By Sunny Simon
The other day I received a note from my friend Jenny in Florida. She read my column about turning down the noise and had this to say: “I try to remind myself everyday to make quiet time for myself. I’m getting better at it. I remember the time when we lost power for most of the evening and into the early morning during a bad storm. After the storm was over, my husband and I (and our little dog) went for a walk holding hands and enjoying the moments; then we came home, got out the candles, sat on the couch and talked about life. We laughed and talked for hours. It was so enjoyable, no TV, no computer, or internet. I sometimes think about hitting the breaker box just to get my husband away from the TV and me away from my computer.”
Messing with the breaker box might be a bit on the drastic side, but my friend has the right idea. Unplugging from the outside world can be challenging, but as evidenced by Jenny’s story, letting go of the need for continual online linkage creates more room in your life for people who matter. Sure your 500+ connections on Facebook and your Twitter following are real people, but nothing is more important than sharing one-on-one time with those you love.
There are other advantages in powering-down all electronic devices and experiencing the world without all the static. Ceasing to consume the myriad of information bombarding us daily through the internet and media gives us time to process and create. Writing fresh content for my column or blog doesn’t happen by surfing the net or reading posts on Facebook. I need quiet think-time to design a meaningful message that creates value for my readers.
Ever stopped to consider the additive nature of constantly tuning in? A friend of mine lets the world know where she is at all times by using the “check-in” feature on Facebook. She is one of my very favorite people, but it isn’t really necessary for me to know when and where she gets her pedicures. Oh, you know her too?
Ready to schedule a timeout? Try designating one day a week to unplug. If you cannot manage an entire day, try four hours. Take time to embrace silence, enjoy nature or connect with a loved one to experience some hand holding and romantic walks. If all else fails, turn off your phone, light the candles and hit the breaker box!