Four years ago I took my first extended break from technology. I headed to a remote area in Canada with two of my cousins and a friend for a week of fishing. There were no roads into the area. To get to our cabin we flew in a small plane about an hour north of the remote town of Pickle Lake, Ontario. No electricity, no phones, (no indoor toliet!), no internet…the only contact with the outside world we had was a satelite phone that could be used only at specific times of the day. Although being this disconnected might instill fear into some, I did in fact feel like I’d gone to heaven.
Two years ago I attended a 10-day silent meditation retreat. Participants had to turn over phones and other technology, including writing materials. We took a vow of silence for 10 days. Although there was an emergency phone available, we were effectively cut off from the outside world. Again, I felt refreshed afterwards and knew that unplugging from technology on a regular basis was going to be a theme in my life.
Have you ever noticed how being so connected to technology actually disconnects us from each other and ourselves? Here are some other interesting articles (and a video) on the subject:
I’ve made a yearly commitment to taking at least a few days cut off from the outside world, and this year is no exception. As I write this I am very much anticipating my upcoming technology disconnect. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be re-posting some of my previous entries about unplugging from the modern world. In the meantime, I’d love it if you’d share your experiences with disconnecting from technology in the comments below.