Saturday, July 20, 2013

Unplugging By Lisa DeFosse

As a society, we gravitate toward electronic communication and stimulation.  Some people use Facebook games and smartphone YouTube searches as a way to escape from their everyday lives.  Others fear they will miss something important if they shut off their phone or don’t check their emails every ten minutes.  As a whole, we have forgotten how to communicate and bond in person.  When was the last time you played a game of Scrabble?  No, not Words with Friends, but with the actual board game in front of you… face to face.

There is great value in “unplugging”.  Our family recently vacationed for ten days and spent the majority of the time without electronics.  We were five days in before we even turned on the television, and that was to see the local weather so we could plan our day. 

It is amazing the games and conversations that emerge when everyone isn’t neck deep in the latest funny YouTube video.  We bonded with each other on a deeper level and filled our time with laughter, card games, exploring and enjoying one another’s company.  After five days, we were up early and decided to check emails and Facebook.  We plugged in for a short time, got our fix, and then went back to life without electronics.  Leaving the phone behind was very liberating. 

I have challenged myself to “check-in” less often.  Do I really need to check my emails every ten minutes?  Will it be disastrous if I don’t see the latest status update of my closest friend until tomorrow?  I believe that taking more time for real connections is very important and unplugging can bring you closer to those you love and even to yourself as you can spend more time meditating or just enjoying the present moment.  Try unplugging for a day, or even just for dinner time with the family.  Resist the urge to pick up the phone every time it buzzes.  Check your emails every hour instead of every ten minutes.  Take some time back for yourself and you might find yourself happier and healthier than ever.

Lisa DeFosse is a licensed massage therapist and a certified Reiki Master. She lives in Windham with her husband and three sons.

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