There was an assignment I was given one year in College (I wonder if it will ever feel normal to talk about college in the past tense, even though I graduated a year ago?) It was called “Unplugged” and it challenged me to turn off my phone and any form of social media for 24 hours. I enjoyed the assignment so much, that I try to attempt the “Unplugged” challenge once a year or so. I know, that’s not much, but it yields great internal results even if I only do it 1/365 days of the year.
Google “The Unplugged Challenge” to join
I decided to attempt the “unplugged” challenge on Sunday, July 25th from 7 AM to Monday, July 26th at 7 AM. Sundays are normally my relaxing where I curl up by the tv in sweats and a blanket for hours on end days, so I thought this would be a good day to challenge myself. I woke up extremely early (6 AM) on my friend’s couch after a night of DELICIOUS margaritas, checked my phone to see how far my drive would be (only 1 hour since it was the crack of dawn on a weekend), then, left her homey apartment and got to work. Although I have done this challenge before, I was still a little anxious because you never know what you could be missing… In college, I didn’t want to miss out on the daily internet drama, but in the real world, I mostly worried if I would miss an important work email or a family emergency. However, as challenging as I have always found it, I did find it a little easier this time. Maybe I am in the stage of my life where social media isn’t as important to me anymore or maybe it was coincidental because I was almost finished with an incredible book (see here). Either way, I found that as the day went on I thought about what was going on in the internet world less and less. I spent my day working out in my home gym (the garage), then onto making a mouth-watering egg sandwich with crispy prosciutto on toasted bread, reading Where The Crawdads Sing, and hanging out with my boyfriend. Instead of being half distracted by my phone, I was able to invest in meaningful conversation with him, uninterrupted for hours.
Seriously, such a good book
My biggest temptations were definitely during my workout and eating throughout the day. It was so hard to hear myself breathing heavily while running and not being able to hide my struggles beneath the sound of blasting music, which I use to keep my motivation at an all-time high. Surprisingly, I found that the focus on my breathing struggles faded pretty quickly, with each step bringing me deeper into thought, which thanks to being unplugged, was something I discovered I liked. While eating meals I usually like to watch Netflix on my phone or get lost on Tiktok, so I found it difficult to entertain myself while sitting at the table with a giant television staring me in the face, mocking me with its blank screen.
The best sandwich ever, courtesy of my favorite Food Blogger: (BroccYourBody)
It seems so far that I have only mentioned my struggles with this unplugged challenge, so I will end my complaining here by telling you why this challenge is so worth it. It is not only refreshing to take a break from social media, it is necessary. You truly don’t realize how much time it actually takes to scroll through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the hundreds of other social media feeds (until you get your screen time results notification at the end of every week, thanks Apple). These days the world can be pretty depressing, and it’s plastered all over social media, usually in a negative tone. Taking 24 hours off of that to truly focus on yourself and your surroundings is healthy and uplifting. As I’ve said for the past three years, I appreciate this challenge and will continue to take part in it in order to keep my mind healthy and happy.
So, I encourage you all to be “Unplugged” for one 24-Hour period. Go outside, have a deep conversation with your friends and family, make a homecooked meal, DIY craft, do whatever you please, but stay off your phone! And you will understand exactly how I feel when I am Unplugged, too.