Unplug

Can you do it?

Can you go a week with no Internet, no cell phone and no television? Does it scare you?

It scares me.

That’s why I’m doing it.

I want to reset my screen time. I want to cut the chord to electronic devices. I want to see how much I rely on my computer, iPod and television to entertain me and distract. I want to live more.

Will you join me?

The Rules

No television.

No Internet.

No cell phone.

Answers to Your Excuses

I have to be online for work.

That’s acceptable. Just commit to not bringing work home with you and not checking personal email or social media accounts while at work.

If you’re self-employed I double dog dare you to create a week of work for yourself that is offline and remove yourself from social media. Your business will not fail from a week with no Twitter updates. Sort some file cabinets, do those accounting projects you’ve been putting off, grab some work related books from the library and work by pen and paper. Take a step back and see what happens.

I can’t do a whole week. I will go insane.

If you’re scared to commit to seven days I understand. Could you do three or four? The Big Unplug runs through a long weekend for most people. Commit to Friday through Monday or Saturday through Monday. The goal is to challenge yourself, not torture yourself.

How do I prepare for this?

Fill up your week.

Plan social engagements, have some home projects at the ready and break out some board games in the evening. Make sure you have a public phone book at the ready and your address book handy for old fashioned land line phone calls.

Let your friends and family know you’ll be offline for the week and remind them what your home number is. Change the message on your cell phone to let people know you won’t be checking messages and that they can call you at home.

Live.

Now, go and sign up at the little box to the right of this page. I want to see 1000 people to commit to this project either for the full seven days or three or four.

If you’re a blogger I will have a post up on Wednesday April 11th about my experience with The Big Unplug. I will include a linkshare button so we can all share posts about the experience.

The Big Unplug Button – show your commitment!

The Big Unplug
The Big Unplug
  • I might. We are going to stay in a remote cottage for a week at the end of March. It has a TV but we could unplug it. Might need phone to ring son at home as he will be hen-sitting and have elderly parents so we need to be contactable.

    Will give it some thought.

  • I’m in!! I’ve been wanting to move in this direction anyway and this will help keep me motivated and on track.

  • Is this your very own challenge or part of a larger movement? I would certainly be on this. It will help me plan in advance and pull back into the ‘real’ world. I wonder if everyone else can live without me while I am unplugged? Does anyone even know my phone number? Hmmm 😉

    • My very own challenge. Hoping to get a lot of people on board. There will be some guidelines and some flexibility. The goal is not to put yourself in danger or make life unbearable. It’s about enjoying the other space in your life more.

  • Hard to do since I’m a computer programmer… :-) However, I encourage those that plan on doing it. I’ve done it in the past. When I moved into my new house I didn’t unpack the TV for about a week, and I didn’t bother unpacking my computer and getting Internet installed for 2-3 months (however, I did use it at work during that time).

  • I’m not sure I can go without the internet for work. Definitely can’t go without a computer. Maybe on vacation?

    • There will be some ‘rules’ up next week so those that require online time for work can also participate. Also inviting people to just unplug for the long weekend (Fri-Mon).

  • That week is spring break, and if we travel, we would bring our cell phones. If we stay home, I could easily do without all three, but I don’t know if my son could “live” without the computer and his phone, or my husband without TV. That would be a good week to tackle a home project together, like cleaning out the garage and getting rid of more stuff. I’ll have to run this by my guys and see if they’re up to the challenge.

  • While it will be challenging, it sounds absolutely fabulous. I was unplugged completely yesterday because I forgot my phone and it was so peaceful.

  • I am definately tempted.
    Although I do need phone, internet and computer for work. What if I joined but made work time exempt? and just for work stuff i.e. no browsing in my lunch break 😉

  • My parents are dependent on my and I only have a cell phone – but I can commit to not calling anyone or answering the phone (unless it’s my m&d…and my son).

    Internet – I use for work, but can commit to not getting on FB and other social media.

    TV – I might have a harder time with as I love to watch movies while I do counted cross stitch.

    I like your 3-4 days a week idea. Will see what I can come up with. A little is better than nothing. Especially when it comes to weight loss. :)

    • If it helps, an alternative to watching movies while you cross stitch may be downloading some audiobooks beforehand and listening to them instead. I’m not sure how iPods play into the Unplug challenge, but if nothing else, it would allow you to “read” while you cross stitch.

  • I’m in! I’m pretty sure I can do the whole week too. We are a mostly no-TV family although the Mister & I watch movies once in a while and maybe once a month I let my oldest daughter watch a movie. As you know I’m on a “phonecation” right now which is going okay but it is making me check my e-mail on my computer much more than I would normally do. I think this is a great challenge and I will even blog about it sometime soon.

    • Of course keep it available and on but try and limit use. I don’t want anyone to endanger themselves or make things difficult for their family. But I think you can still set some lofty goals for minimal screen time while holding onto your cell phone for the week. Good luck!

  • Intriguing, but then I realize I already do this. Never owned a TV, no cell phone right now while we’re traveling, and I only get online to work (and read my favorite blogs…maybe that doesn’t count?)

