I have a love/hate relationship with technology. While I absolutely love the convenience of being able to look things up in a flash or reading interesting articles I find on the web, or even connecting with friends or family who live far away, I still hate how addicted I have become to it. I seriously cannot live without using technology. I mean I’m sure I can last for a little while, but it drives me insane when I know I can’t quickly use it for something. Don’t even get me started on my addiction to scrolling through my news feed on facebook or instagram. Sometimes I just scroll through without even really looking at anything, just because I have become so used to the idea of scrolling. Sound familiar?
I know many of us have grown addicted to the benefits that technology brings, and even more addicted to the social media sites that have multiplied and taken over half our lives. We spend countless hours of our precious time just sitting and staring at our phones. Looking at stupid cat videos. Checking who is pregnant with so and so’s baby. Posting a photo of our food from the latest hip spot. Why are we so addicted to this behavior? Who knows. Maybe we have all evolved into a generation of over-sharers or maybe we are all simply highly curious of what is going on around us, or maybe we are just simply addicted to the instant feedback we receive from likes and comments that boosts our egos. It could be a number of reasons, but regardless, we are still addicted. And I feel like with any addiction, it is becoming hazardous to our health.
For me personally, I notice that some days if I don’t check my facebook or twitter, I start to feel antsy. I start to feel like “oh my god, I need to know what’s going on,” and the funny part is I don’t even know why I even feel this way! How can not checking a website have so much input on how my day goes? I also know that when I am online too much, I start to get irritable, my eyes begin to hurt, my anxiety even pops up a bit. But these feelings are just not good. They aren’t healthy. I shouldn’t feel stressed about using technology too much or too little. I shouldn’t even be addicted to it in the first place. Technology is there to help us not to harm us. So what can we do?
The Self Love Daily Challenge #20: Take a break from technology and disconnect!
Disconnect. Yup. I know it’s crazy! You’re going to miss out on all of the stupid cat videos your uncle Bob posts. But trust me, it’s a refreshing feeling to disconnect for a few days or weeks or even hours if you really can’t go for that long.
Plus, the best part is, you will find you have all of this time to do other things like relax or take care of your more important needs. Take a long bath or watch a movie you’ve been meaning to knock off your list. Read that novel that’s been sitting on your night stand for months. Play a board game with family or friends. Go take a walk or ride your bike as you watch the sunset. Take a nap on your lunch break! There are so many other things you could fill your time with that could actually bring more benefit than sitting on social media and wasting time.
I don’t mean to knock social media down so hard, but most of the time it is time simply wasted. Half the things we look at aren’t even relevant to us. Yea, we may be able to read what’s going on in the news or catch up with old friends, but generally we are simply wasting time.
I’ve been off social media for almost two days now (not counting the blog) and it actually feels refreshing. At first, it felt strange not reaching towards my Facebook app first thing in the morning to check what’s going on in my news feed, but being off it a second day, it really is a nice change. I find that I have more time in my day to do other things. I picked up a novel I’ve been meaning to finish and I even did some meditation on my lunch break. Doing those things were so much more relaxing than say, if I spent my lunch break just sitting on my phone. Again, I’m not trying to knock social media down, but there are benefits to taking a break and disconnecting from it once in a while. Try it and see how you feel after disconnecting for a few days and during that time, make sure to fill some of that extra time with more meaningful things like taking care of yourself.