Shocks and Jolts from the Unplugging experience

After reading Sleeping Mom’s blog post about geing “unplugged” on “Sleeping should be easy,” I, too, thought that it would be a nice change to unplug. Actually, I admit that this is not the first time I thought of such an idea. A few months ago, I was listening to the BBC’s podcast and a Rabai and a Christian were teling how they unplugged every Sabbath to keep it Holy and family oriented. I mentioned it to DH and got a slight negative reaction. So, when I read “Sleeping Mom’s” post, I thought that this would be a good time. After all, I now have a baby and this will give us the opportunity to spend extra time with him. I don’t think that I am too addicted to my computer/IPhone, but I catch myself thinking: “I wish he’d just go to sleep so I could check my mail or write a blog.” I find myself wishing he would be quiet and still on my lap so I could get some web surfing done. My mind wanders off to my next research project instead of engaging with my Little one. I thought that DH would warm up to the idea, after all, his response pre-baby was only “slightly” negative. So, I asked him to join me.
*Shock1: Expect the type A computer geek person in your life to refuse the challenge, deem it the worst stupidest thing ever and in some extreme circumstances, try to sabbatage (ok, don’t want to look the word up b/c my LO should be up soon and just don’t have time) your efforts.
*Shock2: I sent an text message to all family members and told DH of my plans. The plan was only to be unplugged from 6:00 AM 05/06/2011 until 6:00 AM 05/07/2011. Not only would DH “not join me” but he described it as “paghal,” “Bakwaz,” (crazy and nonsense). when my mother called to ask me the meaning of the text, they both commiserated on the follies of such an action. They had different stances, actually, but the same resulting opinion. DH is a technology addict (yes, mistake 2 was calling him one) and my mother has no computer in her home. DH thought it was nonsense because I would have to turn off the stove, refridgerator, microwave and breastpump; for this to be truly authentic. Otherwise, it was nothing more than a nonsensical fad — and — “Who suggested such a stupid thing anyway, Your friend J?” [Don’t worry Sleeping Mom, I didn’t rat you out ]. and, obviously, he does not know J very well. she could not survive too long without TV or phone or book player to keep her company. My mother, on the other hand, said that it was like taking a short break from smoking. When it is over, you can pat yourself on the back and then return to your normal “plugged in and charged up,” state. She would know, she still has not kicked the tabacco monkey, even though she has been hospitalized several times: so she is just imparting her own experiences. So, for that reason, she saw no point in unplugging.
*Shock3: When you tell certain family members, they will accuse you of trying to exclude yourself from the “real world,” and “family.” Do I have an odd family or what? When I bring up the point that my goal is to spend “more” time with family and not “less,” they remind me that they are not in physical proximity, so, the only family member who will benefit is the baby — and, Aren’t I spending all day/ every day with him anyway??? and, DH chimes in that technology is allowing him to spend time with his family via skype video chat.
*shock4: I miss BBC documentaries that I never even saw and usually don’t have time to check: but now that my Iphone and computer are out of order, I nostalgically do want to see what good documentaries are on the site: as well as finding out all the educational kids stuff that I can get online that actually might be of some benefit.

As far as my “unplugging experience” actually went, I did rather well. I do need to get a braille watch, though. I lost track of time because I could not turn on my phone to check the time. And, while this might not be a big issue for most (and wouldn’t have been for me either, except) I have to time my pumping; [every four hours, for twenty minutes on each side]. I sang my own songs, instead of having Pandora accompany me. I thought about our soon-to-be new house and talked to my baby while I pumped, instead of listening to Stitcher. Twice I wondered about the discussion on certain Facebook message boards. I didn’t have a strong desire to “just check my messages,” or “check other’s facebook status.” Ironically, I caught myself several times thinking: “Oh, I’ll have to remember that so I can blog about it.” It made me think of how we approach experiences, nowadays. I am probably not alone when I say that we approach experiences as 1/2 participant and 1/2 observer. Sometimes, we are more focussed on “how we will blog about this experience,” than actually “having it.”
I did learn a few things from my experience, though:
*JOLT1: Keep it quiet. don’t tell people. Just tel the blogging community: who actually can’t encourage you anyway, because to reap such encouragement, you will need to “log on,” and isn’t that counterproductive???? Make it your own personal journey.
*JOLT2: Be specific about “what you will unplug from. I found myself vacilating about the book player. On one hand, it is electronic. Yet, it allows me to read books that others can read in print.
*JOLT3: Plan out some fun things to do so that you are not thinking about connecting and so that you might be making the most of your unplugged time. DH said that it was crazy, decided to try it with me for a couple of hours and then resumed his prior position with more zeal than before. I think that this happened because he is use to the thrill that technology gives him and … … well, he just got bored and didn’t know what to do without it. I had planned on taking the stroler (with the baby in it, obviously) out for a walk, but by 10:00 AM. DH had bounced bakc to his normal stage of paranoia and disgust.
*JOLT4: It might be a good idea to organize your internet using so that you get the most out of it in the least amount of time. I need to find a good accessible blog reader, only put in it the blogs that I will certainly read, maybe be able to export it to my IPhone and simplify the information/news that I want to read. some articles are interesting, but their content is not relevant or beneficial to my life.

I’d love to hear other experiences. these are just mine and I do admit that I have a very wacky family. I probably will do this again and heed my own advice!


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2 Responses to “Shocks and Jolts from the Unplugging experience”

  1. lilsophie's mom Says:

    Sorry to hear you didn’t get much support. But I’m glad you stuck with it.

    I never told anyone I was doing it, and I was not as brave as you. I only did it for a few hours. But it was hard…

  2. Project Unplugged: What I learned by disconnecting from technology | sleeping should be easy Says:

    […] reader Jamily5 from Past Parenting Perceptions reported on having unplugged for a whole 24 hours. While her technology-loving husband wasn’t […]

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