I often reminisce about our time in New Zealand back in 2011-2012. You see, those were the days when all we had was a local Nokia phone with no extra features, our car had no radio, and the only access to internet we has was when we were at the house connected to wi-fi. That means when we left the house, we DISCONNECTED. We did not have access to email, facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. And when the kiwi was out training for ironman, I’d often tag along and walk or read a book while he trained.
On rest days we’d take day trips and just relax.
When we got back to the states our lives went from 50mph to 100mph again and I found myself trapped in busyness trying to run a business. Work Work Work, go go go. Crash, burn, repeat. It wasn’t until this past year that I really tried to channel that slowdown and work on disconnecting. Yes, work on disconnecting more. Sounds so easy, right?
Recently, my good BLEND Jess decided to take a complete 7 DIGITAL DETOX to celebrate her 10 year anniversary with her husband. I couldn’t wait to hear about her trip, and honestly, I wanted to hear more about her time AWAY from it all. No phone, email, social media, etc. I recruited Jess to share her digital detox “musings” here, today!
Birds chattering. Crickets chirping. Loudly. All evening and all morning. Waves lapping the shore. Toes in the sand, warm and soft. All of these are quiet, seemingly small moments. But to me? They were monumental.
It meant I was in the moment. Soaking it all in. Completely present and undistracted. Truly there.
Sure, it would’ve been fun to share all of this on instagram. I fully admit that I’m a totally instagram addict when I’m at home. I love sharing snippets of my day in photo form — to me it’s sort of become my form of ‘blogging’ now that I don’t blog any longer. However, instagram was the farthest from my mind in these moments.
To say that I learned a lot while Scott and I were away in St. Lucia to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary would be a giant understatement.
For the first time in Lord knows how long, we completely unplugged. And I truly believe it was this disconnecting to reconnect that brought us closer than ever before. It all hit me about halfway through our trip. There was a singer on the stage near the pool after dinner, he sang country song covers all night long and was taking requests.
When he sang the first few chords of ‘We Danced’ by Brad Paisley – our wedding song – I felt the tears on my cheek, the rush of emotions (that took me by surprise quite honestly) and I leaned my head on his shoulder. After just a few days completely detached from the ‘real world’ – a life at home that we adore but that is typically chock full of activity –I finally took a second to exhale. Letting my mind rush back to our wedding day soooo many years ago and that very first dance. I remember how excited I was. I was over the moon in love with my new husband and excited to share that with my family and friends who surrounded us while we danced.
In these moments, over ten years later, it was just Scott and I. Our song playing. I was simply in awe of this man with his arms around me, a man I am ridiculously proud to call my husband. A man that I all too often am so distracted around, that I simply don’t spend enough time just being with him. Just us. No electronics. No distractions. Appreciating him for all that he is and all that he means to me. Truly there.
As our week away neared its end, and we realized this little digital detox of ours was almost over, I was a little bit sad. It was so nice to just focus on Scott, on each other, and on nothing at all (and surprisingly WAY easier to disconnect than I thought it would be…).
Why on earth do we NOT do this more often?? I mean sure, we have jobs, we have commitments and responsibilities. But we have a choice in how we spend our down time, our free time. Why not make that ‘free’ time, truly FREE? Uncluttered by all things digital entirely. If you think about the word ‘free’ even – by definition it means open, unrestricted. And if I look back on our time in St. Lucia, I’d absolutely define that time as open, unrestricted and yes, liberating.
Now that we’re back on home turf, I’m taking what I’ve learned to heart. And lucky for me, Lindsay asked me to share that learning with you guys here.
Lesson learned from our digital detox
- To be free, to have free time, to have the freedom to choose to spend that free time however we want is a gift.
- It’s a gift to yourself as much as it is a gift to the loved ones around you.
- Give wisely. Give freely. Give often.
- Time literally slows down when you aren’t constantly checking in on facebook, instagram, twitter and foursquare.
- My mind felt at ease that week, no mind crazies, no fretting over what I was eating, drinking, doing for my workouts (or not doing). Coming home, it’s been far harder to shut the mind crazies down but I’m trying.
- Conversations were more engaging, we weren’t constantly half listening to each other. We were REALLY listening.
Also? I learned that I love my husband a whole heck of a lot more than a week ago.
Sounds pretty Marvelous, yes?
Do you need a Digital Detox?
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Yes i feel it, ineed it…
Good tips, thanks.
Nancy @ weightlossshakesx.net
What wonderful places in New Zealand! Digital Detox! I liked this idea!
I need to do that too.
