About three weeks ago, my mom, daughters, and I struck out on our Epic Spring Break trip. We told my daughters for over a year about this “beach trip” we were taking for our Spring Break this year and how much awesome fun it’d be. I knew what the treat would be – a 3-day Disney cruise on board the largest cruise ship in the Disney fleet, followed by 3 days at Walt Disney World.
I left my laptop in the car, and while I took my mobile phone with me on the ship to snap some pictures to text to friends, I turned it off and stowed it in my purse before we left the port. I could have paid for satellite access for my devices, but instead I opted to take advantage of the opportunity to completely unplug for the duration of our cruise.
This was such a great choice, because it forced me to focus entirely on Mom, my daughters, and the many fascinating things there were to see and do on the ship. I got along splendidly without text, email, and Facebook for a few days. Those who needed to find me in an emergency could, and everything else could survive just fine without me.
When we arrived back in Florida, I turned my phone back on to face the bombardment of messages, particularly as my husband was heading to Orlando to meet us (another surprise for the girls). I didn’t bother with emails or FB, though. Even when we settled at our Disney resort, I got online just to check my personal email, because some soccer-related things had come up that needed my attention as coach.
For an additional three days, I avoided social media completely, save for the occasional picture posted from my phone. In the meantime, I made some incredible memories with my family, my mom, and my friend Marci. This was the first cruise for my daughters and me, and this was my younger daughter’s first trip to Disney World, and it was more important to watch the magic come alive for her than it was to check in on my social media accounts.
This video perfectly encapsulates the value of putting down the phone and paying attention to the people around us.
I put this into practice yesterday as I spent time with my friend April talking about everything under the sun. My phone vibrated in my pocket off and on for five hours, and I studiously ignored it. When one of my friends asked where I was, honestly believing that “meeting for coffee” would only last an hour or so, I asked him, “When you go out and are looking around, how many people are buried in their phones?” He replied, “Way more than I like to see.” I was determined not to be one of those people, and it left me able to enjoy the face-to-face time. After all, chick time without kids is rare, but I can check my phone any time.
How do you unplug? Can you unplug to spend time with loved ones?