Technology and Us
Technology is at the forefront of our society, we use it at work, at home, and on the go. Whether it be to check emails, catch up with the family, or to keep up with current affairs, technology cannot be avoided.
Of course, it has its benefits. Being able to instantly message our friends and family and keep in contact over thousands of miles, ordering food or groceries to be delivered without having to even move from the sofa, and thousands of hours of entertainment through mediums such as YouTube and Netflix, technology has made our lives much easier.
Are we using technology too much?
According to Kleiner Perkins Internet Trend report the average adult spent 5.9 hours a day on digital media last year, with 3.3 hours of that time being taken up by a mobile device. The average social media usage per day has increased in the last five years also, going from 1.5 hours a day, to 2.3 hours.
This increase of technology usage is surely having an effect, with a new term being coined, to describe an irrational fear of not having access to your phone, called “nomophobia”. Even a few minutes of not having signal can have a drastic effect on those suffering from this phobia.
So, is there such a thing as too much tech time? Do you find yourself automatically reaching for your phone and idly swiping when you get a moment to relax? Is it beneficial to have a tech detox every now and then?
Why You Should Unplug from Tech
1. Being Less Stressed
As mentioned in another one of my blog posts “How to Use Technology Intentionally to Reduce Stress”, being online too much can increase the stress you feel. Many of my clients feel obligated to instantly answer messages, emails, and calls, especially when they are in their down time. This contributes to the feeling of always being “on” and not actually being able to fully relax.
Switching your phone off, or putting it on do not disturb, for even just an hour a day can have a massive effect on your stress levels, allowing you to fully unwind. Spend some time to yourself without the constant buzzing of the outside world. This off-time is vital to a happy mind and body. We need time to relax, for our bodies to repair itself, and for our mind to have time to process the day.
2. Having a Better Sleep
I’m sure many of you can relate to having bad days that started out just from poor sleep. Having a nice, fulfilling sleep can make a world of difference on my mood for the day, and how energised I feel. Did you know that mobile phones can be a hindrance on achieving a good night’s sleep?
Studies have shown that the blue light emitted from mobile phones can mess with your circadian rhythm, the cycle on which your sleep is programmed. The blue light can cause melatonin production to be thrown off, leading to a poorer sleep.
Unplugging from your phone outright for an hour or so before bed is a great idea to help stop the disruption to your sleep cycle, and have a better night’s sleep.
However, if you need to use a mobile phone before bed, I recommend switching on your phone’s night mode on if it has one, and putting it on airplane mode whilst sleeping.
3. Living in the Moment
Living in the moment is a great skill to have. It helps you fully appreciate what’s going on in the world around you, and is a great stress reliever.
Unplugging from technology can allow you to focus more on what matters. Instead of scrolling through Facebook, you could take a stroll through the local park and take in the beauty of nature, or go to the local café and destress in the calm ambiance.
There’s a world of great experiences out there, you just have to take the necessary steps to live them.
4. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
FOMO is an emerging psychological phenomenon that’s come about due to our interconnected society. Social media can have a big impact on our mental health, we can feel isolated and envious of everyone’s lives, suffering from a case of “comparisonitis”, constantly comparing our lives to others online. A study from York University in Canada found that women who saw a post by someone they perceived to be more attractive than them, felt worse about themselves afterwards.
You need to remember that what you see on social media is usually the best version of someone, and it isn’t likely reflecting real life. Cutting the chord can help lessen the effects of FOMO, and allow you to enjoy your life without thinking about others and how you stack up against them.
5. Improving Real-Life Relationships
It’s a common trope that people just sit on their phones nowadays, not interacting with each other and staring at their phone screens instead. It simply starves us of meaningful connections and conversations.
Turning your phone off when you’re with friends or family can help you focus on what really matters, the people that you are with at that moment. Instead of checking the page of someone to see how they’re doing and what they’re up to, invite them out for a drink, or over for dinner, and have a proper conversation, face to face.
Try to Relax
You need to spend time to relax, unwind your mind, and rebuild your body. Technology is great in many circumstances, but switching off now and then can have great benefits, and can improve nearly every aspect of your life.
Do you feel you spend too much time on technology? Has switching off every now and then helped improve your life? Let me know your tips and how you feel about technology.
Is it time to take action?
If you want to explore any of these topics further they are all explored in my book ‘Have It All Without Burning Out’. Remember, there is a way forward and you don’t have to do it alone.