A Tech Break Will Absolutely Benefit You

September 28, 2017

Does just the mere mention of unplugging from technology cause your heart to race? Maybe it is time to consider what a tech break might do for you?

Does just the mere mention of unplugging from technology cause your heart to race, your breathing to increase, and you begin to panic while frantically looking for your phone? If so, maybe it is time to consider what a  tech break might do for you?

But Wait – Is Technology All That Bad?

Don’t you love what technology can offer? Don’t know how to use the new vacuum, don’t understand a word used, fascinating story on TV and you want to dive further – not a problem. In mere seconds with a touch of the keys, you have it all available.

Heck, one can even add fuel to the fire when in the middle of a heated discussion. A quick search and you have data to prove your point. Of course be careful on this one because the opposing opponent can look too.

Then move on to friendships. Wow, we can now make friends with people all over the world. We can see their babies growing up, their families changing and of course their perfect world on screen.

No, I don’t think technology is all that bad but how we use it can leave us unrested, grumpy, feeling worthless, and a fragmented mess.

What Happens When We Allow Technology to Interrupt Constantly

  • Our thoughts become fragmented.
  • We miss out on what is right before us. (At dinner the other night I observed a couple on a date who rarely spoke or looked up from their phones.)
  • Peace becomes harder to attain.
  • Creativity goes down.
  • Causes us to be UNRESTED.
  • Frustration rises. (I once threw my phone at my husband in the middle of the lake because he wanted to give up on finding reception.)
  • Helps us enter the arena of comparing ourselves to others and coming up short. After all, don’t people show lives that look perfect online?
  • We feel trapped or chained to something. (NOT FREE)

No wonder we feel tired all of the time. All of that jabbing, poking, comparing, disrupting, and beckoning us to come away from the present moment will leave one exhausted.

So Why Take a Tech Break?

Let me start with a few questions: When was the last time you felt rested? Are you tired right now? Do you think just maybe technology is the contributing factor to the tired out stage?Does just the mere mention of unplugging from technology cause your heart to race? Maybe it is time to consider what a tech break might do for you?

Well, I believe there is only one way to find out. Try an experiment.

What Prompted Me?

So this summer as I saw my favorite bloggers taking time away from the computer screen to rest and restore. I found myself in a quandary. It seemed like an excellent idea, it made sense and yet I had many great excuses of why it was not for me.

I was perplexed and frankly a little tired, so I decided I would try an experiment or a trial run so to speak – just to see if I might feel more rested, more creative, more at peace.

My Experiment with a Tech Break

So I set out to take an entire week away from technology. Wish I could lie right here and say, “I did it 100%.” As the week approached my anxiety rose, and I couldn’t quite do it but I came pretty darn close, and the results were unbelievable and unexpected.

The Value in Unplugging

  • It is a fabulous feeling to own your time.
  • Sleeping at night came easier and in abundance.
  • Things around me came alive with color (Trees aren’t just green they have many shades of green.)
  • Connection with others was deeper and more meaningful.
  • My relationship with God deepened.
  • The small things in life became the big stuff.
  • Freedom was felt and lived.
  • Peace permeated my soul.
  • Thankfulness flowed from my heart.
  • Noticing the need for a more uninterrupted time became evident.
  • Living in the present moment is spectacular
  • I was rested.

Let’s face it – we are inundated with information coming at us at rapid speed. We have constant interruptions in our work, play, relationships, and rest. It has to be taking a toll on us but don’t let me tell you – try your own experiment.

Find What Works for You

Maybe a full-on unplugging is not in the cards but how about an altered plan you might be willing to experiment with? Try a date out with a friend or a walk and leave your phone at home. Pick one day of the week where you deem it electronically free. The ideas are endless, but the point is…

Turn off the electronics and stop the interruptions and see if you find rest for your soul.

Please share with us how you have managed to take a tech break in your life?  What were the benefits?


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32 Comments

  1. Reply

    Lori Schumaker of Seaching for Moments

    I am beginning to think it can truly manifest as a form of addiction. It’s so hard to step away but the freedom in it is amazing, isn’t it? I love what you discovered by your tech detox, Maree!! And I’m so thankful for your presence at #MomentsofHope each week! ♥

    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Lori,
      I agree it is like an addiction. I am finding ways on a daily basis to keep it in another room. I don’t want to be known as the mom or friend that always has her head down looking at her phone. However, I do love looking things up. You are so sweet with your comment. I am so thankful for your link-up and blog. It adds so much value to my life.

