One of my most creative friends and colleagues is Sandra Centorino, co-founder of the Say It Forward movement. I love what she’s doing to help spread positivity in workplaces and communities. I use her powerful Say-it-Forward cards in my seminars and talks and interactions with all sorts of people. I keep the SIF cards in stock and on hand at all times. Perhaps you should too?
Sandra recently conducted an experiment where she unplugged for a full day. That’s right, she powered down her mobile phone, and stayed away from media in all its forms for a full 24 hours. This took tremendous effort and discipline for Sandra, because practically her whole life is managed with technology. I have to give her credit for completing this Media Detox.
Where did she get such a crazy idea?
Sandra told me that she actually had wanted to do this for a while. She recently watched a video of Stephen Shedletzky, a member of Simon Sinek’s Team, who was speaking about inspiration (or inspiraction, as he calls it). Stephen’s talk was about “disconnect to connect.” It hit home with Sandra. She found it funny. She and her daughter Allie (both co-founders of the Say It Forward movement) reached out and connected with Stephen. Later this month they are going to have a Google Hang out with him. Now, that’s networking chutzpah!
How did she do it?
She picked a day. She posted it in advance, via a Facebook announcement with cool graphics, asking others to join in the experiment (Note: three other women did it with her). Putting it out there and telling everyone confirmed that she was on board for sure. No going back. That’s accountability by public humiliation. The rules were that at midnight on January 9th, she would turn off her cell phone, computer, television, iPad and all other technology devices! For the entire day of Saturday, January 10th, she had to endure life without technology. The minute she unplugged, she began to journal, on paper, everything that happened to her – the good, the bad, and the funny. Then on Sunday, she blogged about her experience (and of course, shared it on social media – back to the addiction). I found her blog post so entertaining that I had to share it with my readers. I also challenged Sandra to repeat this unplug experience once per month. She’s still thinking about that.
Ask yourself this: Would you be willing and able to unplug for a full 24 hours?
Below is her original blog post – only slightly modified (Bleep)
UNPLUG for a Day – Keep connected to what really matters in life
Wait a minute. I’ll google that! How cold is it out? Let me look up her contact number.. oh wait, I can’t I’m unplugged!
written by Sandra Centorino
It was January 9th at midnight; my 53rd Birthday was officially over. What an amazing celebration I had. I promised myself that for the next 24 hours I would “unplug.” I powered off my MAC desktop, which I have never done, it’s on 24/7 and I am sitting in front of it more than half of my day! Being “Social” in my business is my reason for this…right?
Then my iPad, my Galaxy Note 4 Smartphone and yes, no more TV… OFF, OFF and OFF.
Done. Now what? I feel very strange right now. It’s up to bed, where I usually scroll on Instagram and maybe Facebook. Of course, there is my goodnight text to my daughter Steph. Nope!
The phone is not next to me charging. S(Bleep) , now I don’t know what time it is, maybe I won’t wake up!
Then I heard, Ding Ding, the sound of Allie’s phone receiving a text! I want to run in and text Steph from her phone. Nope.
I started a new book, got tired and fell asleep. I wore a wristwatch to bed so I would know what time it was.
9:00 am- I never sleep this late! First, my morning meditation app, nope. Ok let me try to make up my own Meditation. #Awkward
Let me check my weather app and see how cold it is out, before making my way downstairs to walk Scooty. Nope. Go open the front door and feel the air!
I mis-judged and we both froze!
After returning from the walk, I had a voice-mail on my “landline phone” from my friend Trish!
This made me happy: I had caller ID so I could call her back. I won’t be calling too many others because all my “contacts ” are on my phone! (Bleep)
I chatted with Trish for 1:48 Minutes! During the call, Trish pointed out my many references to being plugged in like “google that”, let me find the email, I have her number on my phone…
We had a great chat, it was very enjoyable.
While drinking my coffee, I made a list of the things I would do today, as I was unplugged.
