Unplugged – Tech Free Hobbies

An easy way to fill up some of your newly acquired free time (you should be opening up your schedule due to the separation from your tech) is to participate in low tech hobbies. Consider becoming involved in the arts. Painting, sewing, and writing all require minimal to no electronic technology and they also let your creativity soar!

If you are not particularly the creative type you can enjoy theater shows – nearly every town has a small community theater that puts on at least 2 shows a year, you just have to look! You can go to poetry readings or open mic nights and listen to people share their own creative pieces. Consider reading in the park or taking extra long baths.

If those activities are too artsy for you – make more time to better your personal health. Biking, running, and longer walks are all great time fillers that keep you at a safe distance from your tech while improving your body (arguably the second most important object needed to living a long, healthy, happy life – after your attitude/ programming of course!). Maybe now you’ll even manage to have time for a Zumba or Pilates class!

If getting new hobbies doesn’t suit you try leaving your tech at home when you go to the bars, when you go to work, when you go to dinner, or when you go shopping. Do not take your phone or your tablets with you everywhere. Seriously try separating yourself from your tech in your daily routines and you’ll find that your current hobbies can easily become tech free! If you’re afraid to be without it, at least leave it in your car. There’s nothing worse than seeing a group of friends out to coffee, dinner or at the club and see them all checking their phones.

You don’t have any more excuses. This is your life, your time. It is now yours. Unplug and go live!


Unplugged – Break your Programming

One of the easiest and most natural things to do in the life of a bot is to follow a routine, a schedule. I’m telling you that this is part of the reason that you are a bot. I’m not asking you to change up your whole day but to intentionally be spontaneous every now and again. Add a little extra to your day.

In going through your day on a schedule you are more likely to get things done, to not forget important meetings and you’re even more likely to make special time for other things. However, this schedule may be confining you. Consider if your schedule runs you. If any of you are like me, you always check your schedule before you RSVP to events, and even before you make personal plans. This is a great way to work, but it isn’t a necessarily a great way to live.

Consider going to lunch with a friend you never see, think about spending some extra time at the gym or a few extra minutes mingling at church. You can try buying a different type coffee for breakfast, or buy a different color of socks. Make tiny adjustments that don’t necessarily break your schedule, but make those tiny spontaneous intentional decisions that still make you in control of your life. These tiny changes can add room in your life for big chances; like meeting new people, figuring out you really enjoy caramel cream in your coffee or wish you could spend more time with that one friend.

The worst thing you can do is bend to that schedule at every turn. Don’t deny a friend an opportunity to spend time with you even if you’re unsure of your plans. If there is something that you really want to do, then do it. It’s okay to reschedule and to make new plans; people understand, especially if you overbook! You are the only thing stopping you. Break your programming!

Unplugged – Re(Think) your Tech

In our journey to becoming Unplugged from our tech lives and start living a biological one we need to find a balance. Many of us live, work and play with and around technology constantly. Our lives are undeniably improved by tech and so are our work lives. However, this is where I want to to reconsider and re-think all of your tech.

The hardest part about breaking free of being a bot is to stop acting like one. Just the act of thinking about whether or not you NEED your tech and recognizing your dependencies and habits will get you that much closer to breaking free. I’m asking you to think about the tech that you surround yourself with and how you use it.

Consider your computer use, your phone use, your microwave use, television, stereo, car and even the smallest tech like watches will help you get yourself into perspective. Think about what you use these items for; do you use them for fun, for work, for necessity? I am asking you to HONESTLY think about these things – being honest is key to establishing yourself as a human and not a bot. Do not let your tech rule you, don’t turn to it out of habit, turn to it for specific and defined reasons.

Once you have your reasons for using your tech you should deeply consider why you have these things. Can you live without it? Do you have a laptop and a smartphone, and use both just for communication or social media – does your smartphone need to have all the apps and glam if you really predominantly use it for texting and phone calls? Do you always have to take your car to the grocery store on a nice day?

Unplugged – The Journey of Networking

This is the second post in a series I’ll be writing about becoming Unplugged. Little tidbits of advice on how to unravel yourself from the life of being a robot. Not everyone wants to be hooked up to the Matrix and I’m giving you the red pill in small doses. Join me on the journey of becoming more than just a robot, help me, help you get your life back.

