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Unplug? I Think Not.

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Have you noticed that most blog posts about work-life balance, vacations and downtime encourage, advise or demand that people spend time offline? Well, this one is different.

You see, unplugging doesn’t de-stress me, because being online doesn’t stress me.

There is no “one size fits all” solution for how to relax.

If there were actually a sure-fire way to de-stress, I’d tell everyone to run 7-10 miles at least once a week. I’d also say that spending the evening at a baseball game and taking road trips are very relaxing. Meanwhile, one of my girlfriends would advise you to get manicures and pedicures while skimming through British fashion magazines. Everyone de-stresses differently.

I believe that a lot of the “unplugging” advice comes from people at the extremes: those who abstain from social media and those who are almost addicted. Maybe that’s you – but I fall in between.

You have to understand your triggers.

You know what stresses me? Not being able to access my email. Being plugged in enables me to walk out of the office secure in the knowledge that I can respond to (or deflect) a client query while I’m out hiking, finishing a long run or enjoying a game at the ballpark.

It’s part of what makes workshifting so awesome.

Of course, this does not mean that I am tethered to my email, Twitter streams or Google feeds. Most of my family and closest friends aren’t online, so my interactions with them involve no digital media. But I like knowing that I can respond to an email if I want to, share a photo of artwork with friends, find restaurant recommendations or even verify player stats or music trivia during a one-on-one conversation. These actions connect me to the world at large, which makes me happy.

Are you unplugging to de-stress? Why or why not?

Daria Steigman is the founder of Steigman Communications. She is a business and marketing strategist, and a writer, and works with companies, associations, and international organizations to put in place smart communications strategies to support your goals and objectives. Read more at www.steigmancommunications.com.
  • http://twitter.com/KellyeCrane Kellye Crane

    Great point, Daria – and I also think that the same person can de-stress in different ways at different times. Over the holidays, I’m like you — I’m able to take more time off knowing that I’m checking in periodically to make sure I don’t miss anything. But if I really want to completely decompress, I’m among those who cannot access electronics at all (at least not anything that requires my brain to engage).

    • http://www.steigmancommunications.com Daria Steigman

      Well, I certainly wouldn’t want people to think I hike with a smartphone in my hand. :)

      I actually turn off the data access on my phone most of the time, so that I’m pulling in e-mail, tweets, etc., when I want them rather than having my phone “beep” (literally or figuratively) at me all the time. So I’m typically managing when I’m connected while not precluding my ability to be connected.
      I think the people who say “you have to” unplug don’t understand that you can have digital media at your hands without being obsessed with it.