Tech-Free Day. Need Do-Over

Tech Free Day

No Technology Required

I attempted to go without technology yesterday.

It was easier to give up sugar, wine and chocolate for two weeks. I never once caved for a craving then.

But, yesterday I didn’t make it past Step 1: I checked email on my phone a few times.

I can give up chocolate but not email? How wrong is that?

The first falter was during an early a.m. check via the phone to delete spam and irrelevant press releases that clog up my inbox. Easy quick y ya. I thought that was a good-enough fix.

But, then, in line at the grocery, I checked the time on my phone (who wears a watch anymore) and without thinking, hit the inbox icon. I had gotten a personal email that required my attention and it threw me off. Ay, it threw me off what was supposed to be a day about freedom and reflection — a day to figure out how to use technology in a way that it works for me, not me working for it.

Bendito.

I have a lot of detoxing to do.

I don’t want to be a caricature of my era. Like this:

We stand together but we are so far apart by Ed Yourdon on Flickr

La vida es muy corta para andar como boba. I crave less technology.

But, truth is, when I wasn’t online, I was thinking about not being online. What I have known in my gut, was made very clear: The technology that awards me the freedom to work for myself and to enjoy friends and family who are far away, also shackles me and steals too many minutes a day on minutea. Minutes that can add up to hours. I need some boundaries.

Here’s what going tech-free-ish taught me…

The Tech-Free Do-Over To Dos

The Small Victories

Y Tu?

Can you, or do you, go technology-free?

Do you feel you need a tech detox? (Here’s some tech detox talk at our Facebook community.)

If you need inspiration, check out the Sabbath Manifesto, and its National Day of Unplugging March 23-24, 2012.

Disclosure: This del alma is sponsored by Hallmark and the Life is a Special Occasion campaign. To receive notices on Hallmark products and special offers sign up for the newsletter.

Life Special Occasion, Hallmark

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By Carrie on August 31, 2011 · Posted in del alma

39 Comments | Post Comment

yvonneinla says:

It’s so hard! My husband has been giving me a hard time about bringing my laptop to bed. And I can’t tell you how many times checking email before bed has caused me a boatload of stress. Hopefully once my kids are back in school I can have a more set schedule. One that allows me to get a reasonable amount of sleep.

Good job with all you got accomplished!

Posted on August 31st, 2011

Carrie says:

Yvonne, I have tried not to read email before bed for more than a year. Mostly successful. And I started it because I got an email that sent me rocketing to the moon…so I hear you!

Listen to your husband, mama…

Let me know if you need an accountability buddy!

Posted on August 31st, 2011

hispanic professional networking says:

Now this days we depend on technology for a living. Me as an example cant leave my phone away from my hands for a minute, over the years its now a part of me that without it i just feel empty. What has happened to us? Anyways great blog, keeep the good work.

Posted on August 31st, 2011

pauline says:

I suck at tech-free. I can give up air before I give up my smart phone. That being said, I am trying to limit my social media habit to times that do not encroach upon family time. Usually our dinners have us each focused on our own little piece of technology but today, except for the me needing to reply to a work email thing, we actually focused on each other. Look at that. Quality time.

Posted on August 31st, 2011

Laurita says:

WOW. I tip my hat off to you, Carrie! I don’t think I could do this. EVER. Tal vez gradualmente. I would have to ween myself off slowly, like a junkie. For real. The thing is, I’m always SUPER EXHAUSTED because I allow myself to stay up until the wee hours FB-ing, Tweeting or checking E-mails or affiliate offers, but it’s kind of okay with me. But I know someday I will feel differently! :)

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Morena says:

Hi Carrie, its so true what you say, technology is nowadays the biggest, most dangerous addiction. I have a friend who quit twitter 2 weeks ago cause she couldn´t even drive without tweeting. She lasted 2 weeks without it, now she´s back. I have a method to detox from technology that works BUT may be too extreme for most people :D I went to a 10 day meditation retreat 2 years ago where no phones, laptops, mp3s, books, pens, NADA, was allowed. I swear, by the time I got back home, I felt like a different person. I kept staring at my laptop with suspicion for days, not wanting to go back to that life consuming habit :D

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Amanda @ High Impact Mom says:

It is SO hard for me not to check my tech on a regular basis. You did great though, so way to go!

