MAY and my unplugged challenge

May 1, 2014

This is going to be a big month.
May always has a special place in my heart.  My birthday is on the 20th, and our anniversary the 27th.  Growing up in Philadelphia, it was when we could finally count on warm temperatures and outdoor fun.  Now I also have Mothers’ Day to look forward to (though I will be even more excited when A&C can grasp the concept themselves!).

And this May, I’ll be headed back to work, my second (and likely last) maternity leave coming to an end.  Ahhh, so bittersweet!  I will definitely write more about the transition as I go through it, but right now I am feeling quite positive.  I feel great about our childcare situation which really helps — having this remain more or less the same will hopefully make tomorrow’s morning goodbyes less heart-wrenching than they were 2 years ago (oh, how I cried at Annabel’s first day care drop-off!).

(Moment of sap.  OMG, am I really leaving these muffins home!?!?)

As you all know, I am really determined to work on disconnecting from the constant pull of technology these days (which really includes phone addiction AND excess time spent on the computer in general). I have struggled with coming up with concrete enough goals to really focus on in this realm — after all, I don’t want to give up these tools completely, as there are definitely some positive aspects — but merely stop the abuse and subsequent feeling of fragmented (and often wasted) experience.

I’m often guilty of identifying way too many areas to work on at once, and then failing in my scattered quest.  So I would like to dedicate this month to working on JUST this issue.

THE ISSUE:  too much time spent online, often flitting from site to site and not getting much useful out of the journey; being distracted by the smartphone 

THE BUY-IN:  getting these habits under control will help me to live a more peaceful and mindful existence.  I will be able to spend time NOT wasted on the internet doing other more interesting/fun things.  


1.  Internet-free hours.  I am going to challenge myself to stay OFF of the internet (recreational use*, with a few exceptions noted below) from morning until 8:00pm, unless pumping.  

2.  Unplugged Saturdays.  I am going to stay off of the internet on Saturdays entirely — other than for specific things like finding a recipe, checking directions, making social plans, etc.  

3.  I will check email only on my computer (not my phone) unless there is something specific I have to look up, and limit these sessions to twice daily:  once mid-day and once in the evening.  I will also respond to blog comments at those times.

Processing email less frequently and only on the computer will actually save a lot of time, as I can respond to things much more easily with a keyboard.  As the wise KK pointed out, it’s also much more fun as one’s in-box is more likely to contain something valuable if you’re only checking it infrequently!

4.  I will also only read blogs, check facebook, etc on my computer (not my phone).  In addition to preventing distracting, this will help me use these as more interactive (and not just voyeuristic!) tools.  

* includes facebook, reading blogs, reading random websites/gossip/news.  Does not include writing posts here or any use needed for work. 

I will check in weekly with progress every Monday and share the strategies that are working (or not working) as well as my experiences in making this shift.  I think I need to print this post out and hang it on the wall to remind me 🙂  WISH ME LUCK!  Anyone else trying something similar?  I will be using all of your tips, so thank you!

PS:  Vampire Weekend was awesome.  So glad we went.  


  • Reply Kerry March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Love this goal! Two years ago I quit facebook and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The easiest way for me to do this was by deleting the app on my phone. Could I still log in through the browser and on a computer? Of course! But by deleting the app I stopped the mindless checking it – instead of easily just tapping an icon, I had to actually go to the website and consciously enter my email and password. It slowed me down just enough to realize that I was cheating on myself and my goal. After 24 hours Facebook free I actually deactivated my account. I know that’s not your goal at all – but after being free of the site for just one day and I felt so much happier! It was awesome! Now I only check in maybe a couple times a year and I usually find that I’m not missing anything 🙂

    Good luck!! I can’t wait to hear about your progress!!

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I love your plan. Its concrete and measurable, which makes it so much more likely to stick! For a second I thought—I’ll do it too! And then I realized I had already violated rule 1, sitting here reading blogs (waiting for a study subject) at 9:30 AM. Your birthday is very close to mine (26th)—I’ve always loved May too!

  • Reply Brittnie March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Agree with Ana – love your plan! I think unplugging for an entire day/Saturday + also only checking emails twice a day will take loads off of this "burden." Excited to follow your progress.

  • Reply Erin March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Can’t wait to hear your progress! I agree that looking at blogs only on the computer definitely helps it to be a more interactive experience – I hate trying to comment on my phone!

  • Reply nicoleandmaggie March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    (I have a flip phone.)

  • Reply Sara March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Wow, those are some impressive goals and will likely make a huge difference.
    I decided I needed an internet detox this week so I implemented two rules Sunday night: 1. No checking FB at work. I teach so I’m not in front of a computer much but I was finding myself spending lots of my time AT work on FB, when I could’ve been getting work done so I could get home sooner… UGH. 2. Read a book, NOT the Internet, before bed.
    I’m happy to report that I’m still going strong on day 4. 🙂 I’m planning to continue these changes next week and perhaps add in another one.

  • Reply Erica S March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Ooh I think I’m going to play along! I will include my bus ride for personally internet use, but I agree that reading blogs at the computer is so much better because it’s easier to respond (although I’m on my phone now because I’m at a conference!)

  • Reply thesweetslife March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I can’t wait to hear how your first "real" day goes tomorrow…my first day back is tomorrow too and it’s been hanging over my head!! I think I just need to get it over with and things will be better after that! I know Brecken will be fine, but definitely dreading how crazy life is about to get, and how annoying all this pumping will be!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.