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The possibilities of disconnection have become so rare, that they are being bargained over. In France, a new law just came into force to fight against hyper connectivity at work. Is it permissible to be disconnected in this era of mobility? Here some tips and tricks to disconnect without the guilt.
-By Marie Eve Gosemick, creative life collaborator and writer on the move

« Ce qui est merveilleux, c’est qu’en ralentissant on parvient enfin à mieux apprécier le paysage, et à s’intéresser à autre chose qu’à nous-mêmes. »
(What is wonderful is that by slowing down we finally manage to better appreciate the landscape, and to be interested in something other than ourselves.)
~Dany Laferrière

Train yourself to disconnect

Statistics provided by Apple reveal that on average people unlock their phone 80 times a day. Since frequent repetition of an action generates an automatism, to connect has now become a reflex. However, we can practice to not respond to all requests within two nanoseconds, to deactivate the notifications and Wi-Fi,   to leave our phones and tablets in a different room or at home or in the car when we go out.

Choose the moments of connection

The authors Rémy Oudghiri (Déconnectez-vous ! (Disconnect), Arléa, 2013) and Thierry Crouzet (J’ai débranché (I disconnected), Fayard, 2012) explain that planning the moments of being connected or disconnected in our daily lives lets us regain control over our pace of life. For example, we can choose to be connected between 8 am and 6 pm and notify our family, friends and the office team. We can also create a sympathetic absence message that encourages them to do the same.

Going back in time

Tanya Goodin, founder of It’s Time to Log Off, a digital detox center in the UK, recommends bringing back the good old alarm clock and the classic cameras to get rid of our technological addiction. She suggests removing email and social media applications from our phone so we can only use it for calls, at least on weekends.

Associate “being connected” to an impossible or forbidden gesture

In the book The Winter of Our Disconnect (Susan Maushart, TarcherPerigee, 2011), a mother trains her three teenagers on how to be disconnected for six months, prompting her son to play the saxophone. To be able to put our mobile device aside, we should choose an activity that keeps our hands busy, like swimming, skiing, climbing, dancing, yoga, manicure, massage, DIY projects, campfire, pottery, gardening, working with wood, knitting or cooking (for example making sushi). We can also visit places that don’t mix well with our constant hyper connectivity, like movie theaters, theaters, libraries, beauty treatment facilities, spas and coffee or tea houses with tech-free zones.

Make “being disconnected” into a game

Rather than enforcing strict rules to prevent looking at the screen during a meeting or dinner, invite everyone to put their mobile device in the center of the table and impose a consequence for the person that picks up their phone that will please the rest of the group (writing the report of the meeting, cleaning up the room, paying the bill, preparing dessert, etc.)To create disconnection rituals, we can draw inspiration from ideas for children, such as those given in the book How to Unplug Your Child (Liat Hughes Joshi, Summersdale, 2016). Drawing life-size selfies to color will develop our artistic abilities…..without contributing to digital narcissism!

Welcome back to the real world!



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