Offline Sunday: Self-direction and Balance
Why my family and I try to live offline on Sunday
We celebrate #OfflineSunday each week because we want to raise our own awareness around self-direction of our attention, interest, desires and actions. Because we want to disconnect to reconnect. And because it’s fun, different, and very, very relaxing. Maybe you should try it, too.
This article was originally posted at www.medium.com/lifebeyond/
Most people that know me and my girlfriend know that on Sundays, they can reach us by actually calling us, sms-text messages or *shocker* showing up at our door. My coworkers ask me how my #offlinesunday worked out on many a monday morning, and my cousin calls me out when she sees I responded to something on Facebook on a Sunday. We try, sometimes we forget, but we’ll keep it up for the foreseeable future.
Why do we try to live #offlinesunday?
Because we want to raise our own awareness around self-direction of our attention, interest, desires and actions. Because we want to disconnect to reconnect: to ourselves, to nature; to each other and the rest of the world. And because it’s fun, different, very, very relaxing and effects carry over throughout the rest of the week.
AIDA and agency have been abducted
I’m a marketing professional. Full disclosure. I’m one of the business partners of these so-called Merchants of attention, and, honestly, I have mixed feelings about it.
A standard in marketing literature you may or may not be acquainted with is ‘AIDA’. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action and basically is used to remind us how we get a customer to buy our stuff.
But two thing marketers notoriously overlook when thinking about their communication strategy are:
- The responsibility that comes with their job and -
- The fact that they’re never the only one trying to get someone’s attention.
Which results, combined with wild digital innovation over the last decade or so, in a situation where our collective self-direction is constantly under attack. Each of our AIDA’s are continuously being taken hostage by some brand, some marketing guy, some video add and some platform (looking at you, Markie Z) trying to make a buck.
And by FoMo, the social pressure to be online and in the loop constantly. The quest for likes by the lie of a perfect life.
My family and I try to live offline on Sunday to remember to make our own decisions about where our attention, interests, desires and actions go.
It’s the small things
And life is magic. Isn’t it? A seagull in the wind. The flicker of a candle. A book with a beautiful plot or gorgeous poetry. An uninterrupted conversation with someone close to you, late at night.
The simplest of things can make us feel more alive, more connected, more empowered and more creative – which all translates to happier people being better boyfriends, wives, parents, friends, siblings, entrepreneurs, coworkers, artists, athletes or employees.
Disconnect to reconnect to yourself, your loved ones, and the world. Being caught up in the maelstrom can help you grow, and rest can help you grow. The keyword is balance.
Why you might wanna try it too
My friends, it is a pleasure to live offline for a day. Especially if it’s one day every week. It brings a little bit of anxiety at first, I’ll admit. ‘What if we miss something?’; ‘What if something important happens in the world…?’
… but these automatically morph into:
‘Why am I still taking my phone to the toilet?’ and ‘Wow, not getting any notifications for a whole day is so… relaxing!’
Try it. Disconnect to reconnect. And make your own rules; in our household, for instance #OfflineSunday means no social networks, no e-mail, no notifications. We do however use Youtube or Spotify for music, and if we really want to know something we look it up on Google. We’re not cavemen for god’s sake.
Extra Lesson for teenagers and marketing professionals:
Don’t get it twisted. As Jennifer Taylor writes it: ‘Every ‘upvote’, ‘tweet’, and ‘like’ are passive actions on social media — in a fleeting moment someone may think about an idea or an opinion you conveyed but will ultimately disregard that a few moments later and continue with their day. The worst thing you can do is develop an inflated sense of self from online affirmations.’
-or an inflated sense of importance of any kind of digital communication. Yes, including the blog post you are currently reading.
Trying out an #OfflineSunday for yourself? Enjoy responsibly, and let me know how it works out!