Have you ever thought your life was connected to a phone, a computer or to some other digital device? Do you constantly feel the urge to check your social media accounts to feel connected? Whether we are at home, at work or on vacation, the digital distractions can keep us from engaging with what is going around us.
The World Wide Web (WWW) can be a save us significant time with research and learning, but it can also steal time away from our families and friends when we are glued to the computer screen for too long. When you are texting or checking your emails, the more distracted you are….with everything you do.
Author of Hamlet’s Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age, William Powers, says, “The more time you spend toggling rapidly among digital tasks, like texting and answering emails, the more you will tend to think in a distracted way”. To reclaim the kind of sustained attention it takes to read a book, Powers says, you have to unplug periodically.
Here are some good ways to help us “unplug” from the devices and connect us back to the people around us.
Put away the iPad’s, iPod’s and phones when the food hits the table. If you are an avid device junkie, a 20-minute “time out” during meals will be more palatable than going without for a few hours or an entire day.
Create Digital FREE zones
Make a room or a space in your home or your office that is free of any technical device. This will force you to direct your attentions to other things. I would recommend making the kitchen and bedroom device free. You cannot have a good sleep if you have a device nearby making “dings” or lighting up every few minutes.
Vacation without the Devices
Ok, you may not be able to leave your mobile phones at home (they come in handy sometimes on the road), but you can certainly leave the iPads and lap tops. Most hotels are connected to the net and you can use one of their computers if you need to. Vacations are for unwinding, celebrating time with family and friends and breathing some life back into our tired bodies. You can’t be social on vacation if you’re glued to a screen right?
Bring the family in on the Challenge
Think it will be too hard to go device free on your own? Get your family and friends in on the “detox” to share the possible anxiety. Set ground rules to live by and test yourself in pushing the limits even further. You’ll all be so glad you did. You may even have a great conversation amongst yourselves! You may notice you will be able to focus more, concentrate more, have better conversations, and notice more around you. Enjoy these moments and start living a healthy, balanced life without being tied to your device.