Can You Give Up Your Internet, Smartphone for One Week?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A few weeks ago, I had an idea. On Thursday, as I was preparing to implement it, something happened that reinforced just how necessary an exercise this is.

I need a break from technology, particularly computers, email and the "smart" features of my iPhone. There comes a point where our heads get sucked into these screens so far that our brains end up in a fog. It's not enough to merely "take a day off" or a "vacation." I believe -- and we'll find out if I'm right -- that those of us who effectively live on our computers and related devices need to take seemingly extreme steps back from time to time. I think we'll be better off for it. I'm pretty certain I will be.

Funny story that reinforced the need for me to do this.

I funnel all of my email through Apple's Mail program. Email from three accounts -- TheStreet, Gmail and Me.com -- hits this Mac platform. On Thursday, I was testing an auto-response, which you actually have to set up as a "rule" in Mail, when all hell broke loose!

This was the auto-reply message I wanted people who send me email over the next seven days to receive:

Starting Friday evening May 3 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time until Friday evening May 10 at or around 5:00 p.m. Pacific time I am going "off the grid."
That means I am not using my computer at all. No email. No social media. No work. Nothing. I will only use my smartphone for calls and to send/receive texts. I will only access the Internet to watch "television."
As such, I will not reply to you until the weekend of May 10. HOWEVER, if you you are calling to request a television appearance OR you think I would want to hear from you, you may call me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

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