Turn off your computer.

Turn off your computer. See if you can. For a day.

Everybody–computers off!  Turn ’em off, if you please. 

Refuse to be dictated by the Internet any more.  Refuse to let your email run your life.  Turn off the switch.  Watch the screen go dark.  Listen to the eternal hum disappear.  Walk away.

Don’t look back.

Another silent and closed computer.

OK, OK.  What I mean to say is this:  turn the computer off for a day.  For twenty-four glorious hours bask in the non-communicative world.  Turn to nature.  (Which, of course, you will realize is completely communicative.  Simply in a different way.) 

I tried.  I truly tried.  I said to Child #1 and Child #2 and Husband #1, “I am turning off the computer for a full day.”

And it worked.


The forget-me-nots whisper, "Forget me not."

Barry and I hiked back to the swamp.  We drove down the road looking for morel mushrooms one last time. 

They did not present themselves. The season is over.  Total count:  two morel mushrooms.

It was a sad year for morels.

Before that, I spent the day doing all sorts of things.  But not even looking at the computer.  Instead, I read.  Went outside.  Meditated.  Made a fabulous dinner (yes, yes, of course wild leeks were in it.  Parsnip-Wild Leek Pie.  Very good.)  Cleaned the house a bit.  Read some more. 

It was a glorious day.  I felt strangely free.  Did not even think about this blog.  Not even a tiny bit.  Well, maybe a tiny bit.  But not much.  It felt soooo good to relax, to think about other things, to play.

The sun shining in on ferns

I would have made it twenty-four hours.  Really, I would.  Except then came the flurry of dinner-time and Barry preparing to play in his band tonight and…suddenly…I thought…why not just check email?  And why not write a blog about not turning on the computer MOST of the day?

So here we have it.

Blue, blue swamp reflections

I truly recommend turning off the computer for a day–or at least part of a day.  There is a different energy which surrounds us.  Perhaps an energy of deeper peace.  We look for different things to do; expand our horizons.

OK, one more swamp photo. But that's all. Just one.

Then, when we turn on the computer again–we’ll feel much more refreshed and ready to re-connect.

Do give it a try!  Let me know what you think and feel.  When you turn the computer back on, that is.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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30 Responses to Turn off your computer.

  1. Kathy – I could turn off the internet part of my computer — I could. BUT, I’d still want to have access to Word for writing purposes. When we went to Eleuthera Island in March we had extremely sporadic access to the internet. That was OK because I still had Word.

    Hmmmmmm. Now you’ve got me pulling a Pooh because I’m think, Think, THINKING! The next two days (Sun/Mon) have been set aside exclusively for writing (actually, editing). Tomorrow’s the 16th — an even (not odd) day in the month which means I post a blog early in the morning. What I will do is this. I’ll meet you half way. I’ll post my blog in the morning, and then log out of the internet. I won’t log back into the internet for a minimum of 12 hours.

  2. Kathy says:

    My goodness, Laurie, you’re actually doing this! Wow! Congratulations… I love the way you are so present to suggestions and just go for them. And just becaue you’re doing this, I’ll meet you halfway too. I’m going to log off the Internet tonight and won’t come back on until after dinner tomorrow. (Will read your blog when I come back on tomorrow night.) It was such a nice day today that it will be peaceful to be Internet-less again tomorrow. Thanks for being such a sport!

  3. Dad says:

    I knew you couldn’t make 24 hrs! Haaaaaa!!! The laughs on me! Don’t think I could either ?????? Luv Dad

  4. barb says:

    Well – count me in, Kathy – I’m on vacation in CA, and I’ve MOSTLY been off-line. Except for this teensy amount of time while I’m visiting you, of course!

    • Kathy says:

      Way to go, Barb! We’ve got a contingency! (Except I’m staying on a little longer than usual tonight…) Hope you are enjoying your vacation. Have lots of fun!

  5. holessence says:

    Kathy – So nobody will think I died, I put a link to this blog — TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER — on Twitter, Gaia, and LinkedIn and said I was meeting you half-way on your challenge, and that right after I post my blog on Sunday morning, I’ll log out of the internet and stay out for 12 hours. I’ll compare notes with you sometime around 7pm (ish) tomorrow evening. Whoohoo!

  6. Marianne says:

    The forget-me-nots are so pretty. Even the pictures of the swamp are pretty. How do you do that?

    • Kathy says:

      Marianne…I have no idea. LOL! I see something pretty or interesting or fascinating and maneuver with the camera so that it registers it, too! Thank you!

  7. Gerry says:

    I’m often offline for a day or two. The only thing that really bothers me is that people might leave comments and then think I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t care what they had to say. Of course I do care very much. I wish I had a little “Gone Fishing” sign that I could hang on Torch Lake Views when I’m out on my rounds, or just sitting and thinking. Must give that some thought.

    • Kathy says:

      I like your idea of going offline for a day or two, Gerry. Haven’t been able to do it yet…but I like the idea. Maybe there is a way that we could put that “Gone Fishing” sign on our banner? Just a thought!

  8. I did 48 hours one weekend in April. I was so exhausted, I had to go on a computer fast. I shut down my macbook and put it in a drawer for two days. when it was time to go back to work on Monday, I didn’t want to. I wanted to reconnect and create, but I didn’t want to be on the computer. I haven’t had a fast since then, for more than maybe 6 hrs, or 12. But I’d like to do it one day a week. Right now, I have too much work.
    I bought wild hunted morels from my mushroom man at the farmer’s market. He grows several species of morels but he says, Only god can make a morel! Morel omelette in the morning, ramp chowder in the afternoon?

