It’s time to unplug all electronics and go do something | News, Sports, Jobs


I’ve asked you this before, but here it is again. Do you ever unplug?

By that I mean, have you ever ditched all the electronics in your life and just looked around, taken a walk, read a book, or (gasp!) talk to someone face to face?

Maybe just for a day or two, maybe a week? Do you think you could do this? No smartphone, no tablet, no TV, no computer – nothing electronic.

I used to try to do it, and I was pretty good at it. I always try to do it, but I have less success.

For 30 years or more, we’ve camped along the Whitewater River in southeastern Minnesota, and we’ve taken many camping trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area (BWCA) in northern Minnesota.

Our camp along the Whitewater was in a deep valley and the cell phones weren’t working. Also, we camped without electricity or any other amenities. This is called dry camping.

I kept my cell phone in the vehicle for the three days I was there, and I was the grumpy camp host who banned the use of all cell phones and electronics and said that ‘they were to be left in the cars and not brought to camp.

I wanted my children, grandchildren and visitors to enjoy the camp, hike, fish for trout and visit each other.

In the BWCA the cell phones didn’t work anyway, so it was quite easy to go a whole week without a phone. And we had to carry everything through the portages, so we certainly didn’t need tablets, computers, or other electronics to carry.

Now we camp where there is cell service and we have solar power so we can charge devices if needed.

I always try to keep my phone in my car and not use it. But I have to admit that I take it out once in a while just to take pictures with it.

But, I try not to check my phone for anything else. Unfortunately, my old rule that not everyone pull out their phone no longer worked.

They all use their phones, almost constantly. I forgive them if they use a phone to take pictures because, as I said, I’m guilty of that too.

But sometimes at camp everyone has a phone in their hands to check their text messages to see if someone’s texted them, or check the weather, or ask Mr. Google a question, or see if someone’s one has posted something important on Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, etc., etc.

It’s not just the children. It’s also all adults.

And, I understand. That’s the way life is now. That’s the way things are. This will not change.

And yes, I am also totally guilty. I’m plugged in most of the time. I pretty much have to be, or so I think.

But in my defense, I try to unplug from time to time. Last week we spent four days in the woods where we keep our RV and I tried very hard not to use my phone or any other device. I did pretty well, actually, with the exception of the aforementioned photo shoot.

And it felt good.

A big part of my job is to sit in front of a computer for several hours a day. Heck, this column you’re reading now was written on a computer on my desk.

I’m watching tv. Maybe not as much as some people, and maybe more now that I’ve gotten back to it during the pandemic.

However, often when the television is on, I am reading newspapers or a book or doing other things at the same time. Maybe you do too.

So here, again, is my challenge to you. Unplug. Turn off and set aside all your electronic devices for a month.

OK, that was just to get your attention. So let’s say put them all aside for a day. Or two days. The whole weekend. Perhaps think of what it might be like to give up everything for a week.

Yeah, I’m not sure you think that’s possible these days. Maybe only if you’re in boundary waters for a week.

But it is possible.

I was almost 30 when home desktops came out and started to become popular. I spent almost 40 years of my life without a cell phone because they weren’t readily available and there wasn’t good reception either.

Thus, it is quite possible to live without any electronic device. But, do we really want it?

Are we all addicted to electronics?

Answer this question.

How many hours of screen time do you spend each day? More than five hours? More than 10? More than 24? (OK, I know that’s not possible. But you get my point.)

But back to my main point. Try making an effort to turn off the TV, put the phone down, go for a walk (without looking at or talking on the phone while you’re walking), read a book, talk to someone face to face, or just go do something fun. fun.

And don’t panic if you accidentally leave your phone at home or it breaks down. That could actually be a good thing.


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