IS “TAKING A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY” GOOD OR BAD?

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The internet is full of articles about how great it is to not be on the internet. Or engage with technology whatsoever. There are pretty common moves like deleting Twitter, to taking a week off Facebook (a week in which the writer solves every problem in their life), to more extreme moves like moving to a upcycled cloth cabin in the woods and growing goat broccoli and communicating via carrier pigeon. One can find many essays, articles, and memoir about any and all types of “unplugging.”

But is it really all that? Are these claims true? Or merely self-congratulatory exercises? To investigate, I fell asleep on a bus and broke my phone. The ensuing week has revealed a few things about unplugging that I found fascinating.

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yay!

TAKING A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY IS GOOD

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boo!

TAKING A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY IS BAD

When I was five minutes late for a shift, I could not text my co worker to let them know that I was on my way. Even with my poor little phone put away, I could still feel the buzzings of notification, and this triggered all the panic buttons in my brain. My phone had an evil grin, knowing what it was doing to my peace of mind.

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yay!

TAKING A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY IS GOOD

As days went by, my inability to immediately respond to non-urgent situations resulted in a calmness and detachment that allowed me some mental decluttering.

That ability to recognize — and accept — the reality of a situation, without constantly trying to change, upgrade, or improve is a useful one. It’s also something that is harder to achieve when every six months we’re promised a smoother, more immersive experience.

So I’m all good with resigned acceptance as a response mechanism for certain types of daily trials.

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boo!

TAKING A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY IS BAD

Most people who take technological breaks set everything up before hand; they get their schedules set in stone, let all the relevant folks know how to get a hold of them, and can enjoy their relative solitude in uninterrupted bliss.

Most of them don’t do this if they work in constantly fluctuating industries and are “95% sure” they got their necessary shifts covered. I’ve been taking my laptop with me everywhere I go so I can respond to emails and Facebook messages to make the necessary arrangements for the many things I was doing last week and this.

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yay!

TAKING A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY IS GOOD

But a planned break — one where I’ve got my responsibilities covered, I can unplug and let the busy hammers on the brain ease off a bit — that sounds great, and I plan on doing that soon.

As soon as I’ve, you know, replaced my phone.

Originally published at how’s your morale?.

Written by

Graham Isaac and Peter Johnson

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