Does it ever feel like some days all you’ve done is stare at a screen all day?
The ubiquity of technology in our professional and personal lives has become overwhelming.
I am a self-confessed social media addict (occupational hazard), but I’ve recently realised that outside of work I didn’t want to be a slave to my smartphone anymore.
Computer to laptop to tablet to smartphone to TV. I counted how many hours a day I spent on these devices and frankly, the number terrified me.
Aside from the huge amount of time it consumes, I began research on why else overexposure to screen-time might be bad for us.
Unfortunately the list is longer than I would have thought: Anxiety, depression, weight gain, disturbed sleep patterns, forgetfulness and sensory overload. Even impatient, impulsive and narcissistic behavioural changes have been linked to technological dependance. It has even been described by a 2012 report as “possibly the biggest non-drug addiction of the 21st Century”.
Did you know there is even a Center for Internet and Technology Addiction founded by psychiatrist Dr. Greenfield? If thats not a sign we need to unplug then I don’t know what is.
So how do we disconnect?
Here are some easy to implement suggestions to help you unplug and unwind:
- No smartphones in bed. The last thing you should see before you close your eyes should not be your Facebook feed. Create a peaceful sleeping space, ensure that your sleeping pattern isn’t disturbed.
- Dedicate some time to reading a book (a paper one) just a bit every day, you decide how much, could be three pages, could be three chapters. Its hugely beneficial for well-being and even proven to drop stress levels by up to nearly 70%
- No smartphone at the dinner table. Be more mindful when you’re eating. I personally love T.V dinners but it is also therapeutic to simply listen to some background music and talk with those around the table.
- Gauge the content of what your looking at. Is the information you’re consuming making you a better person? or is it zombifying you?
- Try actively leaving your devices at home. This way, at the restaurant, concert or presentation all temptation is removed and you can begin to experience fully whatever it is you’re doing.
Release yourself from the nomophobia (yes, there is actually a word to describe the stress you feel when you don’t have access to your mobile phone).
And for more thoughts on how to embrace well-being, read our popular AND BREATHE article and learn the importance of ritual.