Thank you for your practical tips!
i think we all need New Zealand! haha yes?
Nancy @ weightlossshakesx.net
There are so many wonderful places to enjoy in this world. Not just New Zealand 🙂 I also liked the nature and lakes of Switzerland when I’ve been there. Amazing country!
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
I’m definitely guilty of being SUPER connected and since Alex isn’t exactly addicted to social media, I have to be careful not to bury myself on my computer or phone all the time. I think taking some intentional “off” time is a great idea!
oh yes, it’s hard once married, but you work on time away and time to be present. Ya know?
I think we need to move to New Zealand! Ha..
Love this!! I just spent most of this past week doing a digital detox (other than a daily picture on FB/IG) – it was awesome!!!
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
I LOVE this so much. Both seeing Jess here and the message behind this post. I’m so happy that you were able to completely disconnect for a week. It’s so important to be able to connect with the real people in your life and those experiences. And I love how you describe free time as something that should be truly FREE. xo
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
I hate to admit this– but I just went on a 3 day holiday with my boyfriend, and he urged me to not bring technology and just have fun. Of course I took my iPad, which just annoyed me because I could see what was going on but couldn’t do everything I normally do. I really need to just leave it behind once in a while!
it’s hard, i totally get it. but practice makes perfect, right?
Great post! I really, really, really need a digital detox. The issue that I have is that I’m required to get my email 24 hours a day for work because I approve travel. Then once I look at that one thing then I look at IG, etc.
I love how you described it as living in the moment. It’s hard to live in the moment if we’re focused on capturing the photo, thinking about what we’re going to write about, etc.
I can so relate
Even after a blogging break I come back absolutely loving your posts. I knew I would:)
I definitely took my big digital detox the past…like 8 months. It was SO needed. I have never felt healthier, happier, and overall better since my break. I think this helped me emotionally more than I ever thought it could. It’s crazy how different my life is now! But, now that I took time away, I’m itching to get back all over writing! I definitely miss it after a while, although, instagram still isn’t very appealing to me. Weird.
i cannot wait to hear all about it friend! i want to catch up with you!
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Love the idea of a vacation digit detox.
just looking at the pictures put us on a mini vacation 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
I actually have a harder time connecting than I do disconnecting… at least when it comes to most social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and IG. I always tell myself that I should spend more time on them to get better exposure for the blog, but I find it a little stressful to constantly feel like I have to be “on”… which is probably why I go completely MIA when I’m on vacation 😆
Shashi @ runninsrilankan
Great post – awesome reminder indeed! This year, I gave up my data plan – now I have a “dumb” phone and have to be unplugged unless I have a wifi connection – and I love it! 🙂
At the end of August I am hitting the road with my Trucker husband for 2 weeks… I’ll have very limited internet access and to avoid spending millions on data, I’ll have my phone off most of the time. I’m half looking forward to the break and half wondering if I’ll survive! But it will be a much needed break!
Truth. Hits home – great post rockstar!
[email protected]' Out
Of all the detoxes out there, THIS is the one I need most! Instagram is really my only form of social media, but it’s so hard to take a break… I should at least try a one day detox sometime!
This is great! I totally need a digital detox but its tough b/c my job involves social media. bbooo!
THIS IS THE TYPE OF DETOX I NEED SO BADLY. No food detoxes, social media and technology detoxes for me!!! UGH! It’s so hard.
Domi @ Eat, Pray, Lift
I have been thinking about a social media detox (including deactivating my personal facebook) for awhile now. This is only encouraging that idea in the best way possible. Life these days is stressful enough without managing a whole digital world of interactions and demands. Thanks for sharing, Jess and Linds! 🙂
I don’t know what I need more, a digital detox or a vacation!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables
LOVE it! I think we could all use a digital detox!
Yes, I need a digital detox. I notice that when there’s any free time left in the day or late at night, I should sit in silence instead of think, or read.
sounds relaxing and needed!
Cait the Arty Runnerchick
this post is not only SO wise and true but too stinking cute! you and crazy cotter over there. 🙂
having ‘free’ time is i think is so hard for me because it brings up:
1) i tend to feel guilty if i’m not ‘doing’ anything
2) sitting without a distraction is tough because it makes you think. like REALLY think. haha.
but everyone needs that free time and gosh dang it, sometimes we also really need to think about things. then we also need the time to just NOT think and lose yourself in that free time like those wonderful walks and even better sharing that free time with another person who you love the heck outta.
amen to that friend! well said
Yes, I certainly need a digital detox!!
