So Good To Unplug.

Musings on life without phones, and screens.

For the last few months- i have had the good forture to be off playing my 3 and 5 year old and have been forced to remain in their realm of the real WORLD! Which mostly consisting of wants and needs.

It has been exhasting and frustating, but I won’t change them so i better work on my responses. Having some time to myself, I noticed the phone was alway there to dive into. And even worse my 3 year would quickly follow me with it if i had left it anywhere, like to go brush my teeth. “Here mummy, your phone!” or to have breakfast “Here mummy, your phone!” So worried is she that i can’t live without it, she will ask me if I have it before we get in the car or go out. She is also on watch for my husband, lest he attempt to escape the moblie trap of connection.

If this does seems scarey to you and the fact my 5 year old will throw a fit the size of twarted serial killer if you even dare to take the tablet away to talk to him about his day should on every level ring alarm bells.

Rather then act like i know something new, as that would be nonsense, I am simply going to do it. I am going to unplug us for one day a week, I already run yoga retreats where we give up the tech and talk, and it is wonderful to see adults connecting to each other again.

As far as practicing what i preach, well, I will be honest I am a bit crap. With a family of people who all want their screen time, as if it were as important to life as breathing, it has been very diffficult to introduce time to connect to us. And a book i was resently reading had a very interesting point about how our brains work and why the tech is playing with our minds so mucha nd aking it so hard to put dowm.

“From an evolutionary standpoint, food that you don’t have is critically different from food that you do have. It’s the same for water, shelter, and tools. The division is so fundamental that separate pathways and chemicals evolved in the brain to handle peripersonal and extrapersonal space.

When you look down, you look into the peripersonal space, and for that the brain is controlled by a host of chemicals concerned with experience in the here and now. But when the brain is engaged with the extrapersonal space, one chemical exercises more control than all the others, the chemical associated with anticipation and possibility: dopamine. Things in the distance, things we don’t have yet, cannot be used or consumed, only desired. Dopamine has a very specific job: maximizing resources that will be available to us in the future; the pursuit of better things.”
― Daniel Z. Lieberman, The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race

First I found the escape to the country, meaning leaving the tech behind was foiled by a pragmatic husband who thought 10 hours in the car on the way to lakes was not the time to unplug.

Then the kids knew there was tech because they had just spent the whole trip on it, and they won’t buy the not charging thing for long. They are both capable of hot-wiring a car and driving to the nearest shop to buy the correct wireless charger.

So it is going to be a long hard slog to get this to happen, or is it?

“Giving in to craving doesn’t necessarily lead to pleasure because wanting is different from liking. Dopamine makes promises that it is in no position to keep. “If you buy these shoes, your life will change,” says the desire circuit, and it just might happen, but not because dopamine made you feel it.”
― Daniel Z. Lieberman, The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race

The next day almost by accident we head into the woods on a family walk/whine around a lake, and we make it almost all the way through a day without it until we push past the point where we should have gone home, and go for dinner with tired nut jobs and have to stop them ruining everyones dinner by sidating them with some danger mouse till the food arrives. Close. So Close.

More attemps to follow.

Ps I do also run retreats 15 times a year offering people the chance to drop into a world without tech, by having a digital detox for the weekend.

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