I am very fortunate that my parents have a lake house in the country, and it’s only a 4 hour drive from where I live. In a relatively short amount of time, I can enjoy the water, the wilderness and the crisp, fresh air there.
Despite all the fabulousness, here’s something that makes me rather anxious about going to the lake house, and it isn’t the alligators or the insects. It’s the lack of cell reception and WiFi connection!
Every time I plan a trip to the lake, my mind goes into overdrive about being out of touch, not regularly checking emails, not receiving texts in the moment, not having access to Google…How will I ever survive?! I’m afraid the world will stop turning and my business will collapse, all because I’m going off the grid for a few days! It sounds like I’m in need of a little device detox, and I bet many overly-connected people today can relate!
During the drive, I build up a nervous feeling in my stomach about what I might miss when I’m unavailable electronically or the productivity I’m losing when taking some days off to spend time with my family in nature. Pulling in and driving past the cabins in the woods and lake homes gives me the visual reminder that I’m in another place, but my brain hasn’t quite caught up yet. It’s still throwing a tantrum about WiFi connections and 1 bar of cell phone reception.
After one full day, the lake, trees, and fresh air all start to work their magic, and the panic of missed emails, calls and texts and the fear of not “doing” start to fall away. After one full day on the lake, I stop carrying my phone around in my back pocket, because why bother?!
I lose electronic connection, but so what? Seriously, SO WHAT?! So, what I gain is more than what I’ve supposedly lost – like time spent playing Scrabble with my dad, taking walks at twilight or roasting hot dogs on a roaring fire. During my device detox, I notice beauty and life right there and then. Because I’ve long since ditched my phone and its camera, I imprint it all into my memory.
At the end of several days in the wilderness at the lake house, my phone comes alive with signal and begins to buzz and ding. Most of what I missed is actually unimportant. The world has kept turning and my business hasn’t collapsed. The loss is nothing compared to what I gain when I go off the grid and disconnect from electronic devices. There’s true presence and time spent with the people I love. There’s the advantage of spending time relaxing and healing in nature. There’s time out from the work routine that allows for a fresh perspective and new ideas.
At the end of those days, the loss of internet connection and device addiction is actually a tremendous gain.
Give device detox a try! I guarantee the alternative (real life) is more fabulous than any news feed.
Does the thought of a device detox for a long weekend make you nervous and twitchy? What do you think you’d miss the most while unconnected? Hit reply and let me know!