On Friday, March 23, the sun set at 7:25 p.m., and as the giant yellow ball in the sky went down somewhere behind the clouds of San Francisco, so did the power on my electronic devices. The screens of my smartphone, laptop, and TV were as dark as the nighttime sky.
Keeping to my word, I was going 24 hours without tech for the National Day of Unplugging. Created by the nonprofit organization Reboot and now in its third year, the National Day of Unplugging encourages people to take a break from information and technology overload and use the time to reconnect with friends and family, go outside, focus on their health, give back, meditate, or take part in other non-tech-centric activities.
Reboot doesn't define what "unplugging" means; instead, it's up to the individual to decide. For me, it meant turning off the electronics I use most, which are my smartphone, laptop, and TV. Working with and covering tech five days a week, I thought it would be nice respite, but as I hit the power button on my devices Friday night, I was surprised at how anxious I felt about being without my gadgets -- more specifically, my phone -- for 24 hours.
What if my friends changed our dinner plans for Saturday night? What if something came up (like the most horrendous haircut of all time?) and I had to bail? Worst of all, what if there was some kind of emergency?
It's amazing where your imagination can take you if you let it, but I tried to put those fears aside. Plus, my competitive side was determined not to let a puny iPhone or 37-inch TV take me down, and thus, I embarked on my tech detox. … Read more