A Month for Me…A Tech-Free Hour (Day 11)

We are all so connected to technology these days that I think we (or maybe just I) sometimes forget what it’s like to live without it. To not check your phone every 2 minutes to see if you’ve missed a notification (you probably haven’t), to not turn the TV on to watch a show while you’re painting your nails, to not come home and open up your computer after spending all day on one. Now, I’m not saying it’s ever going to be plausible to completely disconnect, but what if we all disconnected completely for an hour now and then?

That’s exactly what I’m going to do when I get home. And I’m not going to immediately fill that hour with all of the things that will keep me from enjoying it. I’m not going to mop the apartment during that hour, even though I know it needs to happen. I’m not going to make dinner during that hour. And I’m not going to spend hours on the computer accomplishing nothing.

I’m going to do what I feel I need to do first and then what I might do is spend some time with my cat, who I feel has been yearning for more attention for a few days. Since I scrubbed the bathroom over the weekend, I may take a luxurious bath. Or I might take that time with a book or with some colored pencils and paper. I will turn my phone on airplane mode, and I won’t hear it ding when someone sends me a request to play Words with Friends. I won’t be distracted in my relaxation by the sound of the TV or radio.

I’m going to completely turn off my connection to the outer world. How freeing is that? I know I can’t be the only person who sometimes feels chained down by technology. There’s this urge to check social media and to be reachable at all times. I miss the days of people having to call you or stop over if they wanted to talk. I realize this is making me sound old, but I think there’s something healthy about getting some true peace and quiet.

We’re constantly bombarded with things we should read, things we should watch, and it results in an information overload that hurts my brain. This infographic from Mequilibrium.comBrainonScreenTime.jpg

and corresponding article from Forbes really breaks down this phenomenon. With this age of increased information, we may be getting smarter, but we’re also getting a hell of a lot more stressed, disconnected, and anxious. Or maybe that’s just me.

Thanks to a couple of friends who mentioned it, I’ve started leaving my phone in my purse when out with friends or my husband. I don’t want to be tempted to reach for it. And I say something when I’m out with others and they’re on their phone instead of talking to the group. What’s the point in going out and being social if you’re not going to be social?

It is a huge turn-off now for me when I’m hanging out with people and they aren’t paying attention. And I’m not the only person that finds it annoying. I had fellow students complain that they couldn’t focus in classes because other people were on their phones or laptops. And that’s one of the things that makes this list of 10 Reasons to Turn Off Your Cell Phone.

Other reasons include:

  1. It’s damaging to your cell phone.
  2. It disrupts your sleep.
  3. It decreases your efficiency.
  4. And it can lower your self-esteem when you’re bombarded with other people’s perfect Instagram posts.
  5. We’re addicted. Plain and simple.

Those are just a few of the reasons why we should all unplug occasionally. We need to take time to connect with real life and real people. It doesn’t mean that social media isn’t a great way to connect with those who are far away, but it shouldn’t replace good ol’ face to face interaction (and phone calls) in our relationships.

And if you’re like me and are always feeling like you have a million things to do and never take time for yourself, you might just be able to buy an hour of your life for relaxation by turning off your phone. Just a thought.

 

Do you take time to “unplug”?

Are you like me and use your phone as an alarm?

Do you think it disrupts your sleep?

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