When Do You Unplug?

airplane mode
United States
May 14, 2016 9:45am CST
Studies have shown that people who are attached to electronics 24/7 have more information overload, depression and anxiety than those who unplug. I didn’t need a study to tell me that I didn’t want to be “attached” to the world all day long. I’m not that social. I like my private time. For me, all electronics are tools. They are not life itself. They exist to enhance my life, to make it easier. So when everyone else was complaining that cell phones made them feel like they were at work after hours, I did not. My phone was off and sitting in my purse. Everyone I knew was aware that they could leave a message, and I would get back to them when I had time. I trained the few people who had my cell phone number that this was my routine. If there was an emergency (which there never was in the 20+ years I’ve had a cell phone), they could call me at work and reach me through my work number. If I was at home, they could call me on my landline. If I was there, I would answer. I leave my cell phone off now still. I only turn it on to use it to take a picture, look something up, get driving directions or make a call. It never interrupts me. It can’t. It’s off. My iPad is on much of the day, but most of the time I leave it in airplane mode. This means no one can contact me, but they can leave a message. I even have a quiet time for my landline (yes, I still have one). I unplug at eight in the evening, and don’t plug it back in until I have had my breakfast the next morning. I don’t understand the “need” to stay connected to everyone and everything all the time. Humans need time to think. You can’t do that when data is constantly pouring into your head. When do people have time to process it all? Never. This isn’t healthy. It isn’t smart. People would be happier, like the studies show, if they had a routine time to switch off and disconnect from it all. Do you unplug at a set time each day?
29 people like this
28 responses
@JohnRoberts (61069)
• Los Angeles, California
14 May 16
Well stated. I don't even carry a cell and when I do, it is strictly to be used in case of emergency. I shut down the PC when not in use so not to waste energy. The landline handles with messages. People are allowing technology to rule their lives without realizing 25% percent use is practical and 75% nonsense.
6 people like this
• United States
14 May 16
Yes, and then they wonder why they feel bad. Have lunch in a public place and see the parents ignoring their children. Whatever happened to talking face to face?
4 people like this
@JohnRoberts (61069)
• Los Angeles, California
14 May 16
@ElizabethWallace And what is so important to be constantly texting and checking messages? How did we survive in "olden" times?
3 people like this
@Gina145 (3974)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
14 May 16
@JohnRoberts I also carry my cellphone for emergency use only and hate it when people insist on using that number instead of my landline. I'm not so disciplined when it comes to computer use though, but I do switch if off if I'm not going to be using it for a while. One of these days I'll learn to cut down my computer use even further.
2 people like this
@marlina (76660)
• Canada
14 May 16
I have told everyone I know, including my own sons Not To Text Me. They can call me on my land phone or my old Nokia cell phone.
6 people like this
• United States
14 May 16
Isn't control a wonderful thing? I wish my grandkids would text me. Their phones do not make calls, only texts, but they don't use them, unlike most teens.
4 people like this
@marlina (76660)
• Canada
14 May 16
@ElizabethWallace Control is a wonderful thing and I use it whenever I can!
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
@marlina More people should try it once in awhile.
1 person likes this
@rina110383 (24070)
14 May 16
As to phone, I primarily use it as an alarm clock. If not used as an alarm clock, it's kept inside my bag. Though I text/call my parents, I schedule it, like twice a month. They are also busy persons like me. For the laptop, I only stay in front of my screen when working. Otherwise, I shut it off. I don't have other gadgets.
5 people like this
• United States
14 May 16
This sounds way too sane for someone in your age group. How did you stay so wise?
2 people like this
@rina110383 (24070)
14 May 16
@ElizabethWallace Since I was a kid, I didn't want distractions in life, and that included TV and music. I carried that on with my usage of phone & laptop.
3 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
@rina110383 This is very smart. Good for you.
2 people like this
@Juliaacv (32386)
• Canada
14 May 16
I have to say that I spend more of my day unplugged then not. My cellphone is only for emergencies, and I don't check it as often as most people check theirs. There are not enough people who have my number that would text or call me with an emergency. I don't do the social media thing, so there is not unplugging to do there.
