No Email. No Twitter. No Internet. …and then she died.

Over the holidays, BlogHer CEO Lisa Stone completely disconnected herself from work, and thus from the web. No email. None. No twitter. Zero.

I was in awe.

The CEO of the company I work for was walking away to take a real vacation, not those “working” vacations many of us tend to take. I couldn’t even begin to fathom how this was even possible.

And now I can’t get it out of my head.

What did she do for all those weeks? Baked pies and cleaned toilets, apparently. But what did she REALLY do?

I keep thinking about how I structure my day and my life. I’m never without two phones or my laptop. I’m never turned off. I mean, what if the White House calls? What if news breaks? What if I need to get a post live on the site and everyone else is eating dinner? Where else would I talk to my friends? How else would I know WHAT IS GOING ON????!!! Seriously. The White House called Monday, on my day off. You don’t NOT answer when they call. Ok granted my 4-year old informed them via loud voice in the background that she had to poop…but you STILL PICK UP THE PHONE.

The anxiety rises in me just thinking about it.

But then I get past the anxiety and think a bit further down the road.

What if I played legos without the phone next to me? Would that really be so bad? What if I didn’t twitter that really funny thing my husband said or grab for the flip cam to capture the impromptu dance party in my kitchen?

Would the world end? Would it be any less of a “moment?”

Or maybe it comes down to feeling needed. Do these people who care what I have for lunch REALLY need me to tell them exactly what the President just said?

Call it a crisis of faith, if you will. But I may go the way of Lisa Stone and take the plunge.

If I can get past the anxiety first.


  1. LOL, at least the White House is calling you. What’s my excuse?
    .-= Tacomamama´s last blog ..Over 40 & You’re Hired 7:00-8:30 pm =-.

  2. I tried to do that over the holidays. Sadly, I could not escape my office no matter what I did.

    Try it – maybe baby steps – one day at a time?
    .-= pgoodness´s last blog day =-.

  3. Over Christmas I did this…kind of.

    I planned my work out in advance and then made sure everything was taken care of and that all loose ends had been tied.

    And then I unplugged my laptop and turned off my phone.

    For two days, I didn’t touch any electronic device [other than the remote] and I was shocked to discover that I didn’t get the shakes. :0

    You can do it; you NEED to do it.
    .-= Amy @ Taste Like Crazy´s last blog ..Procrastination Leads to Productive Day =-.

  4. Crazy and wonderful all at the same time. I tried that last night and it felt like heaven. I relaxed. I enjoyed the kids and the cats. But like a glass of wine, being unplugged must be enjoyed in moderation. Or is it the other way around. Dunno.
    .-= Kandeezie´s last blog ..gatekeeper:possiblydreaming: Fuzzy lights (via {Adele}) =-.

  5. I would have been lost the other night without knowing you were eating pierogies.
    .-= Capital Mom´s last blog ..My boys =-.

  6. I’ve vacationed without connection before, but when I recently tired to quit one of the blogging jobs – my editor barely had to twist my pinkie to get me to reconsider.
    .-= annie´s last blog ..The Senator is The Centerfold =-.

  7. When I shut down my blog last summer, I also took a brief hiatus from the internet. No Twitter, Facebook,– Nothing. The first day or two were hard. I felt disconnected, and jittery, thinking of the masses of emails and updates that would be awaiting me when I returned.

    A week later, I returned to the internet, changed. During the time away, I found that I was spending too much time looking at the insignificant, while missing out on the significant stuff. I went through my Reader, and cut my list by 75%. There were so many blogs that I read, because OTHER people read them.

    Walking away from the internet is like anything else: you learn to adjust. I now spend my days more structured, and allow myself to be on the internet when I truly want to be, instead of feeling a panic at what I’m missing out on.

    I think my kids appreciate it. I know I certainly appreciate them more.
    .-= Andria Stanley´s last blog ..About That Message… =-.

  8. I truly love to read your blog. It’s so nice to read from the perspective of an intelligent working Mom. I’m laughing at myself because I WAS thinking I have the exact same problem, but then I realized….the WHITE HOUSE is calling you. I am so humbled by that. Anyway, it’s a daily (minute by minute) struggle for me to be TRULY present when with my tot or my husband. I do take a vacation though. I think the trick is to truly GO AWAY where there is no internet access, no cell phone coverage, etc. I have a list of these places. That is where we go. Go for it! (I’ll share my list with you!)
    .-= Tina´s last blog ..Power of Play-Channel your inner Ninja! =-.

  9. I probably should not admit here that during a recent storm, we lost our wifi for a few hours and I freaked. Like, hyperventilated at the dinner table… and The White House is certainly NOT calling me!

  10. A lot of times, the Internet makes me feel like a rat that can’t stop pushing the feeder bar. I’m thinking it would be good for me to start introducing some ‘net-free days to my life.
    .-= Average Jane´s last blog ..Average Jane’s Studio Kitteh Update =-.

