Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Taking Back Your Time: Is Unplugging the New Green?

"I'm taking FB/twitter hiatus for August as part of deepening my practice and my ability to listen and be present for this next year."
- Facebook update by Marianne Manilov, Engage Network

Maybe it's because it's summer, but lately I've been hearing more and more people talking about spending less time online. Below is a collection of articles and posts about what I think is an upcoming cultural trend: unplugging.

When Guests Check In, Their iPhones Check Out from The Wall Street Journal

"With hotels, resorts, and travel companies scrambling to fill rooms, a small but growing number are rolling out 'unplugged' and 'digital detox' packages to entice people who need a push to take a break from their screens."

 Could you go info vegan? A Diet for Information Overload from The Washington Post

"If that weren’t enough to prove the movement fighting the data deluge is gaining steam, there’s now a nonprofit devoted to tackling the problem: The Information Overload Research Group launched in February to 'conquer information overload' and 'restore sanity' to working professionals."

The GOOD 30-Day Challenge: Unplug at 8 on

"The rules are simple: After 8 p.m. on weekdays, you get off the internet. No email, no blogging, you can't even read If you use your computer like a TV for watching movies and shows, that's fine, but nothing else."

Trendspotting for 2011 - A Call to Marketers
from Clickosity

"The need to unplug is emerging as a countertrend to consumers’ technological dependence, born from the fear that too much exposure hurts a person’s relationships and critical thinking abilities" 

Gwen Bell's Digital Sabbatical story and resources on 

"I wanted to - and did - learn to untangle my self-worth from what was happening in my digital world."

Pulling the Plug on Party of 4 

"Wendy and I have been talking a lot lately about pulling the plug on our various digital devices. We all of us in our family experience the frustration that comes with trying to connect with someone who is physically present, but has their attention on a smart phone, computer, or TV."

Friday's Confession: I Want to Quit the Internet
on Crafty Fanny

"I love 'meeting' new people through their blogs, or facebook, or twitter. I love reading things that inspire me. I love staying informed about what my friends are doing, and feeling like I'm able to be involved in their lives while also maintaining a busy life of my own.

But sometimes it's too much. Sometimes, I don't know when to stop. Sometimes, I have to go to an extreme self-imposed limit to find some much-needed balance."

National Day of Unplugging
March 4-5, 2011

"For 24 hours, starting at sundown Friday March 4, 2011, individuals, families and community organizations across the nation reclaimed time, slowed down their lives and reconnected with friends, family, the community and themselves."

What do you think?  Will de-teching, un-plugging, and being an info-vegan, become a new trend?

How do you balance your online and offline life?

Photo by me (:

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  1. If I dive into this collection, do I admit defeat? I, too, am craving the disconnected time. A 2-week vacation would hit the spot.

  2. Love that photo, Britt! And thanks for the links and the shoutout. I'm tellin ya, digital devices are the new crack. My iPhone is away for repairs. It was hard to let it go, yet I was looking forward to it. Then I noticed phantom vibrations going on in my pants pocket. Then I found myself rooting around among some old electronics. I unearthed an old iPod, charged it up, and now I'm carrying that around. Sheesh. I feel like an alcoholic grubbing around for cooking wine in the back of the kitchen cabinets...

  3. Michael ~

    I went to a great session at BlogHer '11 led by Gwen Bell about unplugging. I think they'll have an audio recording available of it, but for now, here's the liveblog transcript:

  4. i really appreciated this article: I would like to make Saturdays an unplugged day. At least until after the kids go to bed. Not sure what Dan will think. I have a terrible daily habit of playing with my two year old and intermittently wandering over to my computer to check email and FB, rather than being fully in the moment with him. It's got to change. I think the only way I can make the change is to put the computer away for the day, far away, not just shut it down and have it sitting on a nearby table. I'm working on it!

  5. Thanks for the link to the article, Zoe!

    Since I wrote the post, I listened to an interesting interview on Being with Krista Tippett that talked some about the relationship between technology and parenting.

    It was an interview with Sherry Turkle who wrote Alone Together:


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