4 people like this
• United States
14 May 16
Then you are unplugged already. This is, in my opinion, the best way to handle technology. Let it help you enjoy your life, not take it over.
4 people like this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
14 May 16
My mobile phone is only turned off when I am flying, otherwise it is on 24 hours every day.
3 people like this
• United States
14 May 16
And does this interfere with your life, or make it better for you? Like the new avatar. How was/is your vacation?
2 people like this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
15 May 16
@ElizabethWallace I find it beneficial and see no purpose in buying a mobile phone and turning it off. The holiday is going well so far, especially since I have an old friend who lives here.
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
@Asylum That's one way to look at it. Glad you are having a good time on your trip. Is the weather cooperating with you?
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
14 May 16
The only thing i keep on at all times is my cell phone, in the event of that unlikely emergency call from my daughter who commutes 25 miles or so each way to work daily. I would feel more anxious with it off than on. We gave up our land line about 3 years ago.
3 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
I can see why you keep it on and with you in this case, but most people are addicted, and should figure out how to let it go.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
16 May 16
@JamesHxstatic - I agree that I would feel more anxious worrying that my kids and grandkids could not reach me. Having my phone on does not bother me.
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
16 May 16
@DeborahDiane Very true.
1 person likes this
• Rochester, New York
14 May 16
I normally only use my cellphone to take calls from family and work. I'll also use it to take photos for Instagram. I'm not much for talking on the phone, it honestly bores me so I always tell folks to text if they need me. My cell is my main phone so I tend to keep it on all day, but when I'm at work it's on airplane mode.
3 people like this
• United States
14 May 16
You too sound like you are in control. That's a good thing in my book.
@sugartoes (41997)
• Greencastle, Indiana
14 May 16
your so right we need some time to get off all the gadgets they have in front of us all day long I have my land line that sits here that hardly rings which I don't mind I'm happy with that I have my cell phone that I hardly use cause it takes mins to keep it going so I don't use it that much. I have my computer desk top I just about LIVE on but I do take time off of it now & then when I can.
3 people like this
• United States
14 May 16
The last word in your comment is key. When you CAN? This sounds like someone or something other than you is in control. Fight the urge to give up autonomy.
1 person likes this
@MarymargII (10396)
• Toronto, Ontario
14 May 16
Many people think as you do and so do I- the younger generation however, feel that they can only relate when plugged in, as you say- I fear it will only get worse.
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
We will have to rename their generation, Depressives.
2 people like this
@MarymargII (10396)
• Toronto, Ontario
15 May 16
@ElizabethWallace Ha! Ha! True- they need to get out and feel the air and emote a bit--ha!
2 people like this
• United States
16 May 16
@MarymargII They have no idea what they are missing.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (71034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
14 May 16
I carry my cell phone with me only occasionally, and use it only for small "emergencies," like letting a parent know that I'm running late with their kid client, and that we haven't fallen off a cliff. When I go to Montana in the Summers, I'm almost entirely "off the grid."
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
From reading your posts, I know you have life in balance, and electronic addiction is not a problem for you (or me, obviously).
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (71034)
• Pleasant Hill, California
15 May 16
@ElizabethWallace At some point, I suppose I'll have to "conform" and move into the 21st Century. But I still like landlines, desktops, and real conversations.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 May 16
@TheHorse Actually, no one is going to make you give up these three. They will, however, continue to make you give up the operating system you bought, paid for, and want to continue to use. I hate that.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54871)
• United Kingdom
15 May 16
No, I don't have any set time for anything, and that includes computering (I'm sure you'll tell me if that's not a word). I hardly ever have my cell phone on either, but I take it with me when I'm driving. I don't unplug the landline at night - I'd like to be able to be contacted if there was a family emergency.
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
My family lives too far away from me for any of them to call me in case of emergency. But, it they lived closer, I might keep the phone plugged in at night.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
16 May 16
@JaboUK - I agree that I like to be able to have my kids reach me whenever they want.
