I’ve previously written about the benefits of unplugging, and about how difficult I find doing it. No matter how much Allegra and Ruby remind me that there’s more to life than technology, whether it’s via walking across the keyboard or chasing each other around my monitor, or, as in the photo above, Ruby insisting that I get out of the way so she can watch some cat videos, I still find it very challenging to completely disconnect from all of my devices.

However, after spending last weekend at a friend’s lovely weekend home with no access to Wifi and only spotty cell phone reception, I realized just how good for the soul it is to spend time without electronics.

I was a little anxious about not being able to connect. I had set the stage by putting an “away” message on my main email account so people wouldn’t expect a response until Monday. It made me feel less compelled to respond, even tough I still checked my email once a day. I scheduled my blog posts and Facebook posts through the weekend and only monitored comments and responses once a day, rather than multiple times a day like I normally do. Even though I wasn’t completely unplugged, I still felt more relaxed than I had in a very long time.

I love being self-employed, and I happily pay the price for the freedom being my own boss brings, which is that you essentially never get a day off. I love what I do, so for me, work and non-work often blends together. But after this past weekend, I also realized that I need to step back from everything every once in a while, and if it takes going someplace where there’s no Wifi to do that, then I’ll have to do that more often.

My Wifi-free weekend nourished my soul in a way that it hadn’t been taken care of for quite some time. My friends’ house is surrounded by trees, with a view of a river. We had leisurely breakfasts at the house, we sat by the outdoor fireplace in the evening, we went to a couple of wonderful restaurants right on the water, and they took me out on their boat to view the gorgeous scenery in that part of the world from a different perspective. The entire weekend was a wonderful break from my routine.

The only drawback to my Wifi free weekend was that it was also a cat-free weekend, and I did miss Allegra and Ruby. As much as I would have loved to prolong the experience of being so relaxed, I was happy to come home to them (and I think they were happy to have me back.) But I am determined to find ways to create more of that particular feeling of peace in my every day life, even when Wifi is available. I’ll let you know how it goes.

How about you? Do you find it difficult to unplug?

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18 Comments on Sunday Purrs: A Weekend Without Wifi

  1. Gee, I’m fine without WiFi, we have our router and Cable Internet. My son and I can share the router for Internet and Cable TV, saving some money. It’s networked with wires.

    As for unplugging, my friends and I do not use our cell phones much, and my dad and stepmother only use their cell phones for emergencies. (My friends and I are Baby Boomers, my Dad is 93. They do use the internet And yes, we all have landlines, since we are in Earthquake country, and when cell phone service goes down, the landline phones works (we have 2 old ones, 1 rotary and one touchetone) because they send electricity to our phone (those of you who remember Princess phones, the light was possible because of that electricity) so WE have phone service after an emergency. When the power goes out, neighbors come by and use our phone! So sometimes old school is best!

  2. Ingrid — Enjoyed reading your article. I stay unplugged a lot. To keep my energy where it needs to be to do my animal communication work, I spend lots of time outside or staring out the window at the trees and birds. I don’t even watch television. Still have my flip phone which I rarely use. Mostly when I travel for client emergencies. I spend as little time on the computer as I can get away with. I find life flows at a nice pace and helps me stay tuned in to all that really matters. Until my cat passed away recently, she and I would hang out on the bed chatting for at least an hour every day. I highly recommend tuning out. I don’t even know how to text!

  3. Oh you have no idea. I guess the voluntary thing is easier to take than the thing where it happens without warning. My purse was stolen with my phone in it. My wi-fi and u-verse had not been installed in my new house and would not be until Monday. Since my landline was being installed with my U-verse which also powers my internet, I spent the entire weekend without a phone and with no internet. This was so upsetting to me that I got into my car and drove 10 miles round trip to my daughter’s house Sunday evening to check on the planned AT&T installation and check my email. She thought it was a little strange that I just popped in but she realized the dilemma when I said that I didn’t think we had pay phones available any more. I got a new cell phone, my landline works and the internet is up. I’m connected to the world and no longer feel out of the main stream.