  11. Out of everyone I know online – you need a complete vacation the most. Do it.

  12. You already do this, to an extent. When you are sleeping, you are not blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking. So…you know you CAN do it.

    Baby steps. Take an hour off for lunch. Just. Erin. Or Erin & the kids & Aaron. Step away for one brief hour. Then two. Then?

    Or, practice a modified Shabbat – even tho you are not Jewish – from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, make it about you and your family.

    We’ll all be here waiting when you get back.


  13. what does it mean in the title “and then she died” ?

  14. I think I would ease in.

    Maybe two days.
    .-= Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah´s last blog ..Also, My Dad Can Beat Up Their Dad =-.

  15. Good post. I was camping a few months ago, and even though there was cell service, once the battery ran out, I was done, for a few days.
    & even though I missed out on a few things, it was nice to NOT look at a screen, and be forced to interact only with the people around me–to be undistracted by wanting to twitpic the scenery, like I did the first few days. 😛

    Good luck. Starting small sounds like a good answer. ;D

  16. i think if you’re even contemplating the whole thing then you probably need it.

    then again, it was the WHITE HOUSE calling.

    wait, i’m back on track. i think that a break is good and respectable. i’m offline every week on Shabbat (like Kath said earlier) and I think it makes me realize that i CAN live without my online world…

    once a week is a good way to start….and a good way to live, i think.
    .-= phyllis´s last blog ..How to Raise a Reader, Revisited =-.

  17. right?

    if something (important, funny, etc…) happened and i didn’t tweet/facebook/blog about it, did it really happen? i’m beginning to wonder. yet i also know my status updates and blog posts are always more meaningful when i do take a step away.

    do it! (we’ll miss you, but do it anyway. we’ll be here when you return.)
    .-= tara´s last blog ..pickin’ up mommas =-.

  18. I would be curled up in a corner, twitching and mumbling to myself. Seriously, I just don’t think I could disconnect like that.
    .-= Summer´s last blog ..This Is Why I Should Be A Hermit =-.

  19. If a tweet happens and you’re not there to read it, did it ever really happen?

    I’m completely disconnecting in early March when I go on my honeymoon. No tweeting, no checking email of any kind and no logging in. It’s going to be difficult, but if I don’t do it on my honeymoon to Belize, when the frack am I going to do it?

    Also, I’ll echo others above…I highly recommend it for you. 😉
    .-= Tara Anderson´s last blog ..Eat like a Caveman =-.

  20. How about a long weekend instead? Go somewhere and do not take the Blackberry/iphone with you. Just take your kids.

    I have found that I need to unplug for a weekend at a time at least once a month.
    .-= Lisse´s last blog ..The Democratic Checklist for Obama’s Second Year =-.

  21. I managed this is October when we went on a cruise. There, my frugality overwhelmed my need for connectivity. And, after the withdrawal stage ended, I really enjoyed it. Not that you could tell that by my obsessive email checking and Facebooking once we arrived back in port!
    .-= LSM´s last blog ..The Little Things =-.

  22. DOOD. I thought with the title you were saying Lisa Stone had died. I was freaking out. I’m better now.

    I disconnected for a little over two weeks when I went to Africa in June. It was great. I don’t know if I could do it voluntarily, though – like, if I *had* the access available, I’m not sure I could just not use it.
    .-= Lara´s last blog ..A Wish List – In Four Parts =-.

  23. Sometimes, there’s nothing MORE freeing than going offline. Then again, I don’t have the White House calling ME…

    .-= Amy @ Thoughts of THAT Mom´s last blog ..When It Rains It Pours =-.

  24. I try not to be on the computer when I’m with my kids, it’s so easy to get sucked in, clicking myself silly until I’m forced out of my internet-fog because one kid has whacked another upside the head. And in the long run, missing my kids’ childhood would be much more regrettable than missing a tweet.

    I agree with others, baby steps; it might feel really good.
    .-= 6512 and growing´s last blog ..Digging Out =-.

  25. I don’t even have that many readers yet and I’m completely glued to social media and I get itchy if I go too long without posting. I need a self help or something. Bloggers Anonymous? Cant. Stop.

    We lost internet the other day and I have to say after I stopped flipping out the day was lovely. I didn’t really learn any lessons though, as I was back on Twittercrack when service was restored.

    I feel like a craptacular parent when I don’t pay attention to my kid because I need to edit something. Seriously. Such as a post about cereal coupons. What the hell is wrong with me?

    Anyway, coming out of the woodwork to tell you I’m a fangirl; love your writing, you deserve the White House love.

  26. You should totally do it. Everyone now and then I go totally unplugged and it is completely recharging.

    And don’t sweat it. You are such a rock star that the White House will call again if you miss a call! -Christine
    .-= Boston Mamas´s last blog ..Bringing Sexy Back =-.

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