Technology has slowly become something we use and rely upon every day, making it nearly impossible to avoid.
From Computers at work to texting the family to find out what’s for dinner, to even using an app to get your grocery shopping done, technology surrounds us with the promise of convenience and ease. If everything comes at a cost, the question is what are we sacrificing in return?
Research shows that the overuse of technology can begin to impact individuals’ mental and physical health. The high dosage of connection that social media assures can lead to issues such as distraction, narcissism, the expectation of instant gratification, and even depression. Research goes as far as to say that this overuse of technology has gone as far as to rewire our brains and physically change our brain matter in drastic ways.
Although many of us cannot fully avoid technology, in honor of March 6th being National Day of Unplugging, we wanted to bring you just a few ways you can cut back on your screen time in order to live a healthier and happier life!
1. Instead of getting your entertainment from a screen, try getting it from other non-screen activities. This could include things such as books, plays, board games, and etc. You’ll be surprised by how it can be just as relaxing and enjoyable as watching a TV show or Instagram!
2. Go on a digital diet! In the same way, you would count calories or track the foods you eat the most of in a real diet track how much time you are using your phone and computer, and pay even closer attention to what apps and websites you are spending the most time on. Luckily there are many apps now that can help do this for you!
3. Start your day with something other than technology. Many times we find ourselves going to our phone before anything else, to catch up on what we might have missed while we were asleep. The truth is the emails and texts can wait. Try starting your morning with meditation or tea, anything besides a screen!
4. End your day with something other than technology. Just like the previous, many times we end our day scrolling or falling asleep to a show. Try giving yourself a technology bedtime where you set your phone down until the next day. We promise you’ll start to sleep better.
5. Fill up your calendar. When you’re doing things you enjoy, you’re likely to spend less time scrolling and more time being in the present moment. Go on more walks, make more dinner plans, anything that’ll keep you off your phone!
6. Leave your phone at home. Sometimes the best way to break an emotional attachment is to physically detach. Break the habit of checking your phone by literally not having it in your grasp. You’ll be surprised by how freeing it can be!
7. Ask for help. Sometimes all you need is a little accountability. Ask your friends, family, or spouse to call you out when you break your unplugging rules, whether that be answering a work email off the clock or browsing Instagram and Facebook to fill downtime.
8. When it’s time to leave work, really leave it. Stop answering work emails while you’re off, and stop getting work calls diverted to your cell. It’s time to ACTUALLY clock out!
9. Find other alternatives to using your phone, like writing down reminders physically instead of using an app. You’ll soon start forming new habits that aren’t technology reliant.
We hope you’re feeling inspired to just switch off, even if it’s just for a little bit! We challenge you to do at least one of the things we listed above for National Day of Unplugging! Because as much as we love the convenience technology has brought to our everyday lives, it might be time to start living simply again.