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Patty @ A Day in My NYC says:

Bravo Carrie!

I have so been thinking about this too. Thinking about doing one day over labor day weekend. Not checking phone, email or social media.

Let me do a trial hour right now…11A-12n on 9/1. I’m at work, so no phone or web, or blog email (work email si porque estoy aqui para eso!)

Ok I’m going be back later to tell you how the trail went. :)

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Migdalia - @MsLatina says:

I could never do a tech free day. I admit it, I’m a tech-aholic LOL

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Candice @ Fashionably Organized says:

It’s funny that you posted this b/c this last weekend I was in Yosemite, and there was no cell or wifi (we actually found out when we left that there was wifi we could’ve purchased). It was awesome knowing that even if I did turn on my phone there would be nothing there. 3 days of freedom, was a true eye opener. Now if only I could actually do that when there is connectivity.
Candice @ Fashionably Organized´s last [fabulousness] ..Hiddur Mitzvah – Honoring the Treasures in Your Home

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Patty @ A Day in My NYC says:

I did it one hour…the most stressful hour! LOL!

I can’t believe how much actual work I got done in that short time…ah that was what life was like before smartphones! LOL

I’ll definitely give it a try over the weekend! :)

Posted on September 1st, 2011

bonnie/sweet life says:

good for you carrie!! little steps. I clock out every fri at 5pm. I am reclaiming my weekends, lol. i enjoy spending my weekend with my girls, hubby and family and checking email,facebook and comments was taking from it. I am even trying to cook/style/photo my recipes during the week so i can have the weekends off..we shall see..

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Liz says:

Wow.. I don’t think I can do that! I wish…

I can’t live w/o my phone. It’s the last thing I check at night, and the first thing I check in the Am!

Thanks for the tips!

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

Well, look at that!
Bien hecho!

Fortunately, my husband is not addicted, which helps temper me.

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

Junkie!
I had no idea you were so bisiosa…is that how it is spelled?

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

Morena, I would so love doing a 10-day retreat!

You going to do it again?

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

Progress…not perfection!

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

Good girl!

You did it and you survived.
Now, more than an hour?

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

Si.Se.Puede!

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

That’s the trick, right, to do it when you have a choice?

And, it is amazing that we feel good when we’re not connected, but we go right back to it?

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

Bonnie, you are my hero!
I love that you clock out…I am aiming for that.

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Carrie says:

Liz, you shock me! LOL

You can do it.

Do your kids or husband give you a hard time, ever?

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Morena says:

I actually did it again for the past 2 weeks Carrie :D Came back on Sunday. But this time I was a server, so less of a disconnection than when you´re there as a student meditating day in and day out. This is the link to the courses if you´re interested!
http://www.dhamma.org/

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Sujeiry, 1st Lady of Love says:

I was technology free for a weekend and guess what? My Klout score went down! I don’t even know how important that is but for a blogger who is working her butt off to make money from her blog, well, tweeting has become part of life. I don’t brush my teeth first thing in the morning. I tweet! I even load Hootsuite in advance so I can read my Twitter timeline and FB updates and notifications of my fanpage while underground (no service on the NYC subway).

One day I will take a break. For now, I just have to keep plowing!
Sujeiry, 1st Lady of Love´s last [fabulousness] ..Embracing Aging: I Love Madonna…But Her FACE?!

