The power of disconnecting

The power of disconnecting

I sit here….on a piece of driftwood wondering where this log came from. For sure somewhere here off the Washington coast…I think. For two days this will be my thinking spot. The spot where there is no connection. No cell service, no Internet. There is my wife, myself, these waves and this fallen tree. I look to my right and see our bald eagle friend who obviously has a nest near by. He/she has been a beautiful site to watch over these two days. Yesterday morning it flew by us so close you could hear the wind between its wings. It turned its head towards us, checking us out, then keeps on its way looking for breakfast. Today it sits on a rock island, every once in awhile taking flight to soar in the wind and find a new high perch to take in this breathtaking view. When we talk about the power of disconnecting, this is always what comes to mind. This idea of getting outside our day to day routines, sitting back and enjoying nature, our surroundings and allowing our mind just to….be. My wife uses this time to read. The backlog in her Kindle dwindling by the moment. I use this time to write. We both take this time to reflect on life, on ourselves, on us. Disconnecting is so important. Often I hear teachers say “These kids today are always connected.” and it’s true…we’re ALL always connected. Recently at an admin training day I asked roughly 80 administrators to put down all their devices, close their laptops, turn their phones upside down. Then move their chairs back from the tables and put their hands in their laps. The room was tense and we lasted 42 seconds before someone peeked at their phone. You’re not going to disconnect when you have devices that can and will connect. It’s not an age thing, it’s a society thing. We talk about needing kids today, all of us today, to disconnect. What are we doing in schools to help kids, our teachers, and families understand this? It’s hard to disconnect. Finding a place that is “off the grid” is difficult today, not impossible but difficult. It is important to connect to nature, to our loved ones and most importantly to ourselves. We need to make sure we’re helping kids today understand that. That’s all I have….now back to watching...

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What Does It Mean To Disconnect?

What Does It Mean To Disconnect?

I have been pondering this question for some time now. What does it mean to disconnect? We all say we need to. We all believe it’s healthy for us (any research out there?). What does it truly mean to disconnect. Here are some scenarios I have been playing through my head: I frequently go for runs with my wife. I have my phone strapped to my arm and it tracks my run via GPS and posts it for me and others in my running social-network to view and encourage me. Am I disconnected? I went for a drive today listened to the radio, Sirius Satellite, and used the cars built-in GPS Navigation system to get to where I was going with live weather and traffic updates. Am I disconnected? I worked out for an hour today with my phone strapped to my arm and the video of my workout pumping through my ear-buds. Am I disconnected? If you listen to music while you run are you disconnected? If you watch TV while you workout (drove pass a gym today that had them connected to the treadmill) are you disconnected? I’m sitting here in my very quiet house eating dinner, no TV, no radio, just me my cat and this blog post. Am I disconnected? I don’t know the answer to these but I am becoming increasingly frustrated with people saying we need to disconnect and then they turn around and use their built in GPS to navigate home. I know, I know…that’s different! Or is it? The problem no longer has to do with disconnecting or the amount of screen time one gets. What the conversation I think needs to turn to is a simple one really. Are you consuming, using or creating with technology? What we really mean when we say “Kids need to have balance” or “I need to disconnect” isn’t really about disconnecting, I would argue, but rather about being less of a consumer. TV and radio started it…so really it’s their fault (if you want someone to blame!). All you could do with that mass communication was consume. It turned us all into a bunch of consumers. Sitting around our radios and our television sets consuming information, relaxing, and just being. As far back as I can remember in my schooling years there were calls for a limit on the amount of TV we were...

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