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How to Know if It’s Time to Go Off the Grid

How to Know if It’s Time to Go Off the Grid

There comes a time when many people who are used to social media and connection with others online must decide if it is time to go off the grid. Sometimes this is just taking a break from Facebook or other social media apps, and other times it is a total disconnect from texting, mobile phones, or any connection to the ‘outside’ world for a few days to a week or more. Learn more about why people are disconnecting to go off the grid and how it can help fuel your life to a new level.

Disconnect to Connect

Disconnecting from social media can be hard for people, especially if you are used to being connected to news, media, friends, and family all the time. Whereas people used to have to pick up a phone and dial a number (or even use a payphone), times have changed so much even little kids have mobile phones and internet-connected devices. The challenge of being connected non-stop is that there is no break from connectivity. Some signs it may be time to disconnect:

  • You can’t stop checking your phone more than once an hour
  • You check your phone in the middle of night, during dinner, when out with friends, or anytime there’s a break in your day
  • You can’t remember the last time you did not have your phone on you or it was left off
  • You feel like you get a ‘high’ each time you check notifications, text, or get updates on what friends are doing
  • You have anxiety when you cannot access the internet
  • You are hyper-connected for work and don’t remember the last time you were able to fully disconnect

Let Go of Fear

Releasing yourself of the obligation to be connected all the time to what is happening ‘out there,’ can be freeing. There is a real fear of ‘missing out,’ known as FOMO, which can further fuel addiction to the internet. Dopamine hits in the brain keep us coming back time and again, much like with chemical addictions including drugs and alcohol. Various forms of tech addiction are considered legitimate psychological conditions. Letting go of the fear will help you realize you are missing out more by being constantly connected than giving yourself a break and stepping back into your life again.

The Priceless Pause

If you struggle with addiction to the internet, or any other addiction, it can be disconcerting to plan time away, without being connected. Going off the grid can feel like losing a lifeline to the people who help support and back you up when needed. The priceless pause is disappearing into the space we used to reserve for reflection, planning, and dreaming only to be replaced by staring at our phones. Some ways to let go and embrace the pause:

  • Have accountability partners on stand-by. Don’t go totally alone if you are in recovery. You may need a helping hand or to reach out to someone, so keep a phone charged and ready just in case (maybe one without internet, just phone access).
  • Don’t go so far off the grid you feel uncomfortable. Stay close to civilization where you can reach help when needed.
  • Take someone or a few others with you. Don’t venture away without others to support and keep you safe.
  • Start off with a few hours, half-days, then full days and a few days to follow that. Don’t try to take a deep dive of leaving people behind for a week without contact. They may start to worry about you and whether you fell back into addiction.

There are ways to make going off the grid work for you so you can restore your sense of self, preserve some measure of peace and just contemplate life for a bit. Just do it safely and make sure others know how to reach you. It may be best to take a partner, friends, or a few family members with to keep you honest.

Taking a pause, sabbatical or time away is not a bad thing. It is a great way to get closer to your spiritual sense of self, find purpose, and get clear about direction. It can be intimidating but it may also derail recovery if you are struggling. If you need help finding your purpose and addiction is getting in the way, call us. Let us help guide you with our programs and resources, available to help get your life back on track. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 844-339-6964