Unplugging

Unplug
Unplug, by Openicons

My work requires Internet connections and access to a computer for about 10-12 hours every day.  I star my day by writing an essay for my fellows in the 90-day Porn Detox, and then 3 days a week, I write something here.  Then I write for another blog I run.  And the I work on a book I am writing or work on animating videos for my upcoming series.  Breaks often are drinking coffee and reading news or blogs at my “desk” (a.k.a. the spot on my couch where I work, or the cafe down the road.)

And of course I have a few skype calls every day to clients around the planet.  I am on the computer 6-12 hours a day for work.  And then I often catch up with family, call my parents, surf the web for a bit, or read articles that my wife wants to share with me.  With the exception workouts, meetings for a few charitable organizations that I belong to, and breaks, I tend to be on this laptop most of my week day.

And this is not healthy.  It invites overwork, over-stimulation, and it can be exhausting.  I try my best to be smart about it, by getting up and walking around every hour or two, by starting my day with exercise, and having a wind-down period without a screen before bed… but it is still draining.  And I know that many of my readers are in the same boat.  24-hour connectivity is a part of modern life – but not a healthy one.

The Internet is a tool with a high cost.  The constant influx of news and human drama can be stressful.  the dose of serotonin you get from social media can be addictive, and so can gaming on the side.  If you run a small business there is always one more bill to pay, one more quick check of your website stats to check, or one more relevant article to read.

It is important to unplug every once in awhile – to get away from the Internet and relax.  And that is exactly what I am doing for the next three or four days.  No Internet, minimal screen time, and a lot of sunlight and chilling by the Lake.  For a person who spends all day on the Internet, even home can be an exotic location when you are not staring at a screen.   If you can manage it, give it a try for yourself.  You’ll thank yourself.