It's time to disconnect for the holidays

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: November 27, 2013

It's hard to believe that we're just about ready to officially kick off the holiday shopping season. Thankfully Anna's got you covered with some Black Friday tips, and we just went over how to find the best value for your hard earned money (or even your Christmas funds, if you're lucky enough to get some) when it comes to find your next gadget. We've covered the basics, but what about the actual holidays?

It honestly seems just like yesterday that we were watching Motorola unveil the Moto X, LG unveil the G2, and Samsung take the wraps off the Galaxy Note 3. But here we are, well after those launches, and even passed the launches of Apple's iPhone 5s and LG's and Google's Nexus 5, just about ready to kick off a whole bunch of eating, before people start going crazy for the latest deals in stores across the world.

It's hard not to play with new toys, especially when they happen to be pieces of technology with a lot to show off. I know that when I get a new phone, whether it's around a holiday or not, I'm pretty impatient in wanting to get it out of the box, powered on, and put under my scrutiny. For those who have waited for the holidays to roll around to get their new toys, I can imagine it would be even harder, though.

Waiting is the worst. And when it finally comes to an end, the excitement can sometimes be overpowering.

My phone is an accessory that I never forget, and I very rarely turn it off for longer than thirty seconds. It's something that I use to pass the time when there's time to pass, and it's something that I use to get myself out of any kind of situation I don't want to be in. Don't want to talk to that person? Hey, there's my phone and suddenly I'm busy! Fancy that. I've grown accustomed over the years to having my phone there, powered on (as long as the battery lasts), and basically not disconnecting.

I'm going to change that this year.

I spend the holidays with family, sometimes extended and not, and I've always had my phone there to keep me distracted from the breaks in between hellos and good byes, but I know that I've missed quite a bit with my eyes buried in my phone's screen. Playing a game or reading something or doing whatever. And it's overdue that this changes course. That I forget the phone for just a few hours in a day and let it take a break.

Here's the thing, though: I know I won't turn it off. But, maybe I don't have to. I could put it on vibrate, so that all of the auditory notifications I'm used to receiving get muted. I'd still know they happen in that particular case, so maybe that wouldn't be the right path. Maybe turning on the Do Not Disturb feature? That way I won't get any notifications that could cause me to get distracted from the events happening around me, but I could still be reached during an emergency.

Whatever I decide to do, I know that this is the year I'm going to finally just let myself disconnect from the connected world, just for a little bit. It won't be all day, not by any means, and I'm still going to use my phone to take pictures, but I think I'm going to wait to share them to the social networks. This year, I'm going to take a break from the connected life. And I'm okay with that. It's been a long time coming.

Do you regularly disconnect from your phone, tablet, or any other connected device during the holidays? Or are you like me, and your phone has just become so second nature that it's just part of the day? Are you willing to disconnect for the holidays this year? Let me know!