    Good luck with the challenge!

  • The tv and phone are no problem. However, my issue is with email. Every bit of correspondance is with either email or facebook. Frequently, the info is sent over in the AM for activities in the PM. Crazy, I know, but that is how it is. I am still going to give it a try. Maybe limit my email checkage to one 15 min block each day in the AM on the 3-6th (during the week days), other than that I will be unplugged. I will take a look at your rules first and see what they are first. I love this idea!! I would love to be disconnected all the time, but don’t know how we would get activity info to us with out some form of technology. People just don’t plan ahead like they use to.

    • Julie – I understand. Life moves at a different pace now that we have so many instant communication methods. I’ll have an interesting week with this challenge because I’ll be visiting family. Logistics on gatherings tend to be complicated and prone to last minute cancellations or last minute get togethers. I’m going to try and ask people to commit to a schedule a few weeks in advance.

      Good luck to you and thanks for joining the challenge – it will be a great experiment!

  • I’m happy to go without cell phone, Internet and TV. When I was growing up we used to spend the summers on an island without phone or TV. Internet wasn’t available then. I try now to unplug as my children and I seem calmer without the constant noise of TV. I like the Internet but it takes up too much time. I live in a dead zone with the cell phone and use it when I drive. That’ll be harder but can always use the land line if need be. I’m curious to see how I’ll do for a full week but excited to get started.

  • This looks great but I have a problem with the no cell phone, since we dropped the house phone several years ago. The cell phone is the only way I have to get in touch with work or family. But I am not a texter or someone who plays on the phone all the time. We do no tv week though, this one would be a challenge for me.

    • Fine to keep your cell phone on for the week. Find what works for you, while still challenging yourself, and run with it. The TV will be a big challenge for me because I’ll be staying at my mom’s that week. The TV is on all evening and sometimes during the day. I think Henry and I will be getting out a lot!

  • I am so in for this challenge! This is one of the reasons I love to go out in our RV; it just makes life so much simpler. The stories we have from those trips with our kids are priceless. I hate the disconnect that goes on at home with a techie husband and a teenager- although the teenager is good about it most of the time. The husband is not. Will be trying to get them signed up too!

  • I don’t watch TV at all.
    I wouldn’t own a cell phone if it was up to me, but I need it for job and to check on my mother and sister (they both have health issues).
    No Internet would be doable if I wasn’t so bored at work. LOL I didn’t use my laptop at home for months.
    So, I’m already half way there. 😀
    But, yes, no Internet would be a challenge during the weekday. I check my mail constantly. :O I might log out and read useful stuff instead.

  • How did I miss this? Hell yeah, we’ll give it a shot. I won’t be completely unplugged since I only have a cell phone (which I already rarely use–maybe 2 calls a week), but I will be challenged to stay off the computer. Ryan’s on board, too.

  • I did a 90 day yoga challenge and simultaneously did a 90 technology cleanse with FB. It felt great. I can do a week. Definitely. This is awesome. I’m sharing this one.

  • I’m in! I just signed up. I don’t have cable and only use my cell phone for emergencies (I don’t even have a real phone plan), so I will start weaning myself from the Internet slowly, so I don’t go into shock. lol I’m looking forward to getting a lot of reading, decluttering, recipe writing, and quality time my kids during this challenge. :-)

  • What about online banking/bill payments? We get alot of e-statements and bills. Will you be doing checking those during the unplug?

  • My initial reaction was to say, “I’m in!” and then remembered the course I’m participating in (start day tomorrow) that will include a big social media launch in 1 months time. Mind you, I’m creating the program, so I suppose I could find some sort of unique way to launch a product/program while simultaneously being unplugged. It is one of the things many of my followers find intriguing about me (I have no TV, landline, and the few belongings I still have are in storage while traveling / house sitting since last summer – and frequently take 3-5 day unplugged breaks). Keep me in mind for the challenge? I’ll know more about my launch later this week. This could be FUN! ~ Loralee

  • I’m in. I’m excited to have a reason to do this and a community of support who is also doing it. I’ve been needing this for quite a while and the timing of this is just perfect. I’m really looking forward to it!

  • Count me in!
    I have to have my iPhone turned on though, as I do not own a real phone and live 1000 km away from my family. But I will let them know that I am doing this challenge!

  • I would love to try this! If only the dates were different. My best friend is getting married that weekend, and as her MOH, I doubt she’d appreciate me being off the grid. I will take part in the 24 hour unplug tonight. I hope you do another week we can participate in! (I know I can choose any week to unplug, however it’d be nice to know others are out there doing it too.)

  • I am very excited and nervous about this! I am almost 14, but I am not into all the social networking sites. I still think no computer will be hardest for me as I am always checking e-mail and blogs. But, tv will be hard too because we always watch it for two hours or so before bed. I am going to do the whole week though…..and I am excited :) Thanks for this, Lizzie

  • I missed it, only just found you, but that doesn’t mean i can’t do it. I don’t own a TV. I do need a computer for work but maybe i can promise not to go on social sites and turn the computer off when not in use, even at the plug, in fact unplug it. I am thinking!

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