Forcibly Unplugged: Disconnecting from the World to Reconnect with Myself

I both love and appreciate science but the deeply human part of me STILL does NOT believe in coincidence.

I find it utterly fascinating that my phone decides to have an emotional and physical meltdown the very day that my family arrived in town to visit me for the first time in the entire four years I’ve been at school. Since their arrival I have not been able to charge my phone rendering me phone less and largely disconnected from the world.

Although one would think that being constant plugged into the things that we love would keep us connected to ourselves in meaningful and interesting ways, I found that being forcibly “unplugged” has allowed me to connect back to myself in more ways than I could have imagined. It truly highlighted the difference between what my life is like when I’m managing my own personal information center and what my life is like when I just live it.

I found that every time I was forced to use the phone I became frustrated. Being tuned into this, I was able to make an adult decision to control my own emotions and manage my own mood rather than allowing my emotional nature to be so affected by the energy activities and decisions of those around me. So in a strange twist, disconnecting from the world helps me connect back to myself which then allows me to reconnect with the world in a more efficient more fulfilling way.

Its really interesting to me. Whats the longest you’ve ever gone without your phone constantly there to bug you and how did you feel? Was it a meaningful experience for you?

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2 thoughts on “Forcibly Unplugged: Disconnecting from the World to Reconnect with Myself

  1. “I both love and appreciate science but the deeply human part of me STILL does NOT believe in coincidence.”

    As the only social scientist within a family of medical doctors, I totally relate to your sentiments. For the past week I have been writing my thoughts on the divide between the “hard sciences,” soft sciences,” and social sciences. I’d began questioning whether it was possible that I’ve been romanticizing human nature. I tend to be a pragmatic person, but still I understand that life cannot be understood through scientific fact and/or mathematical equations.

    In response to your question on life without a cell…July 3, 2014 I watched my cell phone tumble down a flight of stairs and smash against the front door. As I raced down the stairs I knew I’d only find it inoperable and I went into panic mode. The next morning, a holiday, I woke up around 7am calling repair shops hoping to find a techie willing to fix it. I didn’t need to search long, the first guy I called told me to meet him at his shop and the phone was fixed in about 30 minutes. I felt ridiculous about the entire thing but I couldn’t help myself. Cell phones might as well be considered to be an extra appendage these days but I’m making a conscience effort to not let it take over.

    For years now my family has started communicating by text messages. I’m not totally opposed but there’s something about a “Happy Birthday text” that makes me feel incredibly sad. On my birthday this past June, I only received one phone call(outside of my mom and sister) from a family member. It made me think of my grandmother and how if she hadn’t passed the year before, she would have made sure to call me(she never even had a cell). Its the little things

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    1. Yeah I think new technologies are doing really interesting things for families. In some ways I think these changes are positive but a lot of people feel the way that you do – kind of sad and disconnected. I’m actually taking a really cool class right now in the Linguistics Department here at Georgetown called the Discourse of Social Media and we are specifically looking at how new media are affecting relationships and families, especially how differing “media ideologies” cause conflict and create rifs. The book we’re reading is really interesting if you’re into stuff like that, its by an anthropologist named Illana Gershon and its called “BreakUp 2.0 Disconnecting Over New Media” – you should check it out! Sorry about your birthday though, and the passing of your grandmother. But I’m sure if you let people know that you prefer calls, someone will care 🙂

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