Advancements in technology are both enjoyable and beneficial. We are fortunate to be able to connect with anyone and everyone all over the world. We can create platforms to share stories, and we can jump outside of our traditional 9-5 jobs into more flexible work-from-home career opportunities.
However, with each advancement, there is always a cost. Face to face connection is dwindling, self-esteem is suffering, and our time is commonly spent in a technological solitude despite being surrounded by people.
But wait…there's good news! You can unplug!
I know, immediately all the “BUTS” start to come out:
But what if I miss out?
But what if I get behind?
But what if someone can't get ahold of me?
But what if there's nothing else to do to fill my time?
You can keep asking these questions, or you can discover that the pros of occasionally unplugging outweigh the cons. It's probably not viable to stop using technology altogether. We simply need to work harder at living our lives beyond a screen.
Joshua Becker, the bestselling author of The More of Less, wrote a great article called 7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find Space. We have evidence of reason, but what can we do during our technology hiatus?
Here are five ideas:
1. Read a book.
A book takes us into a new world. It challenges our minds and keeps us focused on one thing rather than jumping between 4-5 stories on our cell phones.
2. Meet up with a friend.
Go out and have a distraction-free conversation with a friend. Make it clear there are no phones allowed! You will find unfiltered conversation refreshing and good for the soul.
3. Write a letter of encouragement.
It's very unlikely someone will copy and save your kind comment on their Twitter account, but I have letters from a decade ago. They mean someone thought I was special enough to spend time pouring out love and affection. Anyone can type an email. Very few write letters by hand.
4. Get creative and brainstorm.
We actually limit ourselves creatively with the use of technology. We experience an information overload, and we don't trust our brains to do creative work. Do you have dreams and ambitions that you haven't been able to visit in awhile due to neverending distractions? Well, unplug, get creative, and spend time thinking about action steps toward your dreams instead of googling ways to move forward.
5. Take mental pictures.
There have been a handful of occasions in my life where I have been intentional about mentally taking snapshots of moments I didn't want to forget. Sure, camera phones are fantastic, but I often forget about the emotions behind the photo because my focus was on getting the perfect shot. My mental images bring a smile to my face as I can remember textures, smells, feelings and the whole picture comes to life!
How has unplugging yourself from technology left space for positivity, creativity, and productivity in your life?