What I Re-plugged into Today

khan

This is a picture of Khan Academy. It helped me a lot in Biology I and II. Dr. Khan makes really helpful videos about numerous science concepts. This is the math portion. When you sign up for an account, they treat it like a game. You get points for watching videos, and you “unlock” achievements. Those blue blocks on the right fill in and become darker as you practice or master a specific skill or lesson within Math.

I wanted to learn more science stuff, but when I signed up, I got sucked into doing Math, instead. Something I never thought I’d say.

After getting my math on at Khan Academy, I turned on some nature sounds (PARTY!!!) and got to work on a school assignment. Way before I would normally work on it. Because procrastination is for losers. I took a break to clean the kitchen.

It felt nice and productive.

My day ended with four hours of (lousy) football and playing with my child, so I didn’t get so much done on my school assignment. But that’s okay! You can’t work/stay focused forever. And honestly, that’s not what the Unplug Initiative is about. It’s just about bettering yourself and encouraging you to take a break from social media and smartphones.

I didn’t climb Mt. Everest or win any Olympic medals, but the dishes are no longer dirty and I know how to find the prime factor of a number again, so I feel great.

 

How the Unplug Initiative Started

I just got a smartphone a few days ago. It quickly became my arch-nemesis. Now, I’m not one of those anti-technology people. I don’t tout myself as a non-conformist, or some other similar title that I have outgrown along with my teen years, but I felt a little sickened, a little threatened by what lay at my fingertips. It was, in short, the whole world.

Not just communication via phone, text, and email, but app upon app that would make my social media presence easier, too. There’s also games–lots of games–music, and other stuff that I honestly don’t know about because I’m already overwhelmed typing this much about it. I feel like a foreigner in a strange land. I’m afraid of what it’s doing to our culture and society, but you don’t even need to be obsessed with your phone to know that. I don’t want to ban smartphones, or other mobile technology, nor do I want to shut down all the inane forms of entertainment that keep growing as we advance as a nation.

I’m just fed up. So I’m going to do something about it. I haven’t traded in my smartphone (yet), and I still have all my social media profiles up. But I’m making a point to reconnect and focus on other things instead. It’s one thing to pop in on Facebook or Tumblr to catch up on things and even enjoy some luxury time. But for far too many of us it has become an addiction. Not only does it suck up time while we procrastinate, but it’s precious time I could be spent learning something I’m interested in or honing a skill I have or visiting the farmer’s market I keep saying I’m gonna go to or, literally anything else.

It’s about time I do something. Thus was born The Unplug Initiative.

Here it goes: the things I learn, discover, do, and find out. Join me and share, if you want.