This week, as I prepare for my upcoming trip to Sri Lanka, I’m battling with whether or not to take my laptop. I really want to take a break from technology and unplug, but I think of that 14-hour flight to Dubai and relish the thought of having all that time to outline a new program, get half a dozen new blogs posts ready, and so much more. That’s the type A in me. Then I flip that over and think, “Angela, you are on vacation. CHILL OUT!!”
Are we so wired into our devices that we can’t disconnect? We seemingly depend on our phones, iPads, and laptops for work and pleasure. I recently had a glitch with my computer and nearly had a full-blown panic attack at the thought of not being able to do my online work that day. That’s messed up! My biggest pet peeve is seeing a group of people, or worse yet, a family at a restaurant and EVERY single one of them is buried in their phone.
Have you seen the blooper videos of people on their phones texting and running into things or falling down steps? We miss out on so much of the present moment by burying ourselves in texts and social media posts. I’m just as guilty as the next person. My husband tells people, “Don’t talk to her when she is on her computer, she shuts the rest of the world out.”
“Just turn off your phone!”
“Why can’t you just switch it off?”
“Can’t we just talk to each other?”
You’ve probably received many warnings to turn off your phone and other devices. You may have even rolled your eyes when you heard them. I mean, can you imagine living without technology? It opens up possibilities for communication that past generations deemed impossible.
Is it really that dangerous to stay connected to our devices? The answer is a resounding yes!
The Effects Of Always Being On
Electronics make our lives better in many ways, including keeping us in touch with friends and family around the world. But, being connected to others constantly can wear on our well-being and it can cut into our long-term happiness and lower our overall satisfaction with life.
The benefits of taking a digital detox, or even small steps toward one, are far-reaching. People who have taken a break from technology report a sense of feeling more closely connected to those around them. When we’re tied to our technological devices, our priorities shift from spending time with our loved ones in person and can easily disrupt our well-being. Stress can easily increase. We may feel more depressed and more alone in general when we spend an excessive amount of time using electronics to communicate with others, rather than communicating face-to-face.
How To Do A Digital Detox Without Going Crazy
A digital detox doesn’t have to mean you cut out technology altogether. You can take gentle steps toward using your devices less and listening to your body and mind more.
Here are a few guidelines to create your own digital detox. Use as many or as few as you desire:
1. Purge yourself of unnecessary electronic equipment. This approach can apply to avoiding certain apps on your phone all the way up to a moratorium on all devices. Take time to be critical about which electronics you use with regularity. Eliminating half the apps on your phone narrows down your electronic clutter and can lighten your mental load, even if you don’t stop using your phone altogether.
2. Schedule your social media posts. There’s no need to update the world, or your pages, every day if you already have content scheduled.
3. Write in a journal. Give yourself a break from structuring every sentence to be perfect for Facebook. Some free writing in a journal can ease your mind and ease your desire to record yourself.
4. Reach out to friends in person or through a phone call. One easy break you can take from technology is to reach out to your friends personally whenever you need support. Most of us will just text when we want to communicate, but taking time to call or meet in person can create a welcome break from electronic communication.
5. Give yourself short “breaks” from your devices. You don’t have to give up your electronics for a very long time if you’re not ready to do so. Just take the weekend off, or stop at a certain time after work. Over time, you may even find these breaks to be addictive.
Well, I’m going to try and take my own advice and do a digital detox. This digital detox will follow the 14-Day Hormone Balance Detox I am currently doing so I can come back from Sri Lanka totally, digitally refreshed. It’s time to hit the reset button!
Have you ever attempted a digital detox? How did it go? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!