The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

September 2, 2013

Labor Day: Just the time to give the apps a nap

(Continued)

Move your life offline

It's incredible how dependent we've become on the everythingness of the Web in such a relatively short time. It's as though we've been eating out of straws and have forgotten how to chew. Not having Google Maps or Twitter at your fingertips will be a shock. You need to be as resourceful as our pre-Internet selves were back in the early 1990s. If you're exploring new parts of the city, or a new city altogether, take a map. (You may need to Google where to buy one first.) Feel the need to tweet? Pick up a pen and a blank notebook. You can write as many characters as you like.

Have a lifeline

Jumping into the Great Unplug, even just for a holiday weekend, can feel like jumping out of a plane. It's scary. And what does the parachute company ask for when you sign the waiver absolving them of a nasty landing? An emergency contact. Here, too, you need someone to be able to reach you — just in case. But once you unplug, you'll soon realize how few true emergencies there are.

Stay strong

Now, the hard part: staying off the grid. There's a reason these sorts of breaks are called digital detox. You will miss the gentle vibration in your pocket of a new text. Don't give in.

Part of what you're feeling is the faux urgency of our Webified world. An email or tweet only sounds as if it requires an immediate reply. It's not your spouse asking you to refill her wine glass. That requires an immediate reply. If you go offline for a while, you find that the world is a far more patient place than you think.

Confront your habits

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