"One of the most important things to remember is that these companies don’t happen over night. They’re not an over-night success story, as I think a lot of people view certain companies. It’s really about finding what works and iterating your product."
—Danielle Abes, director of Qwiki, a video-sharing app that turns pictures and videos from events you’ve captured on your iPhone into brief, sharable movies.
“At the bar, my recently rediscovered heads-up
display—aka my eyes—revealed a person next to me, and for several hours I found myself in a fascinating conversation with one of the dancers from the Broadway musical Spider-Man.”
Baratunde Thurston, arguably one of the most connected celebrities there are, took 25 days away from the Internet. Here’s what he learned.
“I considered fleeing to a remote island for a few weeks, but I realized I wasn’t craving physical escape. I didn’t actually want to be alone. I just wanted to be mentally free of obligations, most of which asserted themselves in some digital fashion.”
“It was like, oh my god, I can be so much more productive if I actually let my brain have a little downtime. When I get up in the morning I’m very sharp now. I can do things much faster. I’m much more focused. I feel much fresher. I feel like I used to feel before the Internet was popular.”
-Kord Campbell, who recently participated in a digital detox hosted by Camp Grounded. We’ve collected stories from people who regularly unplug from their devices.
“We are ceasing to see. Using our eyes to appreciate beauty is no longer enough. It always has to be documented for some other time—often resulting in an abyss of recordings. My first thought at a pretty sunset—where’s my phone?”
So you need to #unplug. You’re feeling overwhelmed by your gadgets—connected to your email list but not to your personal life. It’s time to take a break. It is precisely for times like these that we’ve created a guide to unplugging.
These step-by-step instructions will walk you through the difficult (but rewarding!) process of unplugging, from deciding when to unplug to informing your friends and coworkers that you’ll be offline for a while to avoiding the biggest temptations to plug back in. Here you’ll find advice from digital detoxing experts, business leaders, and our readers, whom we asked to use the #unplughashtag to submit their best methods for logging off.
We encourage you to print these pages, and when you find yourself reaching for your phone, reach for this guide instead for tips on how to overcome the urge to use your devices. And when you’re ready to rejoin the digital world, come to FastCompany.com, and we’ll help you find the most seamless way to do so.