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Can You Disconnect from Your Digital Life?

Laura Doss

I was in a meeting last week and needed to know the time (had to pick my daughter up from daycare). There were 13 people at the table and not one was wearing a watch. Apparently, we all track time these days with a quick look at our cell phones.

No wonder I can’t ever disconnect. First thing in the morning I reach for my phone to turn off the alarm and find myself checking email too -- all before my feet have even hit the floor. And while I resist texting while driving, I am always picking up my phone to check for new messages, even with my baby on board.

I know she mimics everything I do (for instance, she lifts the jeweled lid of a little box and puts it to her ear to say “hi”) and I would never want her to think it is ok to take her eyes of the road for even a few seconds. When exactly to I plan to lead by example? It is definitely time to learn how to disconnect. My husband and I have been discussing trying a “digital Sabbath,” as we heard author William Powers (Hamlet’s BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age) talk about while being interviewed on NPR. He and his family unplug on weekends and they love it.

First step though? Buying a watch.

Readers, does the idea of “unplugging” from time to time appeal to you? Interested in trying a digital Sabbath with your own family? Talk to me! I’ll follow these comments.