Healthy Living

Unplug: Disconnect to Reconnect

Think about it. When was the last time you went on a vacation and were totally present? If it’s been in the last ten years, I applaud you!

These days, most people can’t seem to unplug – even for a weekend! They just can’t seem to get off the grid. If they’re not on their iPad or computer, they’re on their phone – as though their office, company or the entire world is going to fall apart in their absence. I don’t mean to be rude, but the truth is – the place will still go on without them.

So, again, I say, think about it. When was the last time you unplugged – entirely – while on a vacation? Baratunde Thurston a comedian, writer, entrepreneur and technology – loving kind of guy writes that removing himself from social media includes, but is not limited to, “seeing, reading, downloading, syncing, sending, submitting, posting, pinning, sharing, uploading, updating, commenting, tagging, rating, liking, loving, upvoting, starring, favoriting, bookmarking, plus-oneing or re-anythinging.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? But, can you do that?

These days technology makes it virtually impossible to disconnect. Even Vail’s Gondola One has Wifi! According to a report from talent management firm Korn Fell, only 3 percent of executives say they unplug from work during their downtime.

And of those who are on vacation, 67 percent say they connect with work at least once a day which isn’t great for relationships, as 61 percent report they have argued with a significant other for connecting with the office while away. That’s up from 55 percent in 2013.

To, literally, zone out you need to set some ground rules. To begin, let key people know that you’ll be on vacation and set your email’s “away” message. For personal networks, you might
do what Thurston is known to have done. He put up a photo of himself with a hand-drawn sign that told people that he was gone and when he’d be back.

The thing is – if you say that you’re off the grid for a vacation– you have to stick to your guns. Responding to even one work related email is a “no-no.”

As Daniel Sieberg, writer of The Digital Diet, says about unplugging, “If you respond to one (work) email, you’ve just opened the flood gates. You’ve lost that barrier – it’s gone like a sandcastle in front of the ocean. Now that person knows that you’re really not on vacation. You are reachable and you will respond.” And that’s the beginning of the end – of your vacation!

So, bite the bullet. You’re in Vail, a little piece of paradise. Eat, drink, be merry and unplug – at least for one week!