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Happiness Tip: Unplug

Turn off your cell phone — really and truly, totally off — for several hours today.

Technology can be addictive, and it can change the core of who we are as people. Researchers believe that when we are over-connected to technology (including our email, the Internet, and our cell phones) we can become more impatient, impulsive, forgetful — and even more self-centered. These qualities do not make us happier people or better parents.

Disconnecting from technology can help us reconnect with who we really are, what is truly important to us, and what really makes us happy.

Take Action: This week, designate time to fully unplug. Perhaps you unplug during dinner, or from 9:00 pm to 9:00 am.

Join the Discussion: When will you disconnect?


  1. Lynette Vann says:

    I’ve been using a “Habit Tracker” to yell less. One of my yelling triggers is being distracted. So I’m unplugging (laptop shut, smartphone off) before and after my children’s school times. I’m on week two and it’s nice.

  2. Coach says:

    I agree with unplugging every now and then, however, let the people closest to you know before you do.

    I’m a pretty connected guy, so people know that they can usually reach me pretty easily. A couple of years ago i unplugged for a whole afternoon following a message at church that morning about quiet and sabbath resting. A gal I was dating freaked out that she couldn’t reach me and had called all of my local AND out of state kids, wondering if they had heard from me. My son is a paramedic and he was even checking with the local hospitals.

    I do mountain run, so there is some risk involved in my recreation and where I usually go to unplug, so her concern might have been somewhat understandable. When I need to unplug now, I just give those closest to me a heads up so as to avoid any undo concern.

    • Christine Carter says:

      Holy cow, that must have been quite an experience! Thanks for the wise advice!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I “unplug” at 9pm from the cell phone which is always work related calls and messages. I am working on unplugging from the computer; I can get caught up on work projects and will work until late at night. 🙁

  4. R. Lance Ricard says:

    Over-use of our gadgets making us more self-centered … interesting. Maybe that’s because it’s still a form of self-interaction; we’re still sitting there alone. Yes, actual involvement (in-person) with others does seem a vital ingredient to a life with more meaning and greater happiness. Thanks.

  5. I own a cell phone that is off 99% of the time – I use it for emergencies – I ask people including family to call my home phone or to send me an email – I let them know that I am not plugged 24-7 – If I was going in the back country for recreation I would make it a point to let my family know beforehand. There is life without cell phone and internet. In fact, that’s where life is. And I get very frustrated to be with someone who constantly checks their cell phone. For me it’s a lack of respect. It’s like checking out from the people you are with.

  6. Annie Zirkel says:

    In our overabundant world, living a strongly intentional life and staying in touch with your highest intentions is essential. Keeping the intention of quiet in your life can be a daily challenge so being someone who loves challenges is a great idea! Time blocking is a great tool for keep the techno creep at bay. Good luck to us all. Thanks Christine for bringing up the topic.

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