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ says:

i can give up a lot of things, but somehow unplugging from ALL of tech is simply impossible…. I mean, I could miss that $5k gig that requires an immediate response! On vacay as of tomorrow and praying that even though I’m taking my laptop and my phone, I’ll be able to stay disconnected for 22 of the 24 hour day, every day! We’ll see. All that being said, the one day I do stay unplugged is on Sabbath (sundown Friday-sundown Saturday). Those 24 hours of nothing electronic is the best thing that could happen to my work ethic and inspiration. Sometimes, I don’t even get back to work until later on Sunday. So, I love that you shared the Sabbath Manifesto…. nothing new for me but I’ll def. be sharing. I wonder about the originator’s background…

Posted on September 1st, 2011

Presley's Pantry says:

Carrie this post made me bust up. I think I found it super funny because you sound like me taking the phone to the bathroom with you. I need to find a way to be less consumed with my computer and phone….. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe.

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

BL Boudoir says:

First day is always the hardest – persevere and you will find it becomes much easier!
BL Boudoir´s last [fabulousness] ..A Little Known Secret About Boudoir Bridals

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

Vicky B says:

Carrie,
Thanks for the tips! i’ve done it a few times (when my phone breaks down- apparently I need a new smart phone), but I usually come back to my phone at the end of that time dreading all the red blinking notifications- TOO MANY NOTIFICATIONS!!! aaaaaaahhhh! haha!

I will definitely give planned tech-free-days more of a chance!

Vicky

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie says:

I can live without a lot of the “finer” things in life, but please don’t take my internet away from me. That said, I have been trying my best to live tech-free on Sundays. Some days I do pretty good, but most days it’s that darn Facebook that sucks me back in! LOL

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

My Hour in Withdrawal | A Day in My NYC says:

[...] Carrie at Tiki Tiki Blog wrote this post: Tech-Free Day. Need Do-Over about disconnecting for a day. You know this activity. It involves removing the cell phone from [...]

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

Lisa Quinones-Fontanez says:

This is difficult for me to do during the day while at work but it’s something I need to work on. On the weekends, it’s easier – I’m on the go, with my family – focusing on them.

But definitely going to try stepping back slowly, prioritizing and setting up a schedule for myself.

Thank you for this!

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

marcela says:

Ok, I am getting all kinds of signs to do this detox today… I was just reading another Hallmark post about being tech free…

(will try : )

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

Unknown Mami says:

The last time I went 100% tech-free was Thanksgiving. I’m terrible. I check email when I’m in bed under the covers so my husband won’t see.

Posted on September 2nd, 2011

Tia Mirtha says:

I feel so sorry for all of you young ones that can’t live with out tech. I went to a doctor’s appointment and there were 4 people, sitting infront of each other, all 4 had their heads down looking at their phone, texting, checking FB, e-mail, etc. etc. Not once did they look at each other, not once did they say “hello” “good morning”.. nothing. Like robots the sat there with eyes glued to that little machine. How sad. !! An old Cuban lady like me came in and we both looked at each other and in a typical Cuban style, we turn our eyes up “como diciendo, que barbaridad”. I have a regular phone that I can text and that’s it. I don’t have a lap-top, I only check my e-mail early in the morning or very late at night like now. There is a life out there and you are all missing it.

Posted on September 3rd, 2011

Carrie says:

Prioritizing! That’s the key, right there.
Carrie´s last [fabulousness] ..Tech-Free Day. Need Do-Over

Posted on September 4th, 2011

Carrie says:

Marcela, I need to go read more supportive tech-free day essays..

Let me know how it goes for you.

Posted on September 4th, 2011

Carrie says:

Poor husband!
Let me know if you need an accountability friend…

Posted on September 4th, 2011

Carrie says:

I think we are dignas de lastima, for sure.

Posted on September 4th, 2011

Mariana says:

You make such a good point about not reading email before bed. I’ve stopped taking my iPad to bed for the same reason. While I often used it for reading (iBooks) I found myself easily distracted by Twitter, email, Facebook… and taking forever to finish the books I was supposedly reading. I was also guilty of grabbing it first thing in the morning, before even getting out of bed. Now I just take a real book – and maybe a Sudoku puzzle – to bed and I think I’ve been sleeping better because of it. While going completely tech-free obviously isn’t an option, it looks like you’ve got your priorities straight. Go Carrie! ;)

Posted on September 4th, 2011