How to Take a Break from Technology

Not quite sure what your life would look like without your iMac, iPhone, iPad and iPod? Heck, what your life would look like without Apple’s influence? Find out how you can survive a technology-free weekend.

If your days are looking like an amalgamation of tweets, pokes, likes, shares, posts, Google searches, iTunes downloads and Word documents, then it’s time to face the facts: you need a break.

Now before you start planning your tropical vacation to Bora Bora, hold your My Little Ponies.

I mean a technology vacation.

If you’re not quite sure what that means, have a quick look around you. Likely, you’re reading this article on your iPad or your computer, while you text a message to your GF and like your crushes recent post. All around you, technology is buzzing.

But it’s time for the buzzing to take a break.

Don’t worry – it’s just for a weekend, though. And with this easy guide, you’ll definitely survive your technology-free weekend.

Step 1: Tell your loved ones your plans

Girlfriends Talk and eating ice cream

Before you drop off the radar you should probably let your friends and family know what’s happening. Otherwise you’ll be 24 hours into your technology-free weekend and your entire social circle will report you as missing. Not cool.

So to limit the freak-outs, let everyone know what you’re planning on doing. Tell them when the technology blackout is in effect and when you’ll be re-emerging, clear-eyed and bushy tailed, into the real world.

You’ll probably get a lot of responses like ‘What?!’, “Why!?” and “WTF!?” but just ignore them. Ignore them all. One day their time will come. But for now, it doesn’t matter what they say or think. You’re taking a vacation and you’re going to enjoy … well, silence, I suppose.

You’ll also need to put some methods in place for emergencies. You don’t want to completely disappear. So make sure people know how to find you and a general gist of where you will be during your tech-free weekend.

Step 2: Gather your supplies

If you’re going to survive the weekend, you’ll need to take steps to prepare yourself. Because the reality of no technology can sometimes be a little, er, surprising.

To begin with, you’ll need to mentally time travel, all the way back to before mobile phones were invented. Gasp! What on earth did people do to entertain themselves back then?

Well, for starters, they read a lot. And not blogs. So load up on magazines, books, comics and whatever tickles your pickle. As long as it doesn’t have a power cord, you’re free to read it.

You can also reignite a hobby like writing, drawing, painting or knitting. Anything that makes you happy and keeps you entertained, gather it and keep it on hand for the weekend.

Step 3: Map out your days

A group of friends on a hiking  camping trip in the mountains

Next, make a plan for how you will spend your weekend. While it might be tempting to just wing it, you’ll actually fare much better if you plan everything out in advance.

One of your options is to go camping with a group of friends for the weekend. This is a great way to get back to nature while avoiding the temptation of technology. Think fresh air, swimming in a lake and roasting marshmallows on a campfire. What could be better?

Alternatively, you can line up some dates and coffees with all those friends you’ve been meaning to see for months. It’ll keep you busy, entertained and you’ll feel more connected than if you spent your day curled up with phone.

Another option is to set up a spa day. You can do a DIY version at home where you soak in the bathtub, paint your nails and give yourself a facial, or you can spend a little cash and do it professionally at a day spa.

However you choose to pass your time, keep it fun, interesting and engaging. And plan it out as much as you can.

Step 4: Hide your electronics

The night before your blackout begins I recommend hiding your electronics somewhere safe. Or better yet, give them to a friend to hide. Make sure they’re kept somewhere you can’t easily access or otherwise you’ll be tempted to grab them as soon as the going gets tough.

Step 5: Prepare your social media

Your final step before disappearing from the world of technology is to let your social media networks know what’s happening. Give them a quick update to inform them of your plans and tell them you’ll let them all know how it goes when you’re finished. If you’re the type of person that checks their emails on weekends, it’s worthwhile setting up an out-of-office notification.

Otherwise, if you don’t want to let everyone know, why not delegate your social media to someone else for the weekend? Kit Kat has a great app that randomly posts on your behalf so you don’t disappear from people’s minds for the weekend. Otherwise, ask a trusted friend to make some posts. After all, they can always take pictures on your behalf!

Step 6: The vacation

young woman outdoor in summer using cellphone

Okay, so your technology vacation has started! And guess what – we’re already going to cheat a little. Now I know that in our parents time, mobile phones weren’t available. When they had to contact someone they used pay phones or landlines. But, well, life doesn’t work like that anymore.

So take your mobile phone with you. Just, and I know I can trust you with this, don’t use it for anything but emergencies. That means you can use it if you’re lost, but not if you’re running late. It’s still off limits. But, I’d hate for you to be stuck in a bad situation, so make sure it’s still close at hand.

Now for the vacation itself. You have your activities lined up and your materials at hand. You’re stocked up with books, magazines and DIY beauty tasks. But … you’re starting to feel a little lonely. Surely a quick peek on Facebook wouldn’t be too bad right?

Uh. Yes. It would.

Just like the first few days of a no-chocolate diet are excruciating, expect temptation to rest close by during your weekend.

We’re simply not used to being without technology. When we’re walking, we scroll through Facebook. When we’re commuting, we tweet and look at the recent news headlines online. If we don’t know the answer to a question, we Google it.

Life without all these distractions will be very different. And for once, you’ll even find yourself being able to think clearly. At first it might seem like a rush of random, uncontrollable thoughts. But slowly and surely, once you brain gets used to not being constantly stimulated and distracted, you’ll learn how to be alone. How to entertain yourself. And it’ll be … fun. I promise.

Step 7: The aftermath

Now, since you haven’t actually been on your vacation yet, let me give you a few reasons why it would be a really good reason to go through with it:

  • You’ll be able to catch up with your friends. Face-to-face.
  • You can catch up on all those outstanding items on your to-do list.
  • You have time to actually think about your life and well, anything really.
  • You have the opportunity to enjoy being in the moment.
  • You can read that book you’ve always wanted to read.
  • You’ll save electricity.
  • You’ll lower your stress levels.
  • You’ll boost your creativity and come up with new ideas.
  • You can re-experience the concept of privacy. Yup, not every meal you have needs to be photographed and shared on Instagram. Weird, right?
  • Your world will expand to encompass more than just a screen. There’s a big, wide, beautiful world out there just waiting for you to explore.
  • You’ll be more physically active.

And last but not least, you’ll emerge from your vacation feeling excited to share your thoughts, new ideas and feelings with others. You’ll avoid social media burn out and have new stories to tell.

So, what are you waiting for? Schedule in your technology vacation today!

About the author

Cassandra Lane

While Cassandra readily admits to being a rampant cupcake aficionada (how could she not be with an almost-brother-in-law that owns not one, but three cupcake shops?) she happily works off her lust of all things sweet and sugary by slogging it out in the gym and outdoors.

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