5 reasons to unplug now and then and enjoy what’s in front of your face
Special to the Sun-Bonanza
LAKE TAHOE — For those of you who know me very well, you already know that I frequently talk about unplugging and mindfulness.
By being connected to our electronic devices most of our awake time, I feel we are losing a part of who we are as human beings.
I need to constantly remind myself of this and have made a decision to live a more mindful life and unplug from technology regularly.
Last week, I sat in front of the Raley’s store in Incline Village and watched people go in and out. Every one of them was doing something on his or her phone — talking, texting, Facebooking, Instagramming.
As I sat there, with my phone locked in my car, I had no choice but to observe the world. I made eye contact with people and helped people out by answering their questions. It felt liberating and very human.
I read a lot about mindful living, meditation and yoga, and in general I try to be very conscious about when I’m on my phone.
Since my occupation requires me to be connected all the time, I need to set certain boundaries. Having worked with international clients on different time zones, I admit to sleeping with my iPhone so I can respond to a tweet or Facebook message. I don’t do this anymore.
I have established 5 rules for myself that seem to work really well:
1: I make eye contact and smile to people in public places. Exchanging a few words with a stranger can make someone’s day. Instead of staring at my phone at the bank or in line, I actually try to see what’s going on around me and talk to people.
2: When I’m in a meeting I don’t look at my phone. There is no text message or phone call that’s more important to me at this time than the person in front of me. I also don’t look at the time. The meeting is over when the conversation is over, not when 60 minutes expired. I’ve had meetings that lasted 15 minutes and others that went for 2 or 3 hours.
3: I take screen breaks during the day and go for a walk (without my phone). I observe nature and concentrate on my own thoughts. It’s amazing the amount of good ideas that come to mind during that time and how much more productive I am when I return to my computer.
4: I try to do yoga and mediate every day. It’s a work in progress.
5: I try not to touch my phone one day in a week, normally on a Sat. I take this day to spend it with my husband enjoying the outdoors, cooking, watching a movie (OK, I admit we have Apple TV).
These few simple rules bring a little balance to my life. And that’s enough for me to make me happy. I’d love to hear what you do or perhaps you can try some of these yourself.
Milena Regos is principal and founder of Out & About Marketing, an Incline Village-based digital marketing and social media consulting firm. She can be reached for comment at email@example.com. This post first appeared on Out&AboutMarketing.com.