Only Disconnect!

I find the internet to be an overall good place–the ability to connect with so many like-minded people is wonderful! But it’s so easy to be sucked into mindless scrolling through Instagram and making endless comparisons. It’s easy to say “one more minute” and look up to find an hour has gone by. It’s too easy to have the edge of your consciousness be constantly pulled towards something else. I strive to be present in life and not distracted, but it’s hard to do when you’re constantly tethered to something that promises to connect but in fact can take away the joy in the everyday.

So I’ve made a decision. I’m putting my phone and computer away during my non-working hours, and I’m going to try to put down my phone in the evenings, too. Life is so short and so precious–everything happening around the world affirms that–and I don’t want to spend all of it looking into a screen.

I found my digital camera the other day when spring cleaning, and I’ve decided to start writing my blog posts longhand. That will hopefully let me be present in all parts of my life–focusing on one thing at a time, instead of feeling myself scattered in a dozen competing directions. Even typing this blog post, I find myself tempted to click over to Instagram or Facebook. Why? I just need to do one thing at a time, and embrace that. I think about the days of childhood where I would take a stack of books outside in the backyard, or climb up the tree in my cousin’s yard when spending the summers with them, and just read, and read, and read. It would take a great deal to pull my attention away from that level of absorption. Of course life can’t always be lived like that, but I see my child discovering the true joys of a good book series for the first time, the complete and utter sinking into a new world, and I remember how wonderful that feels, that completeness above all. So that’s what I’m trying to recapture. Being present in the moment, completely.

How do you manage to do this in your life, in our world today?

5 thoughts on “Only Disconnect!

  1. I share the same struggle! I almost didn’t even check blog posts just now for this very reason, haha! I’ve started grabbing a book in those moments when I would normally sit for “just a few minutes” checking my phone. I also have started using Focus on my phone to help mute distractions. It’s not perfect, but it’s an improvement.

    1. Good for you!! I think that’s a great idea. I’m also experimenting with Focus, but mostly I’m just leaving my phone in a different room to minimize picking it up at all. So far, so good!

  2. Gosh, Sarah! This is such a hard one. Our annual family holiday is up on Squam Lake, NH, in a community of cottages and common places which are ALL no phones — ever. It’s so hard to put them down, but when we do, there is such an uplift. It’s like I can suddenly breath more lightly.

    One hard thing, in particular, is that I am now point of contact for my aging and ailing father, now in an assisted living community. It’s quite hard to leave my ringer on, with my phone nearby, and not check it.

    All I can say is, “The struggle is real!”

    1. It has been feeling so good to put my phone down. I sympathize with being the point of contact–it’s impossibly difficult, and I hope that you are able to find a good balance. I’m thinking of you!

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