1. Read my business plan book *Finished the entire book
2. Write out some Thank you notes. *wrote out 3 notes by hand!
3. Plan my blog/website posts on paper. * a little
4. Organize my craft room. NOPE
5. church *went to church
6.Visit the library NOPE
7. Mani/pedi NOPE
8. Go to Main Street Cafe for Lunch ** Had lunch at Main Street
This was an overall a very LONG day, but very productive.
1:00 pm My husband comes home. I ask him, “hey when is my Amazon order being shipped” as he says “go look online yourself!” I say, I can’t. Then the smart (Bleep) says, ” I’m not your computer (Bleep)just because you’re unplugged! ” I was supposed to think this was funny? NOPE.
1:30 – Off to Main Street for lunch.
Waiting for food in line, no one around to socialize with and cannot “check” my phone.
This made me uncomfortable and a bit curious to see what people were up to!
Took a seat in the back of the Cafe. I could see everyone.
3 older women chatting and smiling at each other.
2 young women friends on comfy chairs drinking coffee and chatting face to face.
1 man sitting alone actually reading a real Newspaper. I usually read mine on my phone.
Then I heard a cell phone ring, awe I miss that sound.
No, maybe I really don’t.
It’s crowded now, the place is packed. The last table in front of me was just occupied by a mom and her teenage daughter. The girl had a phone glued to her hand. You know how we hold onto our phones.
She placed it face up on the table. Then mom takes her phone out from her pocket!
Now they are both scrolling away, not making much face-to-face contact at all. The mom looks unhappy in general. They are waiting for their food, so maybe then they will stop.
Here comes the food. Nope. They are still both on phones with little communication.
As I watch every move they make, I can hear the piped in music in the Cafe, I never did notice it before!
Why are they sitting in front of me? Then it dawned on me. I am watching myself with one of my own daughters. (Bleep) This is when it really hit home.
I do this, I feel guilty and sad. I cannot judge them, I am them.
Then I look around again at all the “unplugees” laughing, smiling, and connecting with one another.
This trip to Main Street was the best lesson I learned all day.
Later that day-“Thoughts in the shower”
OMG I have not brought my phone into the bathroom all day.
I have NOT picked it up once.
My hand and fingers feel rested that they are not busy touching, clicking and scrolling on Social Media!
Last night, I slept without my phone next to me. These days I usually sleep with my phone more than my husband!
I feel a little bit of power. (Don’t want to admit it)
3:30- Allie is off on a road trip. “Text me when you get there” Nope.
OK, Call home and leave a voice mail if I am at church!
I hope she’s ok. What is Steph up too? I haven’t heard from her all day.
D(Bleep) I do miss texting.
Had dinner and made some calls. The land line was fair game.
Called daughters, Mom and my brother.
Time is now going by VERY SLOW. From 8-10pm, I finished my entire business book! GO ME!
10pm -Midnight more reading, thank you notes, and handwritten work.
MIDNIGHT: I turned on the MAC and the smartphone, looked at a few things, made a quick video, and went to bed.
I didn’t miss a thing. I gained so much in 24 hours. I am very happy that I Unplugged.
All I can do now is remember to put the phone down when I am with my family and friends.
Thanks to the mom and her daughter for this lesson.
Peace & Positivity,
Learn more about Sandra Centorino at www.SayitwithSandra.com
Co-founder and CEO at Say It Forward. A certified inspirational exert, Sandra’s mantra is “It’s fun not to be ordinary, because today ordinary isn’t good enough.” Sandra is also a social media guru and coaches entrepreneurs and small business owners on social media leverage to build their brands and their businesses. An avid social entrepreneur, Sandra is also an active Toastmasters and pod leader for B.I.G. New Haven, CT – a women’s empowerment network. Sandra is available for hire as a motivational speaker and trainer in workplace positivity. Visit her web site – http://www.sayitforward.me/
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