  4. Your blog post today is very meaningful and timely for me. Like you, I love being self employed and having the best (and furriest) office assistants ever. But there’s also a piece of me that can feel as though I occasionally live too much through my computer screen and keyboard … and not enough in the moment. So I’m making adjustments that I believe will help me to maintain a healthy balance. I’m taking cues from my cats to slow down and enjoy more moments.

    Now I just need to chant over and over, “Walk away from the iPhone. Walk away from the Macbook. Walk away from Facebook.” ; )

  5. I am admittedly addicted to all that is connected to Wifi technology, but as someone who is in the age bracket that knows what life was like without it, when I do unplug, I do it with great pleasure. There is something extremely cleansing to the soul when you step away. The part about not having cats around, that would be much more difficult!

  6. I often leave my phone at home, in the car and off. It’s not a smart phone so I don’t do much on it anyway. So if I am away from home I am often off Internet When I visit my Aunt she does not have internet specifically on purpose so her Grandkids will unplug when visiting. It’s always a nice break to visit and be fully present. It’s good for the soul. I have a rule at night that I Turn everything off and I enjoy that time.

  7. GREAT blog! I’ve long viewed wifi as an electronic “leash” on humans. While technology offers efficiency and it’s become a necessity in our lives, it’s a mental distraction from just “being” and for me, when overstimulated by the amount of information available on a daily basis, it clouds my intuition. I don’t always want instant access either so I consciously shut my phone off when walking, driving, shopping, gardening, etc. I’m still training myself to take my morning walk and eat breakfast before checking my emails but it’s challenging. And while cell companies don’t advertise this, research indicates that overstimulation to wifi is a health risk. A healthy human body resonates at 62-68 hertz and wifi is bombarding our bodies with significantly higher frequencies that rev up the nervous system and more. I’ve heard it’s best to stay off the computer and cell phone at least an hour before bed to insure a good night’s sleep…and to avoid charging a cell phone on the nightstand or in the bedroom. Overall, I think it’s important to find a balance in life with technology. Thanks for sharing your blog and what a delight to return home to your fur kids after a relaxing wifi getaway:-)

    • An electronic leash – what a great way of putting it, Cynthia. There have actually been studies that show that the light coming off device screens disrupts the normal sleep cycle. I find that on night where I look up “just one more thing” right before going to bed, I don’t sleep as well.

  8. I know what you mean. Last winter, my DSL & Wifi just stopped working. On a Saturday night no less. I tried everything in my power to get it back, but I couldn’t. Then my landline had an annoying buzz on it. I thought maybe lines were down or something. I waited until Monday to call CenturyLink. They thought it was my modem, so they sent me a new one…two more days unplugged. When I set the new one up, it still didn’t work, so I called again, and they came out to check the apartment buildibg’s box, one more night. Then everything seemed to be working…but only temporarily. The next morning the Internet worked…until the phone rang! Then the landline had that annoying buzz again! They came back that afternoon…but the tech guy was having a heck of a time fixing it, seems there was ice on the Internet box. He was very sweet about it, and came back early the next morning. That was over 5 days unplugged! The 2-3 days were nice. I put the iPad out of my sight, even if I could have watched iTunes videos. I read my Kindle and paperbacks. Because of the buzz on the line, I wasn’t on the phone that much either…uh, except with CenturyLink. I did have my cable TV and DVDs and DVR, but it was nice and peaceful. Okay, I’ll admit, after having the Internet back for 18 hours, then losing it again, I really missed it, but they see first days were nice. But then, I had my cat with me…that always helps.

  9. I wish I could get myself go without using my computer or phone more often. But I fear I have the addiction. I went grocery shopping yesterday and got halfway to the store when I realized I forgot my phone. I got really nervous about it. But I resisted the urge to not turn around and go get it.

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