Jody - Fit at 56
OMG – love!! I wanted to jump into everyone one of those pics & never come back! 🙂 Great share Lindsay!!!!!!
same here! there has to be some kind of magic power for that, yes? haha
Beautiful post! Why does it take us to get run down before we switch off?! How beautiful is NZ! And St Lucia! Congratulations on 10 years Jess x
Meg @ A Dash of Meg
this is awesome babe! to tell you the truth… i feel like i am kind of on a detox right now… i haven’t posted on my blog for a week and hardly ever go on IG any more. Seemed so odd at first but now i don’t feel the need to go on any more. I think I will blog tomorrow to do an update on my life and explain what has been going on but…. just loving life A LOT lately 🙂
She Rocks Fitness
After this past weekend, being fully immersed in the digital craziness, I would love to have a digital detox, but it’s going to have to wait a few more weeks and then YES I plan on doing this! GREAT POST! XOXO
i need an island.. and a nap there. 😉
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
I need this so bad. I’ve been noticing that my phone has become glued to my hand. Even walking around my house, it’s there. Not good. Not good.
i hear ya! not good means we need to do something about it, for sure
Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)
I agree so much with Jess. I have gotten to the point where I just put my phone or computer down. I haven’t felt much like being so plugged in all the time. I think it actually makes me anxious! Is it weird that I would be totally happy with a job that wasn’t so internet focused? Sometimes I do with that, but then again, the internet and being plugged in has given me so many opportunities and I’ve found such amazing friends through blogging. It’s a complete catch 22…
I love you ladies!
love you more! gah, we need a vacation
Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake
I definitely need a digital detox. I do love keeping away from social media for a couple hours or so everyday but I know that a full week of no digital things, would help me tons.
Beth @ Miles and Trials
This was an excellent post. Thank you to Jess for sharing her experience with us. My family was on a “forced” digital detox when we went camping for the 4th of July, as the lake we camped at was so removed we couldn’t even get cell service. It was wonderful!
it’s always a blessing in disguise when that happens, yes?
I need a digital detox… but I work in digital/social media. I try to step away, especially when I’m visiting friends, but it always pulls me in… especially if something is cool enough to post on Instagram, then I’m checking for likes/comments haha!
i so get that. it’s hard when you do work for social media.. I’m a work in progress.
I think in …maybe 20 years there will be HUGE problems, and attention payed to our connection addiction and digital intoxication.
Sort of like the obesity crisis.
It’ll be called the technology crisis or something. Neck injuries. Anxiety. Delayed social development.. you name it.
I envision people making LOTS of money helping others with this problem too. Just like the diet industry.
Hmmm… my wheels are spinning.
sad but true… pondering
I love this!!! Congrats on doing it. My husband is a much worse addict to social media than I am and I would give anything to get him to unplug once in a while. We so need to do this. Thanks so much for sharing your experience…and congrats on 10 years!
I absolutely love this. Too often I find myself (and everyone around me) hooked to my phone. We walk the streets listening to music when we are avoiding the rest of society. This morning I caught myself as I stepped outside and immediately plugged my headphones in. Who knows when I will live in such a city and we miss all these experiences around us by staring at our phone, the computer, and so on. I am going to try to unplug completely when I’m home in a few weeks and start to do more and more when I’m in the city. It’s tough with the entire feeling of missing out, but is truly relaxing when we don’t feel as chained to technology.
Yes! One of my first blog posts was about taking tech detoxes. I’ll admit it’s been a long time since I’ve done it, though. It’s badly needed! This was a great reminder. I don’t think I’d include my kindle as off-limits though… haha
Love this!! Sometimes we just have to unplug and enjoy REAL life. It is amazing what that focus on ourselves, away from technology can do. I was just 3 days in the Swiss Alps and was with hardly any connection. I loved it it felt SO GOOD!!
I can easily waste away entire mornings or several hours online. It’s ridiculous. News, blogs, online shopping (shhhh….), facebook….it’s just silly. And somehow, somedays I feel like I HAVE TO do this! Why? Why????
i don’t know why, but i definitely relate. it’s like we need an off switch
Casey @ Casey the College Celiac
That sounds AMAZING! I actually did a similar detox in that I didn’t bring my computer on my 10 day trip to Colorado with the family. Although I still used my phone and a tv, it was nice to not be trapped to the blog world for a little bit. Technology is great, but sometimes it can chain us down too. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Megan @ The Skinny-Life
I can totally relate to this. All weekend I worked worked worked and now it’s Monday I am exhausted. We all need to find time to disconnect. It’s a hard balance to achieve I’m finding.
