Do you feel as though you’re constantly scrolling through social media, or tapping away on your laptop? If this sounds like you, read on to find out how you can disconnect to reconnect with yourself and the people around you.
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It’s no secret that our society relies on technology. This reliance has become so great, in fact, that many people have begun to believe it’s impossible to live without it. But what are the effects of living this way?
Our lives are ruled by the push of a button and we’re always looking for the next best thing. We’re always on, always accessible. It’s not just that we’re busy, it’s that we’re distracted and scattered.
Too much technology distracts us from the things in life that matter most – our relationships, our health and well being. A digital detox is a movement to reset your relationship with technology so you can reconnect more deeply with yourself and others around you.
By taking some time off from technology each day you will be able to reconnect with yourself and others in meaningful ways.
Table of Contents
- The downside of technology
- What is a digital detox
- How can you disconnect to reconnect
- Ideas of fun things to do without using technology
The downside of technology
We all know the benefits of technology. It’s incredible how we can stay connected with people so far away, build businesses, learn, shop, etc. You’re using technology right now! And so am I!
But there are many negative effects that technology has on society today. Even though technology is amazing in many ways, for some people it has become too much of a good thing.
It prevents us from being able to live fully in the moment. We are constantly thinking about what is next instead of living through this very moment with full awareness.
It takes away from our relationships
One of the major consequences of technology is that it takes away from our relationships. Many people say they feel like they’re always connected to their devices and that there’s never a time where they can completely shut off. This leads to people feeling as though their friends, family and significant others don’t value them.
For some, this even becomes an addiction where the more someone uses technology the less important real world interactions become.
It affects your work life
There’s no arguing that we live in a fast-paced society with everything at our fingertips – but is this always a good thing? When work becomes tedious and draining because you’re paying attention to your phone notifications more than what your boss is saying, you might need a digital detox to get back on track.
Those who continually use technology as part of their work day also show symptoms of stress and exhaustion. According to some studies, it’s been proven that your attention spans are only on the decline, and this has a negative effect overall.
Lower quality sleep
Using technology before bed means you’re spending more time “winding down” and focusing your attention on something other than sleep. Technology is stimulating, and this keeps your brain in a state of alertness long after you’ve put the device away, having the opposite effect of “winding down”.
Increased posture issues
Using technology for extended periods of time can cause posture issues. Many people hunch over their devices, resulting in back pain and tension headaches
All of the above adds up to us feeling exhausted, unmotivated, stressed and unhappy even though we have so many exciting things to do at any given moment! Technology does not solve our problems, it just covers them up.
According to digitaldetox.org:
- 53% of people wake up in the middle of the night to check their phones
- Average teenagers spend upwards of 11 or more hours consuming digital media every day
- The average person checks their phone 150 times a day
- 26% of car accidents are caused by phone use
What is a digital detox
A digital detox is a break from all things digital. You switch off your phone, computer and tablet, to become more in touch with the world out there.
You can disconnect for a few hours, or even days. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing – everyone needs to take time out from their digital lives now and again.
A digital detox is an opportunity to step away from the distractions of social media and email alerts, so that you can focus your attention on something more important – like enjoying unmediated experiences. The break also helps you to understand how reliant you are on technology, and to assess its influence in your life.
It’s not about unplugging for good. Instead, it is intended as a breather – allowing you the chance to disconnect from technology for a short time so that you can recharge your batteries before getting back into the flow of things. After all, everyone needs some digital downtime now and again!
How can you disconnect to reconnect
Assess your usage
You may not realise how much you’re actually using it until it’s gone. When was the last time that you went a whole day without looking at your phone? Once you really think about how long you spend on the internet each day, you may be shocked with the realisation.
Be aware of how technology affects others around you
Have you ever been out with a friend and they’re constantly looking at their phone and only half listening to you? Or tried to get the attention of a loved one but they’re too busy scroll on social media to listen?
Once you start giving yourself a break from technology, your friends and family will start to appreciate this too. They might actually encourage you when they see how much more connected you’re becoming with them.
Plan when to disconnect
It’s not always easy to just turn off everything on a whim, but you can make a plan to disconnect when it’s more convenient for you. For example, you obviously need to be online during work hours, but you could plan to take an hour every evening to disconnect. Or plan a full day during the weekend to go out or do something around the house instead.
Go off grid
I recently went on a camping trip where we had very little phone reception. I was there for 12 days, had my phone on airplane mode the entire time and only looked at it to take some pictures. Did I miss not being online? Nope!
Going off grid on a camping trip is a fantastic way to disconnect from the technology world, if only for a few days. There will be so much outdoor fun to experience that you won’t miss it at all.
Taking a whole month off from social media might sound a bit excessive, but think about what you’d actually miss by doing this. Social media is a huge time sink, and many people would benefit from taking a break to focus on themselves rather than the online world.
Once you go back on social media after a month off, you’ll notice you’re not interesting in looking at it as much as you used to.
Turn off notifications
My phone is on silent 24/7 – that’s right, I get no notifications until I check my phone. And even my ringer is off, I only have my phone on vibrate for important calls. I know this may not be possible for everyone, but even if you can turn off notifications on certain apps then you’ll be less likely to keep picking up your phone every time you hear a sound.
If there are certain apps that keep you up at night using, such as a news app or a gaming app, try deleting these from your phone for a time and see if it helps you to disconnect.
Shut off an hour before bed
But shutting off all technology an hour before bed, and instead meditating or reading a book, it will help your body and mind calm down and prepare for sleep.
Also, keep the phone out of your bedroom. The bedroom is for sleeping and…. well you know. So keep your phone outside the bedroom at night so you’re not tempted to pick it up in the middle of the night if you happen to wake.
Leave your phone behind
If you’re heading to meet a friend, leave your phone at home. You’ll be surprised how much you can enjoy yourself when your phone isn’t constantly in the palm of your hand. And while you’re at it, try leaving your wallet at home too!
Ideas of fun things to do without using technology
- Explore nature (hiking, biking or walking)
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Declutter your house
- Watch a sunset
- Have a bubble bath
- Make a bucket list
- Make up a dance
- Have a cooking competition
- Bake cookies for your neighbour
- Have some ‘fun’ with your partner!
Get a full list of 150 things you can do without technology sent right to your email!
You don’t have to wait any longer – today is as good as tomorrow to take some steps to disconnect to reconnect with yourself and spend time with your family and friends. It’s never too late.
The benefits of a digital detox are infinite. You can get organised, become more productive, sleep better, have better posture, and so much more. As long as you take it one step at a time!
Are you ready to disconnect in order to reconnect? Have you ever tried a digital detox? Is it something you would recommend?
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