Local News

Cell Block Challenge 4: Can you unplug and take a vacation from tech?

Cell Block Challenge 4: Can you...

SPOKANE, Wash. - When is the last time you truly unplugged? Probably on vacation when you didn't have service anyway. In step four of our cell block challenge designed to get you off of your phone, even for a bit, we want you to take a fake-ation.

Based on the book Bored and Brilliant  our cell block challenge has been building to a day like this. Shut off your phone, turn off your notifications, walk away - whether it's for an hour or an afternoon, take a vacation from your tech. Put a note on Facebook, set an auto-reply on your email. Just let people know they won't be able to reach you for a bit.

What's the point?

We used to leave school behind at the last bell and leave work when we walked out of the office at night. Now, we carry everything with us; we can access our email, our files and our friends, all through the apps on our phones. 

"It's great if you go on vacation and you turn it off, more power to you," said Bored and Brilliant author Manoush Zomorodi. "But, on a daily basis, we need to be connected - we want to be connected. So, what we're talking about here is where we fit somewhere in the middle."

Our three Cell Block Challenge participants were ready for step four and ready to take a mini-break from their phones.

Financial planner Mike Welch was so into it, he didn't even send us a video to recap his day.

"I didn't send you a video because I was supposed to put my phone away," he said. "I put my phone away and I didn't pick it back up."

That's impressive, Mike.

Working mom Phaedra had to think about more than just one gadget when it came to turning off and tuning out.

"I was able to put it down, put it on silent and turned off my notifications on my watch," she said. "It was great."

Our college student Kelsie Morgan had a tougher time. With a full class load at school, a part-time job at KXLY and a barrage of messages from friends, she admits it's harder for her to tune out. But, she did find a small pocket of time.

"At lunch, instead of looking at my phone, I tried to keep my head up and keep my phone in my backpack," she said. "It was the longest ten minutes of my life."

But, she certainly felt a change in that ten minutes.

"I was in a building I'm probably in every day and, looking up, I noticed posters I had never seen before, I actually heard music that was playing, I saw people I don't normally see," she said. "I feel like I tasted my food more!"

For some, an afternoon in easy. For others, ten minutes feels like forever. That's what this challenge is all about; small changes can make huge strides towards a more conscious relationship with our phones.