Word of the Week

Do You Need a Tech Sabbath?

Let's face it. I, like so many of you, am addicted to the Internet.

The first thing I do in the morning is check not only my email but my twitter feed, Facebook and Instagram. I also check Whats App and Viber-- to see who has communicated with me in a different time zone over night. I also go to the same the same feeds of Feed the Children's account-- part of my role as Ambassador of Social Advocacy.

(Insert hundreds of other I-Phone encounters in between).

Then, the last thing I do before I go to bed is check all of these things again.

I feel "naked" with my phone and all it's many connective function. I sometimes (ok most of the time) take my I Phone into the bathroom with me. And I feel sad when I have to turn it into "airplane mode" on a plane.

Please tell me that I'm not the only one. 

I know I've found myself with such an addiction because I love words. I love connecting with friends, no matter where geographically they might life. Most all of all I love the "social" feature of relationship building that the Internet offers us in 2014. I also love being able to help Feed the Children grow its community of supporters in this way.

But the problem comes when I am never unplugged.

I say, "I'm working." (which makes it all ok of course).

I tell myself, Feed the Children needs me to monitor the comment section of their Facebook page more than once a day or even twice.

I think that if I keep hitting the refresh button on my email then my life might be changed by what message might come in. (Whatever that means...)

But when time "off" comes what then? Going on vacation is always such a crossroads moment.

And I just had one. For the last two weeks, Kevin and I were off the grid from Feed the Children.

And as fun it would have been to post a picture of our every adventure, I wanted to take a tech sabbath. I deleted all social apps from my phone. I texted less and did not answer calls unless urgent. I tried to be as present as I could to the moments of rest, breathing deeply and seeing new things that this time away offered.

image 4This is what I learned as I was sitting in these beautiful Utah mountains:

1. Moving forward, not everyone needs to know my every pondering, cute story or interesting life event. Privacy is good. Time for reflection and romance is even better when I'm not being so social . . .

2. The world goes on without me even if I don't stay so connected to it. Sure, I missed stuff, but it is ok. If it is really important, I'm sure you'll catch me up, right?

3. Social media professionals ESPECIALLY need to unplug. We need to remember that our worth is more than the clever post we just penned on our HootSuite account or how many likes or shares we just got!

4. I, Elizabeth Hagan, need more Tech Sabbaths, not just the vacation kind.

5. A clearer and less distracted mind is a beautiful thing!

What about you? Had a tech Sabbath lately? What did you learn?


For all of you internet/ I Phone addicts like me consider these great resources--

How a Break From Technology Changed My Life-- Christine Organ

How to Turn Off Your Phone . . .  --Ellie Krupnick

The Taskmaster's Command (A Sermon) -- Mary Ann McKibben Dana