Never before have we been so connected. Smartphones with their apps fill our lives with ease and entertainment. Not all apps are bad, but take the time to consider how often you check your phone. How many social media networks are you part of? The world is a growing place, yet thanks to the internet it gets smaller every day.

You might think that you are gaining more knowledge, gaining more life by staying connected. I’m telling you that you are not. Don’t take advantage of the reality that in-human, in-person communication is still the most important thing.

Networking is the greatest commodity on the internet to entrepreneurs, aspiring professionals and intelligent communication. I do loads of networking myself; LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter take up a great majority of my day as a professional in the internet communication field. I’m not knocking online networking, I’m merely stressing the importance of in-person networking.

Don’t take for granted the power of face-to-face communication and interaction. Getting a cup of coffee with a local contact you met through the internet is possibly the best way to place yourself in their mind. Even professionals drink coffee, like to go to movies, enjoy cocktails and play golf. Get out, go find them, do it.

I myself have met strangers, acquaintances and supervisors for drinks and a quick chat. I can tell you for certain that the impression was a stronger one than any of my blogs, profiles or online recommendations could have given. You won’t even have to leave your card, put your number into his/her phone while your were sitting at the booth.

In short. Take the leap, don’t hesitate to meet new people in person. Never pass up the opportunity to go to the in company baseball game or the Meetup chat at the local coffee shop. You never know when your in human communication is going to get you somewhere or introduce you to someone or something new. These are the opportunities that you don’t want you to pass up. Let that smartphone sit in your pocket; it isn’t going anywhere, but the conversation just might.

Unplugged – Where to Start?

The Internet is awesome. With photos, friends, events, places, games, and other endless possibilities how can I not spend all day there? It’s easy. Just don’t log in. If you want to find more time in your life, and separate yourself from digital space uncheck that little box that says, keep me logged in.

It is hard enough to find time for ourselves. True time devoted to yourself. If you need more time for you and you utilize a digital life as a means and a lifestyle, I’m especially talking to you.

Take those few precious moments, or hours in many cases that you used to scroll the feeds, and do something else. What sort of life are you living when you are always checking the latest youtube videos, or Reddit updates and Facebook statuses or text messages? If you feel happy and content, I don’t have advice for you – but welcome! For those of you that feel drained, busy, hectic, I want to help you find an enriched life. I want to help you stop being a Robot and start being a Cyborg. I’m not asking you to neglect your internet and telephones and other electronic devices, I’m just asking you to take more time for yourself. I’m looking out for the betterment of you.

You might not see or notice the effects of being plugged in every day, but they are there. I’ve been there, obsessively checking my phone and email to see if anything has changed, but unless there is an emergency I don’t personally find either of those activities to be fulfilling or compelling. I’ve even found those behaviors to lead toward a decline in the quality of my emotional health and social life.

Our bodies weren’t made for this life of non-physical social interaction and the non-responsive interactions we receive from most digital interaction. Our bodies and our minds crave social interaction, and we think to ourselves that text messages and IM’s are just as good, but our bodies and minds don’t react the same way when someone actually laughs at our comments or even cries when we tell them of our failures.

If you don’t believe me, check the facts for yourself. Many prestigious and enlightened schools of science have studied stress and anxiety on our bodies, and how social media might contribute to harmful and negative experiences. Discover Magazine has done many articles on the studies of multimedia users and multitaskers and found humiliating results about those of us that claim to be capable of handling the multitude of digital projects at once. Our brains just can’t take the stress, literally.

If you don’t like doing things less than your best, and you really just want to find some time to better yourself, get unplugged. Uncheck those pesky boxes of remembering your password and logging you in automatically. You’ll be surprised how just the step of having to type in your email address and password will remind you of how many times you’ve logged in today.

If you are doing tasks on the computer for work, school or even just for information searching be mindful of your current task. One of the ways that I personally avoid tempting sites while working is to use two separate browsers or email addresses. Keep your work and play life separate. If you know that you are going to be distracted by something all afternoon, don’t use that site in your favorite browser. That way your history will be separate and you can better stay on task.

Interested in researching more yourself? Check out these links that I have provided from reputable sources!

Discover magazine articles on Multitasking and Multimedia





NPR’s article on multitasking



A study on multimedia multitasking at Boston College