  2. Reply

    Neca C. Smith

    Hi Maree! Taking time away from tech is necessary for self-care these days. I like take an hour a day to unplug from all electronics. I often do media fast where I disengage from all secular media or sometimes none at all. I find that have much more clarity when I’m not overloading myself with information and allowing myself to be distracted. Last month during the hurricane my power was out for a most of the day and I totally enjoyed the quiet… Thanks for this much needed reminder!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Neca,
      I hope the hurricane didn’t to do much damage to your property. It sounded awful. So glad you could enjoy the quiet with the power off, I think I might have stressed a bit about it. I like your idea of taking an hour a day to unplug. I think I might just start my hour right now. Thank you for stopping by.
      Maree

  3. Reply

    Heather Hart

    I unplugged last month and it was heavenly. I definitely want to do it more often.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Heather,
      I need to try a month at a time. I keep hearing how wonderful it is. A week was great but a month sounds amazing. THank you for stopping by and sharing.
      Maree

  4. Reply

    sarahgirl3

    I don’t even take a tech break while I watch tv these days. Yikes. It is so engrained in us to check email or social media that we don’t even think about it. Thanks for the push!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah,
      I know what you mean about watching tv with technology at your fingertips. I do this frequently. However, I find doing one thing at a time rests the brain. Good luck!
      Maree

  5. Reply

    Aimee Kollmansberger

    I so agree. I do an Unplugged Sunday each week, but this fall I am seeing that I need even more time away from tech. I have begun staying off social media each day until noon and it really helps start my day centered, focused, and present.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Aimee,
      I like that idea of staying off for a certain amount of time. I do the Sunday tech-free too, but only until five and not 100%. I am working on it.
      Hope you have a wonderful day!
      Maree

  6. Reply

    The Importance of Unplugging (Salt & Light #21) - Milk and Honey Faith

    […] I am featuring Maree Dee from Embracing the Unexpected because she discusses the importance of […]

  7. Reply

    Joanne Viola (@JViola79)

    Maree, there is much wisdom in this post. We need to take a break – from technology, from our work, from the routines. And we need to give ourselves time each day away from it all. It can get quite “noisy” in this world. I find myself craving just the quiet – the stillness – in some part of my day. Glad to have stopped here today!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Joanne,

      I agree we need to give ourselves time each day for the stillness. I haven’t entirely incorporated that into my day. Thank you for stopping by and sharing a little bit of your wisdom. I would love to hear if you have managed to find time each day and if so what that looks like. I need it. Maree

  8. Reply

    TiffineyHolmes

    Hi Marie! I so agree with what you’ve said here. Matter of fact, I took a four month blogging break to plan my daughters wedding (huge undertaking while homeschooling too) and it was completely liberating! I experienced everything that you listed on your value list in spades. Yes, trees really do come in several shades of green! But the biggest benefit was being available to my kids with out them seeing me in a device constantly. Now the wedding is over and I’m back to blogging, but I’ll be sure to plan breaks periodically. Thanks for sharing over at coffee for your heart!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Tiffany, Thank you for sharing your experience. Wow, a more extended break sounds magnificent. I got a hand it to you: blogging, homeschooling, and planning a wedding it a massive undertaking. You are a superstar. I hope the wedding went well. Thank you for stopping by and sharing. Maree

      1. Reply

        TiffineyHolmes

        Hey Marie, here are a few pics from the wedding. I love sharing them. Enjoy! http://welcomehomeministry.com/parenting/im-still-barely-ive-got-great-pics/

        1. Reply

          Maree Dee

          I loved the pictures. Thank you for sharing. It looks like it was a beautiful event. Your daughter looked gorgeous and so happy. Congratulations!

  9. Reply

    ordinarilyextraordinarymom

    I try as soon as I get home from work to stay away from all things blogging, email, social media, and to spend an hour uninterrupted with my kids. Helps me to be more present. We also cannot have phones at the dinner table or, of course at church. #babysteps #faithnfriends

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I love how you have implemented tech-free time and zones. Thank you for sharing them here. Since I am working at home, I think I might try and to implement a tech-free time when everyone else gets home. Thank you for the ideas.

