“You’re on mute.”

Perhaps no other image more accurately captures the current state of our work culture than that of a colleague or client helplessly talking into the virtual void while muted during yet another Zoom meeting—or GoToMeeting, Skype, Teams…insert the platform du jour. In a world where remote work and digital communication have become essential, the usual frustrations and snags of technology have been amplified. While it’s easy to get burnt out and overwhelmed, there is an antidote to help shake those digital blues—unplug.

No, I’m not suggesting you throw your laptop out of a window or take a Louisville Slugger to your internet router. Rather, “unplugging” (to me at least) means making a conscious effort to take some time away from technology. Whether that’s logging off your computer, putting away your smart phone, or turning off the TV, spending some time unplugged can go a long way in reducing the stress and anxiety we all feel in this 24/7 connected world.

Instead of binge-watching The Office on Netflix for the 20th time, consider going for a walk around the block with a friend or neighbor. Instead of mindlessly scrolling Facebook or Instagram for an hour, spend some time reading a book or writing that screenplay you’ve always talked about. It’s not so much about the activity as it is the intentional effort to step away from the screens.

It may seem ironic for a millennial like myself to be extolling the virtues of “no tech”, but if anything, I think my generation understands the effects of technology burnout better than anyone. We grew up with it and most of us are connected in some way or another all day everyday (email, text messaging, social media, etc.). Don’t get me wrong, technology can be amazing, and it allows us to be able to do things today that people could hardly imagine 30 years ago. That being said, next time you feel like you’re about to snap your keyboard over your knee like Bo Jackson, take some time to recharge…away from a power outlet.

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