8 Reasons To Take A Technology Detox
This is a guest post by Cassie Brewer.
As our dependence on technology grows, we are finding it increasingly difficult to unwind, reconnect, and unplug from our devices. While technology is supposed to make our lives easier, if left unchecked, it has the power to disrupt our relationships, friendships, sleep, work, and even add to our stress loads. This makes it paramount that we take a technology detox so we can ground ourselves and reconnect with the world around us.
To motivate you to power down, please scroll through the following 8 reasons why you should take a technology detox:
For many of us, we carry our smartphones everywhere with us, have numerous tabs open on our computers, and even listen to emails while driving our cars. One study that followed business marketers and salespeople found they waste up to five hours a week just managing and operating apps. Sure, five hours doesn’t seem like a lot of wasted time, but over the course of a year they are wasting almost 11 days of their lives! Imagine everything you could accomplish in that time frame. Even if marketing isn’t your game, you lose precious minutes everyday closing tabs, swiping social media, or reading memes. By limiting the time we spend with technology, we can recharge our minds and free up time to spend doing things that really matter.
Boost Your Mood
While social media is great for staying connected with friends and family, too much of a good thing can cause some surprising side effects to surface. Research from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has found a correlation between negative thoughts and the amount of time we spend on our devices. This probably occurs because we are comparing our lives with the perfectly manicured social media posts of others that show how happy, successful, and beautiful their life is. Thankfully, disconnecting can break that vicious cycle of comparing and neutralize fears of missing out.
Improve Your Sleep
The glowing screens from today’s technology trick our brains and disrupt the natural circadian rythms which regulate our sleep. This interferes with the release of melatonin, a sleep hormone, which is necessary for a good night’s rest. Without melatonin, our minds are awake and alert, even if it is past our bedtimes. If that alone doesn’t keep you tossing and turning all night, the pings and dings of updates and alerts on our devices can wake us and prevent deep sleep.
Increase Your Concentration
One study found every time we are distracted by a text or an email, it takes an average of 25 minutes to refocus back on our original task. To make matters worse, there is evidence that simply having a smartphone nearby can damage our attention and distract us from our activity. If our minds are being preoccupied, we miss out on a lot of details and events happening around us.
Enjoy the moment!
Taking a technology detox allows us to put down our devices and enjoy the world without watching it from behind a screen or adding distractions. If we fail to power down, there will be times where we miss out on making priceless memories, bonding with others, or experiencing the thrill of living. We can’t get back this time with our friends, family, significant others, children, and pets--make the most of it and be present.
Spend Time With Others
We are human and that means we’re genetically predisposed to interact with others and our surroundings. Even with all of today’s advancements, our devices can’t duplicate this experience. Research has found children acknowledge feeling less important than a parent’s phone and adults often feel slighted when their teen is constantly using a device. We also need to consider a 2014 study which found that smartphone dependency is linked to feelings of isolation--even if we are surrounded by people. Give yourself permission to put down your phone and reconnect face-to-face with someone.
For Safety’s Sake
Using our devices and other technology while driving can distract and impair our reaction times. Drivers who are texting or reading their phones are 8 times more likely be involved in an accident than someone who isn’t distracted. To put this into better perspective, 80 percent of accidents are caused by a distracted driver! No text or post is worth ruining your life or someone else’s.
Stop Missing Out
Every moment we spend online or snapping a selfie is a moment we miss exploring the world around us. We are so distracted by our gadgets that we fail to notice the colors of the sunset, the sensation of sunlight streaming through the window, or the little nuances to our best friend’s laugh. If we put down our devices, we can nurture the relationship with world.
What reasons would prompt you to take a technology detox?