Off the Grid

Yesterday I shut off my phone for two hours.  I stepped away from the computer and away from all technology.  I had no outside social media connection.  I went for a walk to the nearby beach and walked back.  No technology at all.  No Instagram filter of the sunset and no vlog of me walking down to the beach and back.

internet addiction

(my foot felt pretty good as well…no pain but noticeable ache)

I was completely disconnected from social media and from everything that exists online (which is everything right?).  It really made me think about how dependent we (as a society) have become on technology. Yesterday during my walk I found myself thinking, it’s funny how touch screens have caused us to become out of touch with the real world.

Isn’t that true, with life, with running, with everything?

With the invention of social media, we never lose touch with the internet.  How many times have you been somewhere only to realize your phone is going to die soon?  Or you haven’t been able to check your email, post a Facebook status, check a blog or Instagram?  I know I have been several times.  I know I have gotten upset that my phone is going to die.  The horror of being disconnected!

Life used to move forward before social media.  We used to do something for ourselves, not for the amount of likes, follows, or blog comments we would receive.  We used to go for runs not to record them online but because we enjoyed running.

Internet Addiction (2)

A couple of years ago I decided to turn off my cell phone and internet around 9pm. It’s been something I’ve pretty much kept with since.  There are always exceptions but for the most part I like to unplug around 9.  It’s rare for you to see a text, tweet, etc. from me after that time.  I find this time to be personal “me time”.  I don’t worry what life changing facebook update is coming, or what tweet is being sent.  It’s a great part of my day.  I haven’t missed anything and I get time away from the screen.

I’m not challenging anyone to find an hour of their day to take a walk technology free.   I’m not challenging anyone to take an hour of their day and keep internet free but I will say it’s one of the best things I do for myself.  Our society is only going to keep advancing technology and it’s important for us as individuals to find our balance.

In an effort to better myself, I’ve started to clean up my social media usage.  Instead of spending hours online, I’m spending hours pursuing other hobbies too.  I’m not looking for the next new blog, the next new person to follow on Instagram, the next new article…the next anything.  I’m spending enjoying my outside life.

Questions for you:

When are you known to be “off the grid”?



21 responses

  1. I need to try your method of unplugging past 9 (or maybe 8… we go to bed early, haha). It’s WAYYYY too easy for me to just get sucked into social media or blog stuff right before bed, and then I feel like I never had any “off” time that day!

    A few weeks ago I challenged myself to NOT immediately check my phone when I wake up. I have to get up and get moving and THEN I can decide if I want to sit down at my laptop and check email, instagram, etc. I was finding that I laid in bed for like 30 minutes just doing random stuff and then for the whole rest of the morning I felt like a bum… it was no good.

  2. I love going for walks on the beach unplugged. When I exercise, that’s probably the #1 time I’m completely unplugged (aside from sleeping). Ever since I started working full time at a computer all day though, I’ve noticed that I’m basically unplugged when I get home. I have no desire to be on a computer, my tweeting is significantly less than it was, and I’m mostly catching up with roommates or friend that I spend most of my free time with. My phone stays in its room and my laptop hasn’t been opened in weeks. I’ll read thought catalog on my iPad before bed but for the most part, if I’m not at work, I’m unplugged, and I really like that.
    Reading this kind of made me want to go for a walk this morning LOL

  3. I was just thinking about this yesterday. I need to set times to be online or on my phone. And as soon as I don’t work Sundays I want Sundays to be everyone in my family’s off line family day. If I get too suckered in, I find myself getting depressed.

  4. I always turn my phone off for classes. So many people are on their phones during class, and I think that’s a waste of their class time. Classes only have about 20 people, so professors can see people on their phones, and I think it’s disrespectful. We are paying a lot of money to be at Saint Ben’s/ St. John’s, so we might as well get the most out of class time.

  5. The only time that being on my phone annoys me is when I’m watching a film or programme on the TV. I find that I stop concentrating on what happens – so I try and be strict with myself then. Otherwise I don’t mind being ‘connected’ so much. I enjoy the interactions and the accessibility of news and knowledge at my finger tips. I might be a sad muppet for this but that’s just me! Saying that though I’m not actually always on my phone. I don’t feel I get the shakes if I can’t use my phone – the internet will still be there when I get back to it!

