A couple of weeks ago, I went on an international vacation. Prior to leaving, my husband and I weighed the pros and cons of taking a smartphone with us. While we knew that it would be easier to conduct on-the-ground research about attractions and hotels with a phone, we ultimately decided that we would leave the phone at home. Maybe it was the fond memory of our last international trip together ten years ago (prior to the dawn of the smartphone era) when we had no problem navigating with just our guidebooks in-hand, but the iPhones remained safely tucked away in the car’s glove compartment at the airport.
Now, I can’t remember the last time I went a week without a phone attached to the end of my arm. For as long as I can remember, the phone has always traveled with me from work to the car to the kitchen counter to the nightstand (and, yes, I will admit it, sometimes to the bathroom as well). After all, you never know when you may need to Google something at a moment’s notice or read a text from a friend on the East Coast at 3am. Shockingly, the week in Europe without my phone was one of the most relaxing vacations that I have had in years (in all fairness, we left the kids at home as well, which probably contributed to the atmosphere of relaxation). I did a boatload of reading. I looked out the window and daydreamed. And the week that we were gone felt like three weeks.
According to the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/americans-are-addicted-to-smartphones_n_1615293.html), 58% of smartphone users check their phones at least once an hour – with good reason. So much of our lives are contained in our phones, from the address of that new restaurant we’re going to for lunch to the workout we just completed and synced from the Fitbit to the phone app. Having just experienced one week without the tyranny of the digital age, I have decided to take a “Tech Sabbath” each Sunday in order to take one day a week to unplug, focus on worshipping God and being present with my family. Yes, I will make a phone call if I absolutely need to, but, no, I won’t answer your text until Monday. And you know what? I think we’ll all survive.
Michelle Walters is the Owner of Suburban Denver Properties, a residential real estate brokerage and investment firm. If you are looking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate you can find her at www.SuburbanDenverProperties.com or on Twitter: @mwalters2001