It’s been thirteen years since Facebook was founded and ten years since the first iPhone was released. In early 2013 smartphone sales surpassed the sale of standard cell phones, and now there more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide. With social media notifications, news updates, phone calls, texts and emails all within arm’s reach the stream of information is ever-present. A constant companion, technology has become our forever friend, connecting us with our peers and keeping us company. But how often do we find ourselves trading eye contact with a human being for another glance at our newsfeed? At a certain point we need to say no to technology. By spending time away from our devices we can curb our appetite for digital information and engage with the people and places around us. Here are a few ideas on how to unplug!
Have “No Phone” Time
Think about it like going to the movie theatre. What’s the first thing you do before the room goes dark and the movie begins? You turn off your cell phone because no one wants to be the person who interrupts the movie. But instead of a movie it’s a family dinner, an important meeting, or quiet time in the morning – and there’s no screen reading “please silence your cell phones.” Each time your phone rings, beeps, or vibrates it is an interruption of the present moment that demands your attention. And while cell phones and smartphones are important communication devices, they can take away from those precious moments. So, set some “no phone” time each day and enjoy whatever you’re doing without distractions.
Take a Break from Social Media
It doesn’t have to be forever, but some time away from your favorite social media platforms can be healthy. The idea is that without the temptation to check your newsfeed you will either find alternative sights to visit or use the extra time to engage with what you’re doing. It won’t be easy though! Social media platforms are hard to give up because they are designed to keep you coming back. Without them it can feel as though you are out of touch. Use the time without social media to think about what or who you are really missing without it. If a few people come to mind try calling them instead! No matter how your time away from social media goes be sure and learn something from it. You may find that you enjoy life more without it!
One of my favorite ways to unplug is to put my personal devices away and spend time alone. By keeping technology out of sight there is less temptation and more freedom to enjoy solitude however you see fit. Personally, I like to be outside when I am spending time alone. It helps me relax and enjoy my thoughts. It also helps me feel more connected to nature, especially when I am away from my smartphone. By unplugging and spending time in solitude you balance out the hyper-connectivity technology offers with some time to get in touch with yourself.