Everyday Inspiration

Everyday Inspiration


How to Unplug and Start Connecting

posted by Alex Blackwell

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

During a recent family vacation, Emily, my younger daughter, invited two friends to our vacation home in Florida. We picked up Abby and Jordan from the Orlando airport and then headed northeast for the 75-minute drive.

After a few minutes of catching up, the girls suddenly went quiet. Not a word was spoken. Instead each one was focused on their smartphones texting, Tweeting and Snapchatting.

Noticing the disconnection, I ordered the smartphones put away. Emily, Jordan and Abby complied, but I could tell they weren’t sure what to do next.

This incident isn’t unlike others I see. The next time you are in a restaurant or waiting in line at the grocery store, watch how plugged-in some people are with their devices while being disconnected with the people around them.

Maybe it’s just becoming aware when you get too plugged in and then having a plan to stop. If you need a few pointers with how to unplug and start connecting, consider these ideas:

Triage your technology
It may be impossible to unplug everything at once. Take an inventory of what is vying for your attention and prioritize the true need and usefulness of each item. When online or at your computer, consider not opening your email’s inbox so your attention can be placed on the task at hand.

It’s all about timing
Find a time when you can enjoy all of the things you love being connected to without ignoring the needs of others, or even your own personal needs. Sometimes when you try to abstain completely from a habit or activity, the results are short-lived.

Instead, carve out time each day when you plug in to what interests you and enjoy it without feelings of guilt interfering. For me, that’s first thing in the morning.

Take a technological Sabbath.
There is a growing trend to declare one day of the week as technology-free. On this day, many are unplugging from what holds their attention the most. Televisions, computers and personal devices are turned off.

While the intent here is well-meaning; it may not be practical for everybody. There are many jobs that require employees to use the Internet or other technologies on a daily basis to perform their responsibilities.

If you are in this position, consider taking a half Sabbath when you return home for the evening or over the course of the weekend.

Think outside of the box
We can be creatures of habit. Many have created habits around how we use technology. For some, technology is the primary activity that occupies most of their time. If you find yourself in this situation, begin to think of other activities you can do which do not require being plugged in to anything; other than just life itself.

Acknowledge the difficulty
Change can be difficult. It’s important to recognize in the beginning it will be hard to do things differently. There is comfort in the familiar and in how you have always done things.

The inclination to glance down when you hear a text message arrive, regardless if you are in middle of a conversation with someone else, can be hard to resist.

Acknowledge in the beginning it will not be easy. Rather than measuring your progress on a negative scale, what you’re not doing; measure your success more positively by realizing what you are doing.

Begin by making slight adjustments with your ability to unplug. Soon, your level of real-life connection will become more powerful. As your connection to life beyond technology continues to grow, stop and allow yourself to realize how much fun you are having and the personal fulfillment you are gaining.

About Alex Blackwell

Alex Blackwell is a father, husband and writer. He writes about inspiring things at The BridgeMaker.
Web | Inspiring Things | Free eBook: How to Love Consciously



Previous Posts

Sunday Inspiration #67
Today’s Sunday Inspiration: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” - Socrates About Alex Blackwell Alex Blackwell is a father, husband and writer.

posted 7:53:10pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Faith: Live It. Give It!
"Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark." - Rabindranath Tagore It can be easy to lose your way sometimes. Disappointment. Feeling like you’ve failed. Not measuring up in your mind. These things can deliver a punch so powerful it can feel like you can’t breathe.

posted 10:26:53pm Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »

How to Keep Your Love Alive in a Crazy and Sometimes Cruel World
"Let your love be like the misty rains, coming softly, but flooding the river." - Malagasy Proverb You have probably heard the statistics about marriage—more than half will end in divorce. You don't marry the person you fell in love with intending to divorce down the road. You fell in love for

posted 10:26:41pm Jan. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Sunday Inspiration #66
Today’s Sunday Inspiration: "Learn from the past and let it go. Live in today." - Louise L. Hay About Alex Blackwell Alex Blackwell is a father, husband and writer.

posted 8:46:42pm Jan. 17, 2015 | read full post »

5 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Life More
"The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit." - Moliere Do you sometimes feel like you are on a racetrack? Everything you do, you are in a hurry. It is normal in society today. People are so busy, they don't take time for themselves. Food is done within seconds, the Internet is faste

posted 1:04:20am Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.