  6. I’m known for very “off the grid” often – I do not turn my cell off during the day, but it is around – mostly because my son is in daycare.

    The one time (on the first day at a new school) that I had the phone away – my son broke his leg and I had no clue that several people were calling/texting me. They had to call the school to tell me to check my phone. So after that, I always have it on me.

    BUT – in the evenings, I sometimes keep my phone in my purse or upstairs – I do have to keep it on me sometimes due to supply teaching calls, but there are nights I don’t even look at it. I’m very rarely on the computer in the evening – mostly because of how much I spend on it during the day

  7. this is such a great post. i need to do better at this — finding the balance can be difficult for me. thanks, lady for encouraging me to be more intentional about stepping away from the online world! 🙂

  8. This is a great blog post. It’s been something on my mind lately. There are so many pros/cons to social media. I’m glad majority of my childhood didn’t take place where social media was as saturating as it now. Thanks for giving me a bit of motivation to evaluate the time is spend,and at times waste, on the internet. It’s something I need to be more mindful of.

    • I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed it. I’m also really glad social media didn’t really exist when I was in high school or early college.

  9. I spent most of September off the grid for me haha, and I really loved it. As much as I enjoy blogging, it was nice to not have the time if that makes sense but instead just have to live like a normal person with even less internet time than usual. It’s something I want to keep up with even when things slow down a little this month. I feel better and enjoy things more when I’m not so involved in social media, and that can’t be beat

  10. I should be better about being “unplugged.” If I’m with people, I will occasionally check in but I don’t sit on my phone. I never scroll through instagram or FB if other people are around (unless Jon is driving me somewhere or something). I tend to focus on who I am spending time with and actually find it frustrating when I spend time with people who are constantly texting others. I will respond to a short text if I need to if I’m out (like, I’ll be home at this time or to answer a specific question) but I don’t go back and forth with texting at all. Any gym time is offline too. I don’t even take my phone. The world can live without me for an hour or so. I feel less interested in Facebook and instagram lately but still check them out of boredom. I actually don’t care at all what everybody else is doing on my news feed.

  11. 9 p.m. is my tech cut-off time too. Laptop shuts down, I call my mom quickly, and then it’s off to bed. Oh, and when I work out too I’m off my phone. I bring it with me for emergency situations, but I can’t text/tweet/etc. while I’m running or biking.

    • I really like to turn my phone onto the emergency setting so only a few calls, texts can get through after 9pm. That’s what I do with my phone too while running!

  12. I am better about unplugging from social media than from work. I haven’t been on facebook or instagram in a couple days I don’t think.
    But work…forget it, I get slight anxiety about what could be happening if my phone isn’t around.
    I was literally doing work while running the Bronx 10 miler on Sunday because an emergency came up! Such is life in the news world!

  13. I don’t have a smart phone… on purpose. And it’s just because I don’t want to be connected ALL the time. Granted, I probably spend too much time on Facebook or catching up on blogs / vlogs, but – for the most part – I don’t think I do too badly.
    It’s so easy to become addicted to social media, and I am trying my best not to let that happen. Ha, ha. 😉

  14. Social media is a wonderful thing but it can also be all consuming. I think it’s so important to have a bit of ‘me’ time away from it all so I try to turn everything off an hour before I head to bed.

  15. James and I sometimes (okay often) will be in each other’s company but on our phones. We kind of have an unspoken rule that when either of us are trying to interact with each other — it’s definitely phones away. And neither of us have an issue with saying “hey, let’s put the phones away”. I agree though — we are always so connected. Sometimes at night (7pm+) is the only time I actually check social media, etc. besides push notifications because I am constantly doing something.

  16. I had turned tech off before bed but it’s slowly creeped in. I’m missing nothing. I need to unplug especially after spending lots of it me with my phone and work and such. I hate hanging out with people in person when they are on their phone all the time. It’s sad really, especially with people younger than me that grew up with these devices all the time.

  17. I’m online all day at work. Sometimes that means I’m “up to date” (whatever that means) on Twitter and FB, sometimes that means I’m working my tail off and don’t have time to check in. While I’m connected most of the day, and do enjoy reading blogs and writing, I’m also pretty good at unplugging when I need to. I don’t constantly check in when I’m out with friends because I’m enjoying my time with them. I think I have a decent balance, but I could also probably be more balanced.

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