Going Unplugged :: This Mom Takes on the Challenge


In honor of The National Day of Unplugging, I agreed to go off the grid for a full 48 hours! No email, Internet, Facebook, text messages, Instagram, Pinterest, phone calls, mindless website browsing, or Google Maps.

Being more present is one of my 2017 intentions, and limiting my daily screen time is one of the ways I hope to accomplish that goal. However, it’s been a little harder than I thought to simply “be on my phone less.” So I was excited to do an electronics detox to {hopefully} jump-start a new healthy habit, and stay more present and focused on the things that really matter.

Around 10PM on a Friday night I nervously held down the two buttons I never simultaneously press, and shut down my phone completely. About 3 minutes later I had to turn the phone back on when I remembered I needed to cancel my workout reservation for the next morning because of a conflict with my schedule, and I didn’t want to get charged the no-show fee. Then, at 10:05PM, my phone was shut off for good until Monday morning.

Going Unplugged North Phoenix Moms Blog

Saturday morning I woke up in a slight panic because I had no idea what time it was (a true millennial, I use my phone as my alarm/clock.) Once I realized it wasn’t even 7AM I laughed at myself, because I really haven’t slept in since I became a mom so I’m not sure what I was worried about. It felt weird but great to not instantly check social media, and I went out to the kitchen and made my tea.

While I waited for my toddler to wake up I started unloading the dishwasher, a normal morning task that I always drag out because it’s my least favorite chore. But I realized that it actually could be a quick to-do when you’re not checking your phone out of procrastination every few minutes.

Throughout the rest of the day I was overwhelmed with how efficient I was when I had nothing else to distract me.  And, the bonus of being more efficient with things you need to do is that you have more time for the things you want to do!  

I read a full book over the weekend, reorganized our kitchen/living room, worked with my husband on two shoots for Jumping Cholla Photography, celebrated my Mother-in-law’s birthday, washed (and folded!) all our laundry, and snuck off for a pedicure with my mom. It was honestly one of the best weekends I’ve had in awhile! I also felt more relaxed then I’ve felt in a looong time; just calm and content, and truly present. It was easy to notice how often people are on their phones, which is A LOT!

Now, there’s no judgment from me because normally I am one of those people: I use my phone non-stop, all day + every day. I use it for work, to keep in touch with our families, to stay up to date with friends, and of course I use it when I’m bored. But I’m realizing I think I’m bored way more than I really am. I honestly didn’t feel bored at all this weekend once mindless Internet browsing on social media was off the table.

I was able to fill up the spare moments with things I really enjoy doing: reading, playing with my daughter, and talking with my husband (and giving him my full attention.) There were really only a handful of times where I “needed” my phone or the laptop. But, I figured out a way to go without that phone call, or email check and everything turned out just fine.

Monday morning at 7AM my phone was turned back on. I had 45 emails (44 were basically spam, only 1 was an actual email), 47 Facebook notifications, 30 text messages, 102 Instagram notifications and 1 missed call. Not surprisingly, nothing was urgent, although I did give everyone warning I would be unavailable for two days and told my family to reach out to my husband if needed.

My unplugged takeaways:

  1. I’m going to implement “no electronics” during dinnertime rule. It’s easy to unknowingly glance at your phone a million times throughout dinner, or use it to check something real quick and then get distracted by all your notifications.
  2. I’m changing the notification settings on my phone for a few of my apps. I am admin for a lot of different groups on Facebook and I receive multiple notifications every hour for them. I do still need to receive the notifications, but I don’t need them pop up on my phone.
  3. I’m buying an alarm clock ASAP for my nightstand. Once I start winding down for bed, my phone is getting turned off and won’t get turned back on until after I’ve had my morning tea plus a few moments to myself after I wake up.

I would encourage everyone to set some limits of their family electronics! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just a few ground rules to help everyone connect face to face at some point every day.

How do you think you could be more unplugged during the week? Would you ever do a whole weekend unplugged? Comment below if you plan on unplugging for National Day of Unplugging on March 3-4!


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