2 people like this
• United States
16 May 16
@DeborahDiane You have several and one is nearby, this alters what is necessary for you. Most addicted people have no real need to be on it so much.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113161)
• United States
14 May 16
Everything is unplugged at 5 p.m. every day. I am not using devices all day long either. Too many wonderful things to do out in that wide world of ours.
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
Fabulous attitude, pass it on!
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (113161)
• United States
15 May 16
@ElizabethWallace 5 p.m. is novel reading time!! Yea!
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
@Corbin5 I think you are right there.
2 people like this
@Lucky15 (33719)
• Philippines
15 May 16
I turn mynphone off at night.
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
Try turning it off two hours earlier than you have been. It's very freeing.
2 people like this
• Preston, England
14 May 16
I like to switch off a lot though while my mum is so ill my phone does need to be on whenever I am out
2 people like this
• United States
15 May 16
This makes good sense. You are using it as a tool, which is the point I was making.
2 people like this
@Gina145 (3974)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
14 May 16
My cellphone is always switched off when I'm at home, but the landline is never unplugged. We don't get a lot of calls though, particularly not late at night, but my Mom occasionally gets late calls from relations. I wish I could say I was as disciplined with my computer, but I tend to spend too much time online, particularly late at night. It's a habit I badly want to change, and I'm really trying to convince myself that I will succeed.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 16
Pick a time to unplug and stick to it. Find something else you enjoy to begin at the time you selected, so you have an alternative. Not having one means it will be difficult to make the change.
1 person likes this
@Gina145 (3974)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
14 May 16
@ElizabethWallace I wish it was that simple. I've been a night owl my whole life and I always come to the computer after watching television. The something else would be going to bed and somehow that doesn't have the same attraction.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 May 16
@Gina145 Sorry. Perhaps it takes getting older for sleep to become a wonderful thing.
1 person likes this
@Dragonairy1 (1413)
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
14 May 16
I don't unplug at set times, but if I'm in the garden I just take my camera and I have my mobile set to only priority interruptions ( my mum, dad or husband) after about 11 at night. I don't get many messages though as I'm not that social.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 May 16
I think people who are addicted to their electronics are actually less social than the rest of us.
1 person likes this
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
15 May 16
@ElizabethWallace that's a good point, as they are that involved with people on the phone they fail to talk to the person who is with them.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 May 16
@Dragonairy1 For this, and many other reasons, I think phone use in restaurants, office lobbies, etc. should be banned.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
14 May 16
When I had a job driving, I was more or less on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The phone was always with me. It drove me to distraction. I don't know how many times I came flying out of the shower or the bathroom to answer the phone. This wasn't an idiosyncrasy: it was part of my job. I didn't like it. At the time I found it annoying, but now that I'm not getting those calls, I realize the stress involved.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 16
Stress is the enemy. Any way to avoid it is a good thing.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
14 May 16
@ElizabethWallace Agreed. Just it was a byproduct of unemployment.
@DianneN (82237)
• United States
15 May 16
My phones are all enabled for emergencies from my immediate family only at night. Everything is on during the day, because I have texts, photos, googling, Facebook, and phone calls from my husband every time he goes out. I'm quite happy, and am never bothered when friends or family call or text. If I am, I simply tell them I'm busy and will get back to them later.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
16 May 16
@DianneN - I am more like you. All of my technology is on throughout the day, so my family can reach me almost anytime ... unless I am in a yoga class or something like that.
1 person likes this
@AkoPinay (10088)
• Philippines
15 May 16
My phones are always turned on but in a silent mode. I check it from time to time.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 May 16
When people leave their phones on, their brains are attached to it, instead of what is happening around them in their real lives.
@miniam (9233)
• Bern, Switzerland
15 May 16
My cellphone is off all day everyday, i turn it on at around 5pm as i feel who ever needs to call for a chat should respect that l work in the day. Like you,emergencies have to call me at work or wait till i turn my phone on.My computer is then different, i spend so many hours online l sometimes feel ashamed to say how long. Unplug? this is a foreign word when it gets to my computer.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 May 16
Does it interfere with your real life?