26th October 2011

Working at a digital agency as a millennial who also has a slight obsession with technology, it would be an understatement to say I’m “always on.”

Naturally, it’s rare to find me without some sort of device in hand. So where did I decide to book my vacation this fall? The backwoods of the Rocky Mountains.

Yes, the scenery is breathtaking. Yes, I love to hike. But my number one deciding factor? There is zero cell service in the Rocky Mountains (In case you were curious, this also applies to zero plug-ins and zero hair dryers), in two words bliss and anxiety.

Days before my trip I found myself stressed at what I might miss…I won’t be able to check email, I won’t be able to check-in to my camp site, and I won’t be able to Tweet a picture of the bear that I’m certain to encounter.

Have I become so engrained in technology that simply the thought of not having it for three days might tempt to ruin my trip? It certainly had me thinking, how can we really unplug? Sure I leave the office at a decent hour, but I never truly let go.

We all know recovery is essential. It’s what keeps us going, what refreshes us and what ultimately makes us push harder and do our best work, so why is it so difficult to allow ourselves to partake in? I wouldn’t run 10 miles 7 days a week preparing for a half marathon, why do the same in my digital life?

Welp, long story short, I survived (though I did encounter a rather large moose during a hail storm). Making my way back to reality, I felt more refreshed than ever and tackling my massive inbox was almost enjoyable.

Will I be able to unplug every evening and every weekend? Absolutely not, that’s not the career path I’ve chosen for myself. Does it mean I need to answer every email, text and Tweet minutes after delivery? Absolutely not. Guess what, when I returned home, my computer didn’t explode, my coworkers didn’t go crazy and my clients did just fine.

I’ll always have to be “on” but taking a day, or even an evening off simply means it will be there in the morning  and that’s the really cool thing about digital, it doesn’t self destruct.

Oh, and the scenery wasn’t too shabby either.

0 thoughts on “Unplugged

  1. Jeff Hilimire

    It’s great that you did this and my recommendation, make it at least an annual goal of yours to always do this.  We’ll only get more and more entrenched into technology, unable to disconnect, so these kind of escapes are going to be essential.