What I Learned from Taking a 48-Hour Digital Detox

This past weekend our family went camping with my husband’s family.  The location was one where there was no cell reception at all and I’ll be honest, I was so excited for it.

I don’t know about you, but at times, my phone, tablet, computer, etc. can tend to take control of my day if I’m not careful.  Almost everything I do requires electronics.  Work, homeschool, even most of my shopping is done via Amazon. (Seriously, that prime shipping makes life so much easier because then I’m not loading up 5 kids and driving 20 miles to the nearest store and going crazy like I mentioned HERE. )

Anyways, I’ve felt this pull to unplug and get away from life for a bit but I just couldn’t seem to do it while I was still home, surrounded by all the electronics.  So this camping trip was my perfect little escape.

As soon as we pulled in to camp, I turned off my phone and left it in the car. For TWO whole days, I did not look at or even touch my phone.  I actually didn’t look at any type of electronic device, not even a clock.  I NEVER knew what time it was and that was actually amazing.  Nothing was dictating my day, except me…okay and my kids.

Here are a few things I learned from taking a “Digital Detox.”

1.Life Goes On

Even though I wasn’t logging into Facebook, or checking my text messages, life still went on.  People still posted to Facebook, tweeted and texted me and it wasn’t the end of the world that I didn’t reply immediately.  They were all still there when I was available to reply, once I got home.  Actually, I found out that I could scroll through Facebook and see all the things I had missed over the past 48 hours!!! Isn’t that crazy?? It was all there, just waiting for me.  I hadn’t missed a single thing!

Actually, I found out that I could scroll through Facebook and see all the things I had missed over the past 48 hours!!! Isn’t that crazy?? It was all there, just waiting for me.  I hadn’t missed a single thing! Yet, here we are, each day, thinking we have to look at our social media accounts time and time again to make sure we haven’t missed anything.  Really? I promise it’ll be there for ya when you get back.

Into the forest, I go. To lose my mind and find my soul. Click To Tweet

2.  I Was Free

This was probably my favorite part.  Because I didn’t know what time it was, or if someone “needed” to get a hold of me, I spent the day doing what I wanted to do.  I love reading, but sometimes my mind is so occupied by what I “need to get done” that I can’t sit down, relax and just focus on what I am reading.

My mind was freed up. I wasn’t constantly worrying about the next work or homeschool assignment I needed to get ready.  I wasn’t writing blog posts in my head.  I wasn’t researching ways to help my 5-year-olds learn how to read. I wasn’t worried about my upcoming speaking engagement or the group of ladies I am mentoring right now.  I was 100% lost in an adventure during the Revolutionary War.

Reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes places for that. - John Green Click To Tweet

It felt soo good to be free from work and worry and to just sit back and relax and recharge.

3.We Can Have Fun

I’ve known that I can have fun without electronics because 99% of the time, I’m using them for work, not games or entertainment.  When we are home, my kids get to watch movies and play games for limited amounts of time each day, but most of the time I encourage them to use their imagination and create play.  The fight and struggle can be hard when the temptation to watch movies is right there though so I loved not having electronics around.  My kids saw that I was able to survive without electronics and because I was able to do it, they realized they can have fun without electronics as well.

We rode bikes and quads all over the place.  We caught crawdads and frogs and attempted to hunt “Snipe” as well. We hiked hills and went on treasure hunts.  We played Rook, Uno, 5 Crowns, The Great Dalmuti and many other card games.  We played horseshoes, baseball and ran around in the rain and mud. My kids were having fun and exclaiming that “This is a blast!” on more than one occasion.  We all went to bed physically exhausted from all the playing we had done but we were excited to wake up the next day and do it all again.

4.Real Conversations Happen

Each night, we sat around the campfire and talked. The kids heard stories from their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles about when they were growing up.  We talked about what the kids wanted to be/do when they grew up and what we wanted to do when we retired.  We played guessing games, trying to guess facts about the person next to us.  I’ve lived with or near these people for the past 12 years and I learned so many new things about them that I would never have guessed.

There wasn’t one conversation going on, where there was a phone being looked at instead of the person who was talking.

 

5. It’s Good to Be Home

I’m not talking about the home that my family lives in. (Although it is nice to be back in my bed.)

I’m talking about my soul.

A walk in nature walks the soul back home. -Mary Davis Click To Tweet

There’s just something that happens inside us when we go outside.  Somethig that causes us to slow down and listen.

One day, we went on a hike and followed the path of this little creek. It was quiet and serene, besides the sounds of kids exclaiming their excitement at finding a crawdad. I walked behind everyone, taking pictures of the moment and choosing to slow down instead of rush ahead.  I took deep breaths of fresh mountain air and reveled in the silence.  I could feel my body literally let go of the stresses that I’d been feeling and embrace the peace that nature was offering.

6.Repeat

It took going out where there was no chance of having wifi or cell signal so that I could finally make it a priority to connect with myself and my family in a way I hadn’t done in months.

I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t have my cell phone on me at all times.  Even past camping trips, I carried it around so that I could use my camera, but then I’d find myself still trying to see if I miraculously had a signal.

This time, all electronics stayed behind and I loved every moment of it. So much so that I made a firm resolution to try harder to take a digital detox more often.

So, who’s with me? Anyone else ready for a little relaxation, connection, and recharge? I promise you won’t regret cleansing your mind, body and soul for a couple days.

XOXO-

 

 

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16 Responses to What I Learned from Taking a 48-Hour Digital Detox

  1. Roxanne says:

    All for unplugging and recharging ourselves and not our electronic devices.

  2. Roxanne says:

    All for unplugging and recharging ourselves and not our electronic devices.

  3. This sounds like it was so peaceful. My family really needs to do something like this. Thank you for the inspiration.

  4. Christine says:

    Been dying (but so scared!) to do a digital detox. Love leaving my phone at home sometimes!

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      May I ask what you’re scared of?

      For me, I was scared of missing out on something…but I really didn’t miss out on anything at all! Instead I was present in real life. 🙂

  5. Janiel says:

    Ha! As a fellow blogger this is especially applicable for me, feel like I have become a bit of a couch potato lately trying to ‘grow, grow, grow’ — thanks for bringing me back to my human side. Think I need to set an alarm in my phone to actually schedule times to unplug from not just computer, but watching Netflix as well and start taking my dog Zoey for a walk.

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      It’s so true. It’s hard to disconnect, especially when our work/livelihood depends on electronics. Go unplug for a bit…you won’t regret it. 🙂

  6. Nicole says:

    I like to think I could do this, but I’m sure I would have a really hard time! It must be even more difficult when you run a blog. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself! Props to you for being able to do it and even finding pleasure in it

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      It can be so hard to unplug…especially when our work revolves around it. But I’ve totally found that I’m refreshed and ready to slay my goals when I take a little break.

  7. Nadalie says:

    Digital detoxes are the best. I was on a forced one basically all last week when I was on vacation in the bushes. Super bad internet connection so we were all let loose into the wild. It was great!

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      I’m so glad to hear that you’ve done a digital detox lately and loved it too! It’s definitely needed.

  8. Audrey says:

    I am so in need of a recharge! Thank for the encouraging post.

  9. Sara says:

    I love this. I did it once and it was very liberating. I should do something like this again soon. I think it’s good for us and everyone should probably do it. Thanks for writing this up and reminding me!

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      I think it is definitely something that needs to happen more often…the hard part is just deciding to actually take action and do it. Thanks for reading my post!

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