unplug

Unplug: You Need It

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Julie Zantopoulos

When not acting as Vice President and Senior Editor at The Indie Chicks, Jewels is a writer at heart and most likely writing for her own website According to Jewels or working on her first novel.In her free time she loves heading to concerts, taking road trips, reading, and doing anything crafty. Don't hesitate to reach out...she loves chatting with our readers.

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As an online magazine it goes against logic that I’d be here today advising you to walk away from your computer, and all other mobile devices, but that’s exactly what I’m telling you to do. Sometimes it is vital to your sanity, and your social life, that you unplug for a while. If you are anything like me, your family will not see you for hours upon hours while you work, write, surf the web, keep up with social media, or comment on blogs. You will sit down to write and before you know it, the sun is setting and you haven’t eaten yet. That’s me on a daily basis.

Why You Need To Unplug

It’s so easy to get lost in social media; YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, your blog feed, Stumble Upon, Instagram, Redit, email, Four Square, Linkedin, and especially The Indie Chicks. The point is we’ve become a “switched on” nation, constantly ‘connected’ with millions of people at one time, yet we’re often ignoring those that are physically with us. We’re all guilty of being sucked into the web even if we are working to get better.

Have you ever see a cute guy at a bar that you were trying to catch the eye of but he wouldn’t unplug up from his cell phone long enough to notice you? I know that I’ve been that woman. I spend a large chunk of my free time glued to my laptop and I love it. I love it, but my loved ones don’t. When your job and your passion is computer and Internet related, it’s important to realize that what you see as dedication others may see as neglect. I’ve learned that you have to unplug and spend time with those who love and support you no matter how much your workload is waiting for you.

How to Unplug

Time Management

The key to making time to unplug is to be as efficient as possible when you sit down at the computer. Have a list of what you need to accomplish and if social media doesn’t play into it, don’t even open those windows. If you have to write, keep off of Twitter. If you need to update your profiles, stay off of YouTube. Be efficient, be driven, and get done what needs to get done so you can unplug and bone your man.

Make It Official

Schedule time away from the computer. This is how I had to make things work at first. I had to set aside time to be away from my computer when I used to have to schedule time to work on it. It’s so easy to get sucked into a YouTube circle jerk, or your blog roll, so ahead of time either make plans for friends/family, set a timer, or schedule “unplug” time on your To Do list. The world and your friends are out there waiting for you.

Leave It Behind

It’s not truly unplugging if you are checking your email on your cell. To unplug you have to leave it all behind. Mute your phone, turn off your computer, walk away, and dedicate yourself completely to those around you. An email can wait, a tweet can go unanswered, and the Internet will go on without you. Your friend, mother, or boyfriend, want your time. Nothing is ruder than somebody always checking his or her phone when you are out together. If you are going to unplug be sure to truly be present with those you are with.

Thank You

Sometimes just acknowledging how absorbed you’ve been in your computer is enough to ease the hurt feelings of those around you. A simple “thank you” goes a long way. I’ve got no problem telling friends and family, “I’m sorry I’ve been so absent lately” when we get together. I make sure they know that making time away from the computer with them is a priority for me. Few people outside my writing world understand the level of dedication it takes, and they shouldn’t have to. Thank you goes a long way towards understanding and forgiveness.

Inspiration

For anyone who uses the computer or Internet as a creative outlet, it’s important to remember that unplugging is the best way to get inspiration.  What is better inspiration for an artist than a gorgeous summer day spent on the lake with some friends? As a writer, it’s great to unplug, head to a bar, and observe what’s going on around me. You need to unplug and feed your creative spirit.

We love you; we love your dedication to our site and our community. We appreciate every minute you spend reading here but even we want you to unplug and go enjoy life. Get out there, bitches, and take the world by storm…then be sure to come back here and tell us all about it.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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  • http://chaosandwords.wordpress.com/ Ashley

    Oh boy, this article speaks volumes to me. I try to use a journal as my creative outlet just so I can be completely unplugged from technology (plus I still love using pen and paper). I’m in total agreeance with you that as a writer especially, I need to get out and experience in order to get inspired. I’ve been scheduling more and more time away from my computer and phone for many of the reasons you posted above. Awesome article.

    • http://www.accordingtojewels.com Jewels

      I love pen and paper as well. Most of what I write I do in long hand first, it just feels more authentic and connected. It’s hard for me to truly unplug. I feel like I HAVE to check email and site comments but I’m getting better at walking away and enjoying some serious unplugged time…and I’m glad you are, too.

  • http://titabuds.com tita buds

    As a blogger, I agree completely that unplugging (and engaging with the world — not via social media) is the best way to get creative inspiration. I find for example that although I love checking out adorable images and funny videos of dogs on the internet (who doesn’t?), it is really when I walk my own dogs and chat with neighbors along the way that I get the best ideas for my blog. So much so that sometimes I make a beeline for my notepad when we get home. :)
    I don’t remember who did but someone wrote that sometimes as bloggers/writers, we spend so much time reading online material that we end up being in the so-called ‘echo chamber’, talking/blogging about the same things and in the same way, and a great deal of originality is lost.

    • http://www.accordingtojewels.com Jewels

      Without time spent in the real world getting ideas of your own and not just reacting or responding to other things that you’ve read gets harder and harder to do. I have a recent addiction to YouTube…I could watch for hours…it’s a real problem. lol

  • http://www.theindiechicks.com Chiara Mazzucco

    That’s it. Mandatory unplug days are going onto the IC staff calendar. Can’t have people like the CEO having reoccurring emotional breakdowns because they refuse to unplug. Lol

  • http://joannerambling.wordpress.com/ Jo-Anne

    On Saturday I read some blogs and then shut the computer and spent the rest of the day doing very little and it was just awesome

  • http://vickilesage.blogspot.com Vicki L

    I used to have problems unplugging but now with two kids pulling on my arms I don’t really have a choice. And, of course, spending time with them is more important than checking my FB feed (not that I don’t do a little of that during naptime).

  • Kira

    Ugh, I desperately need to do this. My eyes and fingers are constantly glued to my phone. To the point where it is EMBARRASSING.

    • http://theindiechicks.com/ Julie Zantopoulos

      Kira, I tried to ‘like’ a text message the other day! Trust me, I GET it.

      • Kira

        HAHA, that’s amazing