Lisa @ RunWiki
I am currently on one big summer detox, and I am here to say it has transformed me. With my 10 year anniversary coming up, I may stay on this path. I feel so good, that I am pretty sure this might be an entire life change. What a great article!
I love that you’ve had a detox summer!!!
Absolutely, yes. I need a digital detox more than I care to admit. The feeling of ‘needing’ to be connected, stay in touch with everybody else and comment all over the place is NOT what I want to feel like. Ideally, I -want- to connect and not feel like I had to. I like blogging and all of it but with such a lot on my mind and to-do list in ‘real life’ I feel a little break would help bring back my full-on blogging spirit. It’s been lacking a bit lately. Yet I’ve still failed in actually taking that break. Easier said than done.
Thanks for the reminder!
Yes, yes I do need a digital detox. It is one of my goals for July to unplug for a day! Need to get to that!
Megan (The Lyons' Share)
Yes, yes I do need one. This sounds so wonderful … the problem is that I just don’t make myself do it. Thanks for the inspiration!
it’s hard, right? we need accountability
Danielle @ I Eat Therefore I Run
I need a digital detox but in a different way: I’m only really on my phone and social media at home because I disable the 3G on my phone unless I really need it (like for Google Maps directions). I’m currently on summer holiday from school, and you’d think my sleep quality and quantity would be better, but because I’ve been reading from my computer, Facebooking (too much), and blogging, and especially just before bed time, my sleep is just as poor as when I’m working. Less time in front of a screen at home is what I need. And more time outside, away from screens or just reading books 🙂
yes! ditto. we need those red glasses too. helps with circadian rhythm
Karen Loves to Run (@karenlovestorun)
I LOVE this! I definitely need a digital detox and I’m a little mad at myself that I didn’t fully disconnect when we were on our honeymoon (!!). We had a great time and I was definitely in the moment but I also wanted to share the gorgeous surroundings with friends and family. One of my favorite memories with my husband is when we went to Yellowstone and we were totally without electronics for about a week and a half. I felt so removed from everything else but so close to him…I love that thought…disconnect from one thing to connect/get closer to another!
Thanks for the little remind to “log off” more often.
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast
I’ve been taking several short times to unplug these last few months- our babymoon trips, visits to my parents, weekends away- and every time it is AMAZING! I definitely need to keep that time in my schedule, even if we can’t get away for awhile with a new baby in the house. 😉 Love this reminder!
awww I ADORE this post and completely agree. I think social media can be healthy, a good way to interact with friends near and far and engage, but it can also be a detriment at times, the mind crazies etc. AND when you are on a special trip, time spent together, the last thing anyone needs is distraction from social media. What’s the point? We aren’t MISSING anything except the person sitting right next to us. Miguel and I did this in Mexico a couple years ago and try to do this as much as possible on weekends especially, but a full on detox is truly the best. I remember telling him I fell in love with him even more that week. The biggest thing from Jess’s post here – conversations being more engaging. how sad is that, truly? that sometimes social media can be us less engaged in where we are right here, in the here and now? awesome post sis! and Lindsay, you are also really good at this too, balancing both, and stepping away when you want and need! love love!
I cannot wait to disconnect TOGETHER on our lakation sis — you will be amazed by all that surrounds you when you are completely and fully THERE. I am so so glad we did this and cannot wait to do MUCH more disconnecting in the future. So needed.
can i come? i seriously need a getaway!
I am going to be doing this TWICE in August and very excited about it. First
Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie
I love this!! This is how I felt when Josh and I were in Cancun since we couldn’t really use our phones. It was the best! I need to do it more often.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
I’m sorry. A life without Instagram? I don’t follow… ;
Kidding! I usually take a detox day each week (Sunday). I love the interaction but sometimes you just have to be in the moment.
Katie @ Talk Less, Say More
I love this SO much! I definitely want to work on giving myself a digital detox, but it’s definitely NOT an easy thing.
Nikki @ grab your kicks
It definitely cleanses the soul to have time away from social media, TV, and the internet. We get to take time and be alone with our thoughts. We actually listen and enjoy the company we’re with. It’s funny how sometimes we’re SO used to pulling out our phones that we do it automatically. I’ve started some “electronic” free nights with my husband to spend more quality time together!
YES – listening and enjoying the company you’re with. How sad is it that technology has deprived us of such a simple joy in life huh??
This entire post sounds so amazing especially the detox part! I’ve been burnt out on the digital world lately and unmotivated to care much about social networks. Oh, that sounds worse than it really is. It’s just that right now I would rather be outside than checking blog stats. I would rather blog about life than products (even the products I love).
Happy Monday Lindsay 🙂
Alysia @ Slim Sanity
We try very hard to disconnect as a normal routine through the week. We went running without our phones last night. It was amazingly REFRESHING.
Erin @ The Almond Eater
I LOVE this. I love that you made a conscious effort to disconnect. It’s sad that we have to try so hard to do so, but I think it’s well worth it. I don’t disconnect as often as I should, but when I do, I never regret it.
I am off on holiday for a week on the 27th July – I am 90% sure I am going to do this then! I think it is important to take a break from all the technology!
Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family
I could totally use a digital detox! LOVE this 🙂
Jaclyn @ Bumpsweat
You know I love this! Starting my once a week dd this week 🙂
Linz @ Itz Linz
i’ve definitely slowed down in some ways after having baby william – and it feels good! in other ways, my life has sped up haha itz all about balance, i suppose!
I think we all should do it at least once/year. Totally agree about time slowing down. My family travels to a spot in the Adirondacks every summer where there is zero connectivity and it is fabulous! I actually loathe going back to technology after but it is a necessary evil of modern living, isn’t it?
LOVE! Digital detoxes are amazing. I spent time out at my family’s lakehouse without cell service, and just being outside without technology is an incredible gift. I also think about when I worked as a camp counselor in college – there was no cell service, and I was on the computer for maybe 20 minutes a day to check emails on a break. I slept the best I ever had and was able to live in the moment & really connect with people in real life on the best level.
I find it so interesting that you slept better — I have to agree. I think its because my mind was finally NOT going fifty five million miles an hour!
YES YES YES.
more than just 12 hours a day.
Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
“To be free, to have free time, to have the freedom to choose to spend that free time however we want is a gift.” <- LOVE this! Love this whole post! Especially since I just realized how in the last month or so, I've completely switched gears and have been detoxing on the regular without even realizing it. Life has just taken me down a different path…a good path…and has shown me that there are far more things that my attention deserves than countless pictures in my Instagram feed (my social media addiction of choice). In fact, how about this is the first blog post I've read in a over a week! I love my all my Blends and I do miss them dearly, but I gotta say, DAMN this feels good! 😉
I LOVE that you’ve done this without even really trying, it just sort of evolved that way for you. Amazing right??
Michele @ paleorunningmomma.com
I totally need one 🙁 Especially since starting my blog and getting more into social media. As much as the internet has given me great info and introduced me to great people, there is such a time suck and a fine line between productivity and just staring at a device. I think it’s a great practice to do a detox and I will have to figure out when to fit it in.
Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete
I truly believe that this is a great practice, especially for a special event, and most especially if you’re on vacation or out of town. I wonder if the “digi detox” makes it a lot easier to stay away from the social media when you’re at home or during your normal day.
It’s actually already causing me to rethink how I approach my day — and DEFINITELY how I approach my evenings. I’m determined to stick to the phone free/unplugged nature of our trip where ever I can now. I’ve promised myself that I WILL put my phone down and out of sight at night after work/teaching classes. Whatever messages are there can wait until the morning. Presence is so so much more important to me now, I’m craving it after our trip, so interesting right?
Good for you! Your 10 day vacation sounds a lot like my husbands 3 week vacation back to the States when visiting. We may get on the internet (check email) for maybe a handful of times & only use our phones when needed. It truly is amazing to just relax & make memories with your loved ones!
It’s amazing the things you start to notice when you aren’t face planting into your phone constantly huh? I am excited to do another one, all this technology is tiring me out, mentally and physically!
Arman @ thebigmansworld
YES. Preach it. I am literally considering an upcoming trip completely disconnecting. It will be initially fear mongering but enlightening….yes.
yes, you will feel so odd… but in a good way. ENJOY!
meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
I have written about this before – the amount of technology, social media and ease of access to everything and anyone is just too much sometimes. I do my best to unplugged as much as possible! So peaceful.
I definitely understand what you are saying. I did this when I was in Cali, like I mentioned to you, 10 minutes a day, and the rest of the day it was away….other than maybe a few pictures. I felt refreshed, and it was beautiful to enjoy those little things you mentioned. I am trying to incorporate a few minutes of this per day. I know it will also help with my sleep, like you mentioned, it is important for James especially to switch off….I am trying to do the same!
Hope his long run went well…..my sherpa rode alongside me for 16 yesterday, handing me skratch every 3 miles. I told him all about what being a sherpa is 😛
I was JUST having this chat with myself this morning. All the social media is giving me the crazies!