Unplugging is informally defined as relaxing by disengaging from normal activities. Being the average American, your normal activities probably involve some form of technology. If you need further explanation, we urge you to check out this video. If it doesn’t give you chills, you probably need to reexamine your life. Just saying.
We’re constantly checking our phones, refreshing our emails, or downloading a movie on our laptops, but the reality often is that we’re surrounded by screens no matter where we look. There are scientifically proven benefits of unplugging from technology — and sometimes, it’s useful to remind ourselves of exactly what those benefits are. There’s more to life than our smartphones, after all.
Many of us likely agree that technology adds a lot of ease, convenience, and even happiness in our lives. Few people will suggest that we disconnect entirely from our screens, but it’s worth remembering that some distance can be a good thing, too — especially for those of us who are already tied to our computers much of the time because of work or school obligations. Setting up boundaries is generally healthy, and putting up a few lines when it comes to our screen time isn’t a bad idea, especially if you feel like your days consist of eating, sleeping, and screens.
Photo courtesy of mission.org
So, what are some of the benefits of unplugging from tech on a regular basis? Thankfully, there’s a lot of research on the subject to let us know exactly what’s what. That said, though, it’s also important to remember that what is feasible for you might not work for others, and vice-versa. And that’s OK! We all have our own obligations and uses for technology. The key is finding what boundaries work for you so you can find the balance that works best for your own life. Benefits of unplugging include:
-removing unnecessary feelings of envy, jealousy, and loneliness
-reducing Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and yes, it’s proven to be real
-getting better sleep
-improving interpersonal communication
-provides a better relationship with the natural world
-gives you more Vitamin D and physical activity
-improves eye contact and emotional intelligence
-presence over productivity
-improved memory retention
-reduced body pain (tech neck)
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”—Anne Lamott
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