We live in a day and age where we are more hooked to technology than ever before and 84% of Americans admit that they couldn’t go a single day without their device, while another 50% report that they sleep next to their smart phones.
We spend an overwhelming amount of hours on our laptops, computers, smartphones and tablets and new scientific studies show that we could be losing more than just valuable time by being plugged into technology 24/7.
While technology has certainly made our lives a lot easier, there are clear benefits to unplugging and shutting down our devices on a regular basis.
Here are our TOP 10 reasons why you should detox from technology.
#1 Reduce Stress
We live in a time where we feel like we need to be available 24/7 to demonstrate we are completely dedicated to our jobs. And not just at work, our friends and family expect us to respond to that text message immediately. This feeling of having to be available and respond instantaneously leads to extremely high level of psychological and emotional stress, that drains all our energy, makes us feel exhausted and fatigued and we burn out much quicker. We can’t be ‘on’ all the time, so dedicate several chunks of time throughout the day where you turn your phone off and aren’t available and you will notice how stress melts away, you feel less anxious and can enjoy life a lot calmer.
#2 Have More ‘Me’ Time
Being plugged in takes a lot of time and it’s not just tied in to your mobile devices. We spend hours sitting at our desk looking at a computer screen and a recent study showed that 70% of employees don’t meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity. This may please your employer, but it can be dangerous for your health. Our human body is uniquely designed to move and prolonged sitting causes a lot of problems for our posture and may even contribute to hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Take some time for yourself, leave your phone at the desk and take a walk in the park, get some fresh air, enjoy lunch with a friend. At least one hour a day make sure that you do something good for yourself that doesn’t involve technology.
#3 Improve Relationships
When you go out for lunch or dinner with friends and family you’ll notice that most people around you will ignore their dinner partners and are only paying attention to their smart phones. Make it a rule to turn off your phone when enjoying a meal with friends and family and engage in meaningful face-to-face conversations. You don’t need to know what’s going on on social media and your ‘oh-so-important’ messages will still be there in an hour from now. When you are meeting someone face to face, whether that’s in your personal or professional life, turn your phone off and pay full attention to the other person. You will be amazed how tremendously your relationships will improve.
#4 Boost Productivity
It may seem counterintuitive to you, because you need your screens to complete your work, but disconnecting from technology and the internet can actually boost your productivity. If you constantly respond to emails and browse through your newsfeed, it can take up to 50% longer to finish a project. The constant distractions are a huge hinderance to completing the task at hand and you have to spend a lot of time and energy to refocus on what you are actually trying to accomplish. Research shows that it can take the brain up to 45 minutes to refocus. Dedicate half an hour to answer emails, go through social media or check out the latest YouTube video and then shut everything off that you don’t need and focus efficiently on the project right in front of you.
#5 Reduce Muscle Pain
Besides damaging your eyes and having to deal with painful optic symptoms like strains and twitching, your spinal column is at risk when you slouch over your computer desk for hours. Most desks aren’t set up properly, which can lead to misalignment in your spinal column and cause muscle tightness and pain. Besides making sure to sit properly, getting up from your desk every hour to stretch out or simply walk around can make all the difference for your body, so instead of picking up the phone or sending off another email, get up and talk to your co-worker in person.
#6 Remove Unhealthy Feelings
Recent studies show that an astonishing one third of people feels worse after browsing through their newsfeed on Facebook and are more dissatisfied with their own lives. While not every interaction on Facebook – or any other social media platform for that matter – is negative, typically this research has been proven to be true. From vacation destinations to body image to relationship happiness to the silly number of birthday posts on your wall, there are millions of opportunities to envy someone else on social media. Take a break from social media and give yourself the possibility to reset. Focus on gratitude and appreciation for what life has given you and you will feel better immediately.
#7 Sleep Better
Have you ever discovered that when you spent hours on your computer, phone or watching TV, you have a hard time falling asleep. Research shows that two hours of using technology at night can significantly disturb your sleep and the blue light that is emitted from your screens can have a negative impact on your body’s ability to produce melatonin, which is the sleep hormone that helps our bodies to set our biological clocks. Without melatonin, it can be almost impossible to fall asleep at night. To get a good night’s rest, stay away from bright screens for at least 2 hours before you go to bed. Instead, read a book, listen to an inspiring podcast, have a bubble bath or listen to chill-out music and you will be able to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
#8 Save Your Skin
We’ve all been guilty of this before. We sit on the sofa with our laptop on our legs for hours and only stop and move it because things got literally a little too hot. According to Swiss doctors you may put yourself at risk for Toasted Skin Syndrome, which means burns, rash-like markings, permanent spots and inflammation from overusing your laptop. