Changing Focus Blogging Challenge: Getting Unplugged

Have you ever said, “Gee, I wish I could get rid of this thing?” Maybe you’re required to have a smartphone for work, or like the convenience of having everything in one place, but find you are tethered more often than you’d prefer.

Perhaps you think you can’t live without SM (social media) or your smartphone — after all, it’s replaced the camera for taking great photos — so you’re saying, “What are you thinking? We’re in lock down and this is my only way to connect with others!”

Trying to find the gift, the brighter side, the silver lining if you will, I’ve hoped people would use these challenging times to realize what really matters. For me, it is and always has been connecting — with others, with nature, with my surrounds.

Did you know thousands already unplug, and participate in the National Day of Unplugging? This annual event is always held the first weekend of March. It begins at sundown on Friday (let’s say after work) and ends (only if you want it to) at sundown on Saturday.

So, now that the National Day of Unplugging is this coming Friday, I’ve chosen “Unplugging” as the theme for the next blogging challenge. I guess that makes this a double challenge:

1. Give up SM and your device for 24 hours, and

2. Respond to the Changing Focus blogging challenge indicating how, when, why and/or where you unplug — hopefully from SM and your device(s) and not real people and life. But, it’s your interpretation and in the format you prefer. Maybe it’s your favorite activity while unplugging, or how you plug in to life…Just remember to add Changing Focus as a tag and provide a link to your response in a comment on this post.

As for me, 99% of the time I’m happily sans tech and SM by choice, and thrilled the unplugging movement is growing. Without listing all the daunting details of why I am a Neo-Luddite (there’s enough past blog posts about that) it’s mainly because I treasure:

  • Personal connection
  • Quality relationships
  • Thinking for myself
  • Meaningful communication
  • Conscious living

Pledge poster that I unplug to honor my values

Big Tech and SM don’t support my values, and particularly with the increased bullying and censorship of late, so thankfully, I’ve never indulged. Don’t jump in if you don’t want to jump out is my motto.

Yes, I get teased about not being with it but I’m not particularly fond of it when it is Big Bad Tech’s overreach to control my life. I don’t need bells and whistles, and whenever they tell me it’s for my convenience or to make my life better, I run the other way.

I’ve made a conscious choice to remain untethered to tech. The smart (aka dumb) phone is rarely turned on and usually just to let someone know if I’m running late. I still read maps (don’t have GPS), happily pay attention to my surrounds, and figure my way around detours.

I will hold out as long as I can. But outside pressures make it increasingly difficult and, sadly, even WP is inching that way. Life use to be more mellow before Big Tech arrived on the scene. Sigh.

When some people realize I am smartphone free, I first get the quizzical look and, “How is that possible?” When I explain how life still works without one, they grow curious. And then I explain how life really is better sans tech (and sans MSM actually).

Are you ready to give it a try? Can you do it for 24 hours? Then mark your calendar for this coming Friday, set your alarm if need be, and plug into 24 hours of freedom and peace. That’s right. Freedom and peace. Can you feel the tension melting away at just the thought? Big Smile.

Feeling a little fearful about taking the plunge to disconnect from tech? Check out this video by the Digital Minimalist who controls his tech rather than allowing it to control him. He’ll show you how to easily take your life back and live a more relaxed and productive life by unplugging daily.

As a little more encouragement for consciously choosing to unplug, here’s one you can fill in with your personal message:

Being unplugged is even easier for me since my hands need to be untethered and my focus in the moment for savoring activities I love. Here’s the ones I could still enjoy while restricted during a year (already) of ccp/Covid lockdowns…

  • Unplugging during ccp/Covid
  • Sign indicating "Gardening from planting to harvesting is a great hands on activity"
  • A hoe preparing dirt in the garden
  • Weeding the Garden (and playing Frisbee wtih Border Collie)
  • Laying straw to prevent weeds in the garden (and playing Frisbee with Border Collie)
  • Cluster of Blueberries
  • July Veggie and Herb Garden Flourishing
  • Fresh Garden Greens
  • Spade Harvesting Garlic
  • Plastic quart bags of cherry tomatoes next to basket of tomatoes of all sizes
  • Large bowl of red and green cherry tomatoes next to basket of ripened cherry tomatoes and jars of salsa and basil sprigs
  • Sign indicating "Cooking is the next natural step with a bountiful garden"
  • Fresh Garden Salad of beefsteak tomatoes, kalamata olives and fresh garden greens with shaved Parmesan Cheese
  • Herb Encrusted Veal Chop with Tuscan Salad
  • Grilled Summer Squash Stuffed with Sauteed Blossoms
  • Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Berries and Goat Cheese
  • Prosciutto and Apple Tart, and Asparagus Tart
  • Lamb Chop Dinner with Grilled Veggies and Coucous
  • Chopped up apples, green peppers, berries in a stock pot to make Pepper Jelly
  • Two-crust Apple Pie Decorated with hearts on Top
  • Sign indicating "Flower Arranging always gives me a lift and brightens the dining experience too"
  • Hydrangea Flower Arrangement
  • Autumn flower arrangement of mums
  • Bright pink dahlia and hydrangea flower arrangement
  • Purple blue and yellow petunia bell flower pot arrangement with stone indicating "Angels Gather Here"
  • Sign indicating "Hikes, Strolls and Drives help change the scenery while physical distancing"
  • Persons hiking to the top of a hillside
  • 4 weathered cemetery headstones
  • Y on country road in spring time bare trees and blue skies
  • Road through Autumn colored trees on one side and tall trees on the other side that are bare on the bottom
  • Sign indicating "Watching and caring for Wildlife is calming and stress-reducing...critters continue living life unaware of ccp/Covid restrictions"
  • A chipmunk nibbling away
  • yellow bird on spring buds
  • Two deer in winter landscape of snow
  • A Buck amidst autumn trees
  • Tutle headed toward pond water
  • Blue Heron standing on pond's edge
  • Sign indicating "Reading, writing and movies are Winter mainstays while keeping warm indoors..."
  • Comfortable reading chair with stack of books and DVDs near a firebplace and tall window
  • Writing tablet on empty white adirondeck chair amidst pink hydrangea and pot of pansies on green grass overlooking pond
  • Sign indicating "Photography changes my focus to see life differently"
  • Shadows on Snow and Ice
  • Iced Branches

Image credits in order of appearance:
Original featured image by Lukas on Pexels
Slideshow images by Write Gardener

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