We are surrounded by digital technology everyday – we even base most of our business on it. From mobile phones to laptops, iPads, coffee machines (not that we are suggesting a break from coffee!), TVs and wireless headphones – we often wonder how we ever lived without technology. We rely on Google to answer our questions, and on Spotify to play the songs we want, and on Facebook to deliver us content that will interest us. We’ve become so dependent on it that we don’t even need to think for ourselves anymore.
But we do need to, and we should! So how can we step away from all this digital convenience and ‘noise’ – and why should we?
There are many proven reasons to ‘unplug’ and step away from technology – even if it’s just for a day – or a few hours – every once in a while!
- It can help improve interpersonal communications by allowing more personal interaction
- Decreased technology time allows you to step away and generate new ideas
- Unplugging allows you to put things into perspective
- Detaching from social media has been shown to remove/reduce unhealthy feelings of jealousy, envy, and loneliness
- Unplugging combats FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – if you don’t know about it, then you wont fear missing out on it!
- Solitude grounds us as human beings, and this is harder to find in an always-connected world
- By unplugging, you can live in the moment!
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” —Anne Lamott
Over 17 million Australians own and use a smartphone – in some cases more than one per person! This is projected to rise to over 19 million by 2022. And Australians spend an average of 5 hours on the internet every day.
Most people these days live and work in built up cities, surrounded by high rise buildings, traffic and loads of noise and pollution. The best way to unplug is step away from all this and spend time in nature. A quiet beach, a walk-in a natural area or time spent away with loved ones helps us to reset and find clarity.
Disconnecting can happen in many ways. You may choose to disconnect entirely for a day or week, or you may choose to limit your technology use during the day:
- Unplug for one period of time each day
- Start your day not by picking up your phone, but by exercising or reading first
- Spend time talking to your family, friends and neighbours
- Turn off your social media and email notifications
- Unfollow (not UNFRIEND) people in your Facebook list who you’ve not spoken to in more than x number of years. This way, you’re still connected if you ever need to communicate but you don’t need to be distracted by their posts coming up in your feed
- Involve your friends so they know why you’re not responding to their texts, and this will make you accountable to sticking to your plan!
Technology addiction can only be understood when it is taken away from us. What’s your first reaction when your internet connection goes down? How do you feel when you’re travelling and cannot find a WI-FI hotspot to connect to?
Overall the best way to unplug is to develop a proper routine for it to be sustainable. And who knows, you may even find more benefits in being offline than you think!
Now don’t take us the wrong way – we love technology and all the benefits it brings to our society. We just know how important it is to step away from it sometimes too. With the end of year fast approaching, it’s a great opportunity to use time away from work to unwind and unplug – try it for a day! We hope you have an enjoyable festive season and can implement some of these ideas.