Here I was surrounded by nature and my family – there was no need for electronics.
Or was there?
First I realized I had no idea what time it was, was it the right hour to feed the kids lunch? I used intuition and figured since we were hungry; it would be appropriate after we set up our tent and campsite.
It looked like rain, instinctively I thought to use my weather app and then realized it wasn’t really necessary to know the meteorological conditions in advance of it happening. When it did began to sprinkle, we headed to the tent for a game of UNO, and by the time it was over the sun was peaking out of the clouds.
As we hiked through the woods, checking out bunnies and bugs – I wondered how many steps I had taken, but quickly became distracted by the kids’ newest discovery.
Later that evening, I waved goodbye to my husband as he drove away heading to the nearby store for firewood and beer. After he was gone for quite some time, I began to consider texting him to see if everything was okay. Then I was reminded my phone was trapped in the car. There I was stuck in the wilderness (it felt like that at the moment) with my kids and dog and no way to get help.
I chose not to panic and instead sat down by the fire and played with the kids and glow sticks. Finally he pulled in and admitted he had made a wrong turn and had to go nine miles into town!
As the night progressed I sensed a calmness that I don’t feel at home. I had nothing to do but sit, watch the fire and talk to my family.
This no electronic thing isn’t so bad; I thought to myself, smiled and took another sip of beer.
The kids never once even thought about looking at a screen. They were too busy playing all day and night going in and out of the tent and running into the forest to collect kindling. I believe it was a wake up call to them that there is much more to do than video games, televisions and iPads.
I am aware how dependent I am on my device. Despite my projects and emails, it is obvious that nothing is urgent and it all can wait a day or two for a response. All the apps are convenient, but far from necessary. My goal is to spend more time away from my phone and computer and focus on the actual moment.
Can you survive a 24 hour electronic cleanse?
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- Check out my 2014 photo project How Quickly They Change.