Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

The Power and Joys of Turning Off

We seem to be living in a culture where we need to be connected. Always. We’re constantly glancing at the little screens we carry with us. We constantly tweet, stream, check in.

We’re overcome with an anxiety over missing out. We need to bask in the glow of our smartphones, tablets, monitors 24/7. Or so it seems.

But do we really need to? Are any going to miss something monumentally important? Is something life changing going to happen if we avert our gazes for a few minutes (or longer)? Probably not.

But few of us don’t try to turn off. We stay connected. We lose out on the power and joys of turning off. We don’t spend enough time looking at the world around us, which is far bigger and more interesting than that four or five inch screen we carry around.

Turning off gives you distance. It lets you gain a bit of perspective. It clears your mind. It eases your anxiety.

When you go back to the digital world after a period of turning off, you’re fresher. You’re more focused. You appreciate what’s around you more.

You realize there’s more to life than being connected. That the stream of information you wade into isn’t the be all, end all of your existence. You learn to be the rock in the middle of the stream, around which the information flows.

Turning off isn’t a rejection of the modern world. It’s not a backlash against technology. It’s you affirming that while technology has a place in your life, it’s not the most important part of that life.

Turning off is you realizing that maybe, just maybe, you can find some sort of balance. And isn’t that what living is all about?

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