Surviving the Switch Off

Technology

Last week I shared my plans to join Switch off Sunday this weekend just gone. I was excited and nervous and held high hopes for the day of connectedness (with my family) due to being disconnected (from social media). It was going to be a day (maybe even whole weekend) full of warm fuzzies, joy, smiles, all created with a soft golden glow.

My mum and youngest brother were visiting and, I thought the switch off would be so enlightening and refreshing for us all.

But, as with most things, it didn’t go exactly as I had planned.

Within the group there were varying degrees of success. From not making it through the morning to making it until midday the next day. The most noticeable thing, for me, was the attitudes. The complaining. It was like I had asked people to remove an integral, life giving appendage (I promise I didn’t) and in all of this, I felt the message and whole point was completely lost.

I, personally, didn’t find it difficult. I physically turned my phone off at midnight Friday night (we changed days so that I could have my phone on while Ellie was out at a party Sunday) and didn’t touch it again until I turned it back on at midday Sunday. I think I could have done the whole weekend if Ellie was staying with us, but all I could think of was the year I went to a party and a girl broke her leg.

There were a few times while we were walking around a local island where I thought ‘that’s cute/stunning/amazing. It would make a great photo’ but mostly I was lamenting that I had decided to leave my DSLR home as well.

One of the big things I will take away is feeling like spending time with me/my children wasn’t as important as talking to some other person. That we weren’t a priority. It gave me a resolve to not continue to grab those moments  to ‘escape’ around my children. I don’t want them to feel like that, even though I know that I am simply trying to get a breather, all they know is what they feel and what they feel is probably the same a I did that day. I also want to be more present when visiting with people, like my grandparents next weekend. They don’t understand the compelling nature of this connected life we lead and I am sure they hate to see us checking our phones absently mindedly while we talk to them.

I think I will also be switching off for a whole day more often. I’m even entertaining the notion of making my 30th a ‘switch off zone’ with disposable and digital cameras provided for those who like the snap pics. But then I think maybe no one will come because there are important things they cannot miss.

Now that I have shared my thoughts on switching off, here are what my ‘victims’ thought;

Caleb, at 17, felt disconnected and wondered what was happening in the NBA.
As a teenager, maybe it was harder on him than the rest of us as it’s pretty much all they know of socialising and interacting with their peers. Nothing happens without the digital and online element also added.

James, 29, felt it was unfair that others around him were on their phones when he wasn’t and felt annoyed that I didn’t have my phone to take photos when we went something pretty.
I was proud of James and his effort. I could tell he was suffering, that he was struggling to get through the night as others got their fix, but in the end he did it – the whole day.

Mum shared her thoughts here;

…. having minimal warning Becky was planning the household to
‘switch off’ I wasn’t really mentally prepared for the day.   I made
an effort to comply,  and the day was easier than I had expected.  But
when night feel,  my habit of talking to family and friends kicked in
– and I failed.

I felt really bad that I couldn’t make the full day, but I was so
proud of Becky that she stuck to get guns – dragging out a cookbook
instead of Google to make us scones for supper!

I deserve lots of praise for finding and using an actual cookbook. I don’t remember the last time I did that.

Did you switch off? What were your thoughts?

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4 Comments

  1. Well done! I think my children think they will die without technology, but it’s amazing how well we do. I think I couldn’t live without my DSLR thought!

    As for scones? YUMMY! x

    • Thankfully, my kiddos aren’t quite at that stage where they can’t be without technology. It was a really great day for me. I did find leaving the DSLR at home tough and probably wouldn’t do that again.

  2. I’ve made it a conscious rule to switch off at 9pm – an hour or so before bed. Since having done this, I sleep so much better.
    It’s amazing how much social media and the computer can clutter your brain before bed.

    • I’ve been thinking about doing something like this as well, although, I find I am often rushing a blog post right up until I get into the shower before bed and I am scared I will never get anything posted if I actually committed to it.

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