Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Could You Pass the Unplugging Challenge?

Want to start 2015 on a positive and productive note?Unplug challange

Unplug all your electronic devices and leave them off for a day – or better yet, a week.

That advice comes from Arianna Huffington, the founder of HuffingtonPost and an advocate for healthier professional and personal lives.

A few years ago, Huffington launched a one-month Sleep Challenge. The project – sparked by medical evidence showing the importance of sleep and the detrimental effects of getting too little of it – encouraged working women to make whatever changes were required to get a good night’s rest.

The result: lives were improved all over the world. Thousands of people posted online accounts of how making sleep a priority had worked miracles at home and at work.

Unplug and Unwind

Huffington has now turned her attention to the problem of 24/7 connectivity.

“The siren call (or siren ringtone?) of constant connectivity isn't just afflicting those of us working in the 24/7 world of media,” she writes. “Big Data, unfettered information, the ability to be in constant contact and our growing reliance on technology are all conspiring to create a noisy traffic jam between us and our place of insight and peace. Call it an iParadox: our smartphones are actually blocking our path to wisdom.”

A key point: information is not the same as insight.

“[P]eople have a pathological relationship with their devices,” says Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford psychologist. “People feel not just addicted, but trapped.”

And the trap is set early. Huffington cites one study that showed 72 percent of children under the age of eight – and 38 percent of children two years old or younger – have already started using mobile devices.

Are you addicted to screens? Are TVs, tablets and telephones consuming your time and blocking your well-being and creativity? Are you getting more done but enjoying it less?

Maybe it’s time to unplug.

I recently went to a live music event where some people nearby spent most of the evening snapping pictures and texting friends. I suppose they will have digital proof that they were actually there. But in one sense, they weren’t really present at all.

Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. Contact, phone 919-619-2441.

Source: HuffingtonPost

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