In making the transition to sabbatical living, I’ve been thinking about the role technology should play in my daily experience. I debated about whether I should take a break from all forms of social media, or a least from Facebook, but I decided against it. That would be too hard and actually work against one of my sabbatical goals of having more time to connect with friends. Social media stays.
What I have decided to change is the way I interact with my cell phone. I have an HTC Evo (Android smartphone) with all the fun apps and gadgets. The most distracting and addicting feature is the everpresent email alert. Anytime one of my email accounts has a new message, my phone beeps and little mail icon appears on the phone. I confess to being rather undisciplined in the constant checking of these email messages. Something important could have happened! Someone may have interesting news!
I have now turned off all of the alerts and moved my work email icon off my main page. I have been living alert free for two days, and I can already feel the difference. No more little “dings” tempting me to look at my email means sometimes I don’t look at my phone for hours! Yes, hours of phone free time is good for my mind and spirit. It gives me time to rest, reflect and live without wondering every minute who might need something from me or have something for me.
This is a small, simple change. Unplugging, just a little bit, is part of my sabbatical living. It helps me savor time and be swept away by the moment that is right in front of me.