The wellness world seems to have an obsession with digital detoxes, especially coming off of the new year. But there's a problem with that phrase. It implies two things: one, that technology is toxic and two, that all we need is a short break to improve our relationship with it. The intention is well-meaning, but it's not realistic. Fortunately, you don't have to go cold turkey to improve your relationship with tech and feel more connected to the real world around you.
Here's a few tips for improving your relationship with technology:
Accept that tech is a part of our every day reality
Technology isn't inherently bad. It is a part of our work and personal lives. It provides us great tools and resources to make our lives more efficient. It is perfectly okay to embrace it and know that there is nothing wrong with it.
Note your personal tendencies
Studies do suggest that simply having your phone on the table during dinner can hamper meaningful conversation and social media has been shown to be a clear source of stress in many people. So there is a definite downside to being constantly plugged in. Be mindful of your personal tendencies and triggers. What are your go-to distractions? Email? Twitter? Snapchat? Just recognizing your triggers can help you before you dive down that rabbit hole and emerge and hour later not knowing what happened to the time.
Do something else with your excess screen time
Instead of completely unplugging, why not try doing something else with that excess screen time? Here are a few ideas:
Go outside and take a walk. Take a bike ride. Exercise. Better yet, make a date to exercise with a friend and get some face-to-face time. (Bonus points if you bring that friend to Mantra for a friend date!)
One caveat though, read offline. Read a book. Pick up a magazine or newspaper.
3. Get a hobby/Learn a new skill
Just a year ago, the average person spent 109 minutes on social media every day. That's 650 hours per year! Think about everything you can accomplish in that amount of time. Take even a portion of that time and use it to learn a new skill or brush up on a skill you already have, like:
- Learning a language
- Join a community sports team