came home.

Most of those I will probably delete unread. Who cares about what was happening in the news two weeks ago? Whatever was important then has probably been superceded by something else. I’ll check the news today to learn what I need to know.

As for my work email, when I log into it later this morning, I expect to see about a thousand unread messages. Once again, many of those I won’t need to read.

After two weeks of being mostly unplugged, I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel any more rested than after a vacation in which I have check my emails frequently. Will I do it again next year? I don’t know.

What about you? Have you taken a similar pause from email and social media? How did you feeel afterward? Was it worth it? Would you do it again?

You can use the comments box to share your thoughts.

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