“Time for reflection and interaction is a casualty of the digital age, and one of the primary goals of higher education should be to reclaim this time”.
― José Antonio Bowen, Teaching Naked
Like majority of people nowadays, I committed the sin of spending too much time on social media. I used to spend way too many hours being glued to my phone. I'm not even sure why I did it. Why did I need to check my Instagram account so often? And Google+? And Pinterest too? And Facebook - this one was classic thief of my precious time.
Interestingly, I noticed that scrolling Facebook wall often dispirits me - I guess there's quite a lot of negative stuff going on in this social media.
Fortunately, I've never been very fond of all the phone apps - there's just so many of them that it's hard for me to decide which one will be truly helpful. So I don't use any.
I used to play a few computer games but it was looong time ago. So long ago it doesn't even seem to be true.
Truth is, digital addiction have many negative outcomes. Looking at myself and other people's behaviour I noticed that being constantly connected to the Internet brings:
- distraction - hard to focus on a thing when you check your phone every 10 minutes.
- Forgetfulness - I tended to forget stuff, especially the small things I'd done or words I'd said just a few moments earlier.
- Always in a hurry - Internet steals loads of time.
- Tiredness - when you always feel busy the fatigue will get you in the end. The worst thing is that it's mental weariness which doesn't go away easily.
- Low productivity - when you try to bring together your real life with digital addition you need to multitask very often. This not only leads to tiredness - your productivity will decline too. This has been proven.
- Anxiety - "yeah yeah, this view is nice, oh dear, my phone battery is low, what am I gonna do?!". How often did you feel the need to take a good photo instead of admiring the view? Did you panicked when you discovered you'd left home without your phone? Did you have this lingering thought that it's been two days without posting on Instagram and you MUST to post a photo as soon as possible?
- Family and friends neglect - contacting friends on messenger becomes more suitable than actually meeting them face to face. And you don't really have that much time to visit your parents - you need to update your apps.
Obviously, I need to take care of overhere's social media but I certainly don't have to spend so much time scrolling walls and timelines of random groups, ideas or associations.
So, I've recently started my digital diet. And I love it! I just follow a few simple rules which significantly improved my life's quality.
1. Don't check your phone when interacting with other person
This one is crucial. We've all been there, either talking to someone who was busy with his phone, or trying to pay attention both to your companion and phone at the same time. I guess this doesn't need much commenting. All I say is: let's not take our friends and family for granted. Let's give them our time and attention - they deserve it.
One thing's for sure - you'll see your relations getting better when you start paying attention to other people.
2. Get outside and don't take your phone with you
This one is a blessing. I especially like to go running with no phone, no smartwatch, no nothing. Just me and my trainers. I don't know my running distance or the amount of burnt calories, don't even know what's the time. And it's such a freeing experience. I do feel free when I'm outdoors and don't have any digital device with me.
3. Avoid any digital devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime
I sleep better when I don't check my phone before bedtime. I'm simply more calm and at peace with the world when I don't browse the Internet before going to bed. 30 minutes of such digital diet is the minimum for me.
Instead of checking my mailbox or liking photos on Instagram, I like to just sit and talk with Bartosz, groom my hair or listen to the music.
4. Don't check your e-mail and/or social media the first thing in the morning
This is probably my most frequent sin. So I set my alarm a bit later so that I didn't have time to check my phone. This simple method actually helped a lot. Of course, there's still a temptation to quickly scroll Facebook wall while brushing my teeth but I'm working on it. Multitasking just isn't the right thing for me.
What about you, what are your daily tricks to unplug?