UNPLUG FROM YOUR TECH AND PLUG BACK INTO LIFE!
Friends, how many of us can do without these social networks – FB, BBM, Twitter, Pinterest, you name it – for say, one week or one month? It is possible, is it not?
This was the question I posed yesterday on facebook which was inspired by a post I read here on wordpress. It is amazing how we evolved to this present state so fast. Sometimes I look at my life and the lives of thousands of others, and I’m like, ‘how have we been surviving in the days when there was no internet, no ICT, the days of just communicating via letters?’ I remember those days in secondary school. If you are privileged to have someone send you a letter and the teachers call it out at the Assembly, then you are an elite of some sort. But these days, most secondary school kids go about with the latest sophisticated gadgets to which they are glued to as long as possible.
Honestly, I can’t imagine life without facebook, google, twitter and the likes, but most of all, life without my phone? No way! Where will we be without those? I’m sure I am not alone in this, going without my phone , maybe because I forgot it at home, even for a brief moment, makes me feel like I’m going around naked and unprotected. Even when I’m real busy, I still cannot stay away from it, as if it has a power of its own, beckoning me to it, even when I want to avoid it. I might drop it aside, but its gotta be somewhere my hand and eyes can easily reach it, glancing at it now and then and when that red light blinks or the beeps sound – simply irresistible. Is that a sign of addiction, I wonder.
Yes, many of us are becoming addicted to our phones, technologies and the internet. It is called internet (technology) addiction disorder and yes, it is harmful, just like every addiction. It is harmful, not just to our health, but also affects us psychologically, and socially. Seriously, how is your physical social life right now? Dead? I hope not. We hardly go out to visit friends and family these days because we can reach them via calls, chats and such, otherwise, we won’t have the time for them because we’d rather be with hundreds of people at a time on the internet than with just a handful of them physically. You don’t need to go out of your way to socialize physically, after all there is the social network to link you up to the whole world with a few clicks, under seconds.
We are mostly scared of boredom and being in the company of just ourselves. That is mostly why we turn to our digital devices at every little free time we have. But boredom and solitude can actually lead to greater insights into our inner selves, our capabilities and increased productivity.
Research shows that too much dependence on technology rewires the brain but don’t ask me to explain what that is all about. It is enough to understand that too much of a thing is definitely bad.
For every one thing that technology gives, it takes one in return. So why don’t we take some of these practical and easy (yea, easy) steps to reclaim control over our lives?
Here are just a few ways to unplug from your tech and plug back into life!
Start by turning off your Smartphone for at least 2 hours at a time. On weekends, extend this period longer.
When waiting in a queue or for a vehicle, do not pull out your Smartphone to check for messages and see what’s trending.
Resist the urge to snap a photo of every moment and share with your social media world.
When at work, keep your cell phone locked away somewhere far off, maybe in the car. Only check on breaks or lunch time.
Make sure to take time each day to stay away completely from your tv, phones, tablets, gaming, laptops.
Do not have your Smartphones on during mealtime, when taking a walk, working out, or reading.
Turn your Smartphones ringtones or sound alerts off when working, studying, or sleeping.
Turn off the social media alerts, such as FB or Twitter alerts, on mobile devices. Only check at a designated time each day. I heard that there are some apps one can download that actually helps one control the use of these accounts.
And the mother of them all, go off some of the social networks completely for a long period say weeks and months. If not for anything, to prove to yourself that your life is still under your control.
Someone often says, “if you are always looking down at the world through your digital device, you are missing the world in front of your eyes.” Remember, boredom is not our enemy to be avoided but rather to be embraced.
It is an undisputed fact that technology has transformed our lives and our world in many wonderful ways. But, our lives should not be lived for and by technology. Age is also no barrier here.
As for the question I asked on facebook, many don’t think it will be easy to achieve but a few has actually given it a try. If someone can, why not me? I’m giving it a shot soon. I’m sure it won’t kill me. I promise to give you details of how it went when I finally get round to doing it. Care to join me?
Unplug from your tech and plug back into life!