Tips to Unplug From the Digital World (and Why You Should)

Look around you. Have you ever noticed that almost everyone you encounter has their nose in their phones? Or, have you ever been affected by the inundation of technology stuffed into every nook and cranny of your life? 

Increasingly, this has become a digital world.  While technology has undeniably made life easier, it doesn’t always minimize stress and anxiety in our lives.  If you agree, then you might be interested in these simple tips to help you unplug from the digital world.

Why Technology Isn’t All It’s Cracked up to Be

Currently, Americans are clocking in almost eight hours on digital media devices per day.  Between working on desktops, logging into social networks on phones, or streaming videos on smart TVs, we are increasingly sacrificing sleep and recreational time for screen time. 

According to the American Medical Association, too much time spent behind screens can reap a slew of health problems.  Excessive time devoted to digital devices can lead to eyestrain, depression, anxiety, and serious health issues such as obesity which can lead to high blood pressure and heart conditions. In light of these unsettling facts, you may want to consider employing more rest and relaxation techniques in your daily routine. Luckily, here are some tips on how to do just that.

Go Old School

It might seem like a no-brainer, but one of the best ways to unplug from the digital world is to simply step away from the phone, tablet, TV, and computer screens.  Of course, that’s an uncomplicated solution, and it isn’t easily done by many of us who are fully entangled in the digital web.   Therefore, you might want to try replacement therapy by going old school.

For example, instead of reading a book on your Kindle or iPad, why not replace it with a book with real pages?  How long has it been since you read a book for pleasure? If you’re having a hard time remembering, maybe it’s time to put down the tablet and pick up a thriller or romance by your favorite author. And if you have reading challenges, or don’t like to read, that’s okay.  Pick up a comic book or a book about museums featuring pictures of art around the world.

Similarly, instead of streaming music on your smartphone or Alexa device, try going retro by listening to some good old-fashioned tunes on a record player.  There is something that is sublimely comforting and relaxing about listening to vinyl instead of digital.  It helps you get to the purity of sound and it can really shift your mood for the better.

Busy Your Hands and Distract Your Mind

One of the reasons most of us are so mesmerized by iPhones or video game consoles is because it serves as a distraction. Digital devices are the ultimate escape hatch. The irony here is that the more we indulge in screen time, the more it negatively impacts our mental and physical health. You can get the same satisfaction of distraction by engaging in a hobby. 

Perhaps you have a hobby that you’ve turned your back on due to lack of time.  If you’re striving to move away from the digital world, this might be a perfect time to pick that hobby back up.  If you don’t have a hobby, try a few on for size.  From painting to pottery, hobbies are a brilliant way to keep your hands busy and your mind distracted. 

Rethink Face Time

While apps such as Zoom and FaceTime are laudable luxuries when connecting with long-distance friends and family members, there’s nothing like traditional face-to-face time with loved ones.  Technology can never replace the in-person experiences of subtle facial expressions, the music of laughter, and the invigoration of physical touch. 

Therefore, consider taking a trip and visit with family.  Gather at the local coffee house and share a cuppa with an old friend.  Invite people you love over for an impromptu celebration.  Consider joining meetings about something in which you’re interested.  You get the idea.  Exchanging ideas in person is a beautiful way of connecting, bonding, and getting closer to loved ones.

At the end of the day, unplugging from the digital world is necessary for your health and wellbeing.  Furthermore, detaching from digital devices might just turn out to be the most enjoyable and enriching experiences you’ve had in a long time.     

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