The Power of Unplugging

A while back, chatting with a friend and shared I’d been offline for a few weeks.

She said “What! How can you do that? How can you do that for your business? (insert her face looked really quite shocked…)

Then came the “How’d you actually do it?”

In a quiet voice, she then admitted “OMG, I’m always on my phone…. Not sure I could even do that – take a break, switch off”.

In this totally addicted age it is now more than ever we have to realise the value, power, and importance of unplugging.

It’s about disconnecting to reconnect.

I am addicted. Honestly.

I look and use my phone, our world of social media, the laptop, the computer and internet – all day, every day.

Even one of my most favourite hobbies, photography is now powered and totally juices me up because of the ease, convenience, and flexibility of the iPhone.

My addiction has been a problem for a good long while. More recently though I realised just how serious it had got.

You see my 6-year-old has been walking around / carrying with her – my old phone!!

She pretends she’s talking, looking at it and play swiping the screen. (By the way, it’s a blank dead screen – it’s not working)

That’s when I realised.

Fast forward to having a 14-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 20 something, doing a ‘me’ not play acting but for real and I thought NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Sometimes, it’s not until things are right in our face, obvious, glaring and loud until we see it mirrored back to us, that we fully comprehend the impact.

So, I took a break.

It was time to put the phone down and really take a break.

So here’s the thing…

Did it kill business – No.
Did I lose friends – No.
I think about 5 Insta followers – max may have unfollowed.
Did it harm me – No.
Did it impact other things…. Hell yes!

I REALLY connected with my kids instead of being distracted and half-listening in the middle of conversations.

I even paid more attention to my hubby too!

I appreciated nature. People watching, learning history, exploring, talking about topography.

We got the big Canon camera out of the cupboard and back out of its bag and took it on holiday!

We started playing board games and card games.

I read a book, you know a paper one, not the device friendly version.

Did I go cold turkey and ban myself?

Nope, just decided I’d post a couple of random posts.

Then switch off again.

Did I miss the swiping? Nope.

Did I miss knowing what friends or business connections around the world were doing? Nope.

Do you know why we’ve become so dependent on our technology, social media?

Because we have 6 core human needs, drivers and motivators.

These come from Tony Robbins after studying and working with millions of people. The need for –

> Certainty – comfort, safety, security, and sameness
> Variety – adventure, challenge, risk and uncertainty (they say variety is the spice of life for a reason!)
> Significance – to feel validated, acknowledged, valued and recognised
> Connection – to be loved and to feel a connection with others around us
> Growth – to grow and learn new things, to develop
> Contribution – to contribute, add value to others, to be a part of a community, something greater than ourselves.

Technology and in particular social media meets these needs – all of them, so it is no wonder Facebook has been such a phenomenal addictive success because an addiction meets 3 or more of any of these needs.

Guess what – Facebook meets all of them all day long!

When you disconnect and turn off your devices, you get a chance to reconsider, review and meet your needs in different ways.

It’s quite an eye-opener to think about other creative ways to feel a sense of certainty, variety, significance, connection, growth, and contribution.

So much of it comes from being with yourself, really being ok to be. Then it comes from being with others, allowing them to be themselves and you yourself.

No judgment, no assumptions, expectations, blame or justification.

Simple to be connected, listening, curious and loving.

If you’re ready and want to, take a break, it’s highly recommended.

Disconnect in order to reconnect and notice how you feel afterwards.

It’s kind of a special buzz. A sense of newness, relief and a freshness.

Genevieve “Unplugging” Matthews

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