The Holiday Digital Detox

unplug

Like many agencies, Community closes down during the holidays, giving us a chance to enjoy quality time with friends and family. For those of us who are perpetually connected to the outside world through our mobile devices, tablets and laptops, this is also a great time to unplug and, you know, actually spend quality time with friends and family.

But unplugging can be both scary and complicated. Best-selling author and digital consultant Baratunde Thurston documented his 25-day long unplug from the connected world in Fast Company this summer. During his preparation to disconnect, he realizes how inextricably linked our lives are online. It’s an entertaining read – at one point  he’s wandering through Soho searching for a dumpling restaurant he’d previously checked into on Foursquare, a tool that was now frustratingly off-limits. You really feel for the guy.

But 25 days? Most of us don’t have that luxury of time. So maybe a week or a weekend during the holidays is just what you need to reboot. Mashable recently offered up Five Digital Detox Plans that vary by level of commitment. Whatever you decide, here are some of our recommendations:

Be Realistic
If you’re a parent of cell phone carrying children, texting is likely the #1 way you communicate. Unless you want to fully unplug from your kids too, plan to keep that line open. Just don’t expect them to join you in your new adventure.

Let Your Network Know
It’s only fair to prepare people that you may be unreachable, so make use of those Out of Office alerts and Away messages.

Plan Your Offline Time
Whether you’ve fully extracted yourself from the Internet altogether or just a piece of it, you need some back-up. Plan lunch with a friend, go for a walk, read a book — know how you want to spend this time before you unplug.

FOMO No More
You’ll experience some Fear of Missing Out at first, but let yourself go. Relax. Revel in this time. Enjoy it.

That’s truly the spirit of the holidays.

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