True story; in 2003 on my 10 day honeymoon to St. Thomas I took 1, 1-hour conference call. I never lived that down. Even though it was 1 call, the impact and ramifications were significant.
Following that trip, it was agreed that we would only travel to locations that lacked cell phone reception. Translation: all travel was international. London, Paris, Rome, Mexico, etc. became “acceptable” destinations.
Of course, as technology advanced it became harder to avoid ways to stay connected. In London, I found an Apple Store to check work email. In Rome, it was a cyber cafe. In Paris it was a work paid for international SIM card. Crazy. Believe me, I know.
There’s not even a cost/price barrier anymore. Technology and the ease to stay connected, make it tough to unplug. Forget travel, just think about the last time you went out to dinner. How long did that phone stay in your pocket?
Of late, I’ve been trying to unplug. As I wrote earlier, it’s tough to change habits. But, you can change habits by making small adjustments. For example, here’s 4 things I’m doing to unplug more often:
1. When I go out to dinner, I turn my phone off, leave it at home or put in my coat pocket.
2. When I come home from work, the phone gets plugged in. Not just plugged in, plugged in, in another room. It’s out of sight and out of mind.
3. On weekends, when I’m with the kids, the phone is on lockdown. I rarely take it out. Not unlike with dinner, I will often leave the phone home if I’m out with them.
4. I’ve changed how I’m using social apps like foursquare. For example, I rarely check in all the time at every place I visit. These days I’m checking in with an intent or using foursquare to help me learn about places, not broadcast that I’m there.
Since I’ve implemented these changes a few weeks back I’ve been happier. It took a few days to adjust. Like a smoker who gives it up cold turkey, there was a period of adjustment. But, let me tell you it’s been worth it!