    • Kathy says:

      Carla, about a month or two before I found Gaia, I was mostly off the computer every day. Then discovered Gaia–and it’s been hot ‘n heavy since then! And now that Gaia is shut down, this WordPress blog is my favorite Internet place. I love that you had a computer fast. That sounds so balanced…

      Your wild food lunch/dinner sounds magnificent! I especially like the sound of “ramp chowder”. Would that include corn and potatoes?

  9. Dawn says:

    Excellent. In fact I’m reading this today instead of last night because I did just that. After being outside all day working in the yard, I was too tired to think about checking email and blogs…so I went to bed! LOL Might be the only way to withstand the internet lure…

    But I’m willing to try! So… let’s say I turn it off NOW….and will turn it back on Monday after, after 7:00 a.m.!

    • Dawn says:

      OK. I’m BACK. And that was really HARD to do! So often yesterday I wanted to look something up, or accomplish a task that required the computer…but I waited. And guess what? I got a lot of other stuff done! LOL!

      • Kathy says:

        Dawn, I’m so excited that you did this–even when it was HARD!! Congratulations!! We are all supporting each other that this can be a possibility… I had some hard moments, too. Then some really easy moments. It makes me want to do this more often. So glad you played!

  10. Cindy Lou says:

    Being able to be outside really helps me unplug – like Dawn said – I’m too pleasantly tired to think about it….that’s why I didn’t come visit yesterday. I’ll get myself caught up and then it’s down for the day….oh but can I resist the lure of a word game I usually unwind with? Yes, I can!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, glad to hear you resisted the lure of your word game. I admire people like you who so enjoy being outdoors and doing stuff like gardening that you can avoid the siren’s song of Internet communication. You can tell where your true love lies! 🙂

  11. Barbara says:

    I’ll get my chance tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. for “at least 24 hours.” The electrical system at our condo complex is being updated so we will be without power for at least a day. Charging my cell phone and iPod tonight and will camp out here for a while with my music and a good book, then head down to the beach with my camera and see what Mother Nature might have in store for me… We’ll see how it goes!

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, let us know how it went. I imagine you are deep within your 24 hours without electricity right now. I am picturing you down at the beach. Hope you’re having a lovely time!

  12. Snoopykg2 says:

    Hey Kathy
    I have been driving a good part of the day and now am at the hotel.

    The biggest part of my commitment was putting the netbook and cell phones in the trunk, so I could not even get to them. I actually did the whole four hour drive without the radio as well, by myself.

    I stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner and sat there without my cell phone with twitter, facebook, linkin and e-mail. I just looked out the window at some small finches running around the rocking chairs and the newly planted cornd fields in the distance. i could help but think, especially at Cracker Barrel, of days gone by, simpler times with out technology.

    Then later, while, still driving, I thought of the times that I travel and talk for hours at a time to my mom on the cell phone, all the friends I have tracked on the internet from when I was a baby until now, and alson new friends I have met. The eternal knowledge that is there on the Internet also amazes me, as well as the ability of technology to let me do things that were never thought of 15-20 years ago. Totally amazing.

    My wish for myself is that I can balance the technology that I deal with, my relationships to others, nature, the world, and the divine….and not look back but forward to all they have to offer.



    • Kathy says:

      Kim, I wish that you can find that balance…and that I can find that balance…and that all of us here can find that balance. Your drive and time eating dinner alone (without technology) sounds divine. There is something very simple and attentive and present about it all, isn’t there? Thank you for participating! Blessings…

  13. holessence says:

    Kathy – I’m back on after 12+ hours of being internet-free. I posted my blog this morning just prior to 7am, and then logged out of the internet and didn’t get back in until after 7pm. And I’m still alive to tell about it — who’d a thunk?!

    Laurie Buchanan

    • Kathy says:

      I am so glad that you did this, Laurie! And it sounds like you had a very productive day and got more accomplished than usual. And you said in your comment on Speaking from the Heart that you are now going to turn off the Internet when reading and editing. That is so cool! Congratulations…

  14. truels says:

    Thanks for this post. For the nice pictures- and the call to turn off our computer. The more I use mine ( and it IS MORE NOW after I started blogging!) – the more I fell I have to turn it off in between for some days, weeks….? —- I think it’s important that we control our pc – not the other way around………

    • Kathy says:

      I like so much what you say, truels. And admire that you are in control of your PC. I want to get to that point. So far, it often seems like the PC is controlling me. It felt so good this weekend to keep it mostly off.

  15. Barbara Kass says:

    Hi, Kathy — sometimes, computer off-time has been imposed on me (such as our 18-hour no electricity adventure during our February blizzard here in Maryland). I live on the computer, though, both at home and at work. It is my way of connecting with people who I don’t get to see in person or talk to on the telephone. To voluntarily cut myself off for 12 or 24 hours . . . hmmm . . . I am making plans to set aside some sacred space for that.

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, well, thank goodness for blizzards! I think they attempt to balance us, don’t you? Like you, the computer so often provides me as a way of connecting with other folks. It can get mighty…quiet…in the woods. When the computer opened its doors I thought Heaven had appeared. But it also felt really good to close the doors for awhile. Let me know if you succeed in creating your sacred computer-less space for a while.

  16. Karen says:

    It is about balance isn’t it? Gotta go outside now!!! LOL
    Love your photos. Sorry about the morels, I usually only find 5 or 6, this year was unbelievable for me. Found 3 more a couple days ago. BTW I used to live in Houghton. Love the UP!

    • Kathy says:

      Karen, there we have it! Balance… that word which is sometimes so elusive. In yoga I’m learning how to do tree pose. Will get this balance thing down soon. Hopefully! You had an UNBELIEVABLE year with morels?? Where do you live? Can I come visit? Will you show me…. oops, excuse me. We’ve just met. Maybe next year?? Glad to meet someone who used to live in Houghton. 🙂

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