Don’t be afraid, it’s not a punishment. See it as a gift to yourself and your loved ones.
As you might know, we started our rewilding drum business a couple of months ago, and thanks to the internet, quite a lot of our daily work it is based on online communication. With a vast public following and clients from four continents, the web offered us this great opportunity, virtually impossible a few years ago.
The other day, when considering how and where our family would spend the summer holidays, I caught myself wondering how long (for different kinds of reasons) would we be able to stay unconnected to the worldwide Web.
With the summer holidays only a couple of weeks away, most of us have been studying the offers of holiday brochures and websites to find the perfect summer break. We probably checked to see whether Wi-Fi access is available and whether it’s free of charge. It’s always fun to post pictures of your holiday, stay connected with all of your friends and colleagues and keep up on business while you’re away, isn’t it?
Or maybe not. The line between work and play has become increasingly blurred as a new report shows that more than half of us check work emails on holiday. In the UK and the US, 500 workers were surveyed for GFI Software. The results were astonishing:
- 60% check emails on holiday
- 6% have peeked a glance at a funeral
- 5% checked when their partner was in labor
- 4% sneaked a peek at a wedding
- 1% looked during a school function
- 41% check work emails at least once a day on their own personal time
DISCONNECT AND RECONNECT
We are surrounded by and over-connected to the Internet, the media, our computers and our phones.
I am not a scientist, but I believe Wi-Fi ain’t so good for us. Since the introduction of Wi-Fi in 1997, researchers have performed dozens of studies (studie on cell phone usage) to explore that subject. The results are clear and shocking.
Wi-Fi can contribute to:
- damaged childhood development
- decreased cell growth
- derailed brain function
- kill sperm and reduced fertility
- cardiac stress
That said, the “Online Virus” goes well beyond the Internet. Never before have humans been more digitally-connected to an artificial world, and never before have we been more disconnected from nature and our wilder self! Disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature has become a vital necessity.
Let us all challenge ourselves, and learn to disconnect from technology at least occasionally.
How about establishing a goal? Pick one or more “disconnect promises” for your summer holidays and make them public so others will know nothing is wrong when they cannot reach you immediately. This will also help you stay motivated as the urge to check email or post your status becomes strong.
SO THERE WE GO
During your upcoming summer holidays, do your best to:
- check incoming calls for a maximum of 15 minutes at one well-defined moment per day. It can be, for instance, in the early morning to get rid of the task as soon as possible so you can further enjoy your day and free time.
- reduce the online time to 15 minutes a day. I can assure you that there are far more interesting things with which to spend your time than wandering aimlessly on the Internet. Your time is precious, and if you can’t manage it well, the Internet will be happy to!
- Attempt to spend one or two entire weeks without being connected to the internet. It may look difficult to do on the first day, but once you realize your world won’t collapse without your presence online, you will feel much lighter and more liberated.
By taking up this challenge, you will discover that you have more leisure time to share with your family, friends and yourself. When you do this with full attention, without continuous interruptions from emails, text messages or cell phone calls, the time will seem to pass slower. You will be able to focus on the present moment more clearly and truly enjoy your “free” time a full 100%.
It will not be easy in the beginning, but I promise you: by disconnecting from the digital world and connecting completely with nature and your family, the memories will be much more vivid and you will arrive back at work at the end of your holiday much more refreshed and relaxed.
So what are your disconnection objectives for this summer? Don’t be afraid to share them here under comments. They will help you to stick with your convictions and inspire others to give it a try!