  10. Reply

    Timberley @ Living Our Priorities

    Such a great post and so true; unplugging is essential for us. Lately I have become ok with not be connected 24/7. Realizing that it will be ok if I miss a day or two with what’s happening on social media. I have even taken it as far as if I don’t respond to every comment on our blog it will be ok. Great post thank you for sharing. Stopping by from Salt and Light Link Up.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      It sounds like we could all use some of your tips. Thank you for sharing. You are so right it will be okay if we miss a day or two.
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend,

      Maree

  11. Reply

    Brenda

    Oooh, so glad you were able to get some rest, Maree. Great list of benefits you received from your week unplugged. ((Hug))

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brenda,

      I love seeing your comment each week. Thank you! Yes, I was amazed by some of the benefits. I hadn’t expected all of them. I had no idea I would feel so rested.

      Maree

  12. Reply

    Natalie @ Milk & Honey Faith

    Maree, guess what?! I have no other choice but to feature you again for next week’s Salt & Light Linkup lol. This past week your post on overwhelm tugged at my heartstrings and now this post is an echo of my sentiments because it so happens I am unplugging all next week while on vacation. Coincidence? I think not! Your writing is spot on! God is good!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Natalie,
      Wow, I love hearing when my writing is spot on. God is good! I will be praying for your week of unplugging. I have to admit I almost didn’t write about it because I did a week of unplugging back in July and things went a little haywire after that. I went from so rested to feeling overwhelmed in a matter of weeks. I am a work in progress trying to figure out what works on a daily basis. The good news is I am aware of what it feels like to unplug and pull closer to God, and I want more of it. Hope you have a wonderful vacation.

      Blessings,

      Maree

    2. Reply

      Maree Dee

      THank you!

  13. Reply

    Theresa Boedeker

    Maree, yes we need to take tech breaks for all the reasons you said. I try to take most of Saturday and Sunday off, except texting my daughter or sister. We went to two national parks this summer and they do not have TVs, or cell reception in most of the park. I knew this going in, but it was nice to have a forced fast. All of us. Although once we climbed to a mountain top and suddenly all these texts came in. I checked them, but nothing else.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Theresa,

      I bet a forced break from tech is good. It must have felt strange when they all came in at once? I take Sunday’s off, but I think I might try for Saturday’s too or a limited day. I like that idea. Thank you for sharing,

      Maree

  14. Reply

    Lois Flowers

    Maree, I enjoyed reading what you noticed and learned when you took your tech break, especially the color part! 🙂 I haven’t ever taken a tech break, per se, but I do have some personal rules about electronics that I stick too. The biggest one is that I don’t ever access the internet on my phone … no twitter, blog, email, instagram, anything. I just use it for texting, calling and writing notes. I spend (waste) enough time on the internet at home, and I just decided when I’m out and about, I want to be engaged in my surroundings and not stuck in my phone. I know this isn’t possible for people who use their phones a lot for work and such, but does help me a lot, I think. I hope you have a restful day, with or without electronics!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Lois,

      Thank you for sharing your idea. What a great idea to only use our phones for texting and calling. So true I am on it enough at home. I find when out with a friend or my husband I will keep my phone in my purse, but if they get up to go to the bathroom or take a call, I immediately pull it out and start working instead of just enjoying the moment and my surroundings. Thank you for the tip.
      Maree

  15. Reply

    mbethany

    Such good points, Maree! I’ve got a good long rant typed up about the effects of technology on our culture and lives, but it’s a mess haha. This is fantastic ecnouragement and I’m so glad your experiment was so beneficial. Taking a tech break for long is problematic for me because I work virtually as well. My version of tech breaks is not using social media on Sundays and choosing to leave my phone home or out of use during certain activities on a regular basis. It’s always so peaceful and refreshing!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Great ideas on taking a tech break, thank you for sharing. It ‘s hard to take a tech break when all your work is online. I am still trying to work it out. I keep trying little tricks to get that break.

      I too take Sunday’s off from technology, and it is wonderful. I hesitate to say that aloud though because after 5 pm I do go back online and I use my Ipad at church for the Bible.

      It is that going back and forth to technology that frazzles me. Designated hours might be worth trying. I like your thought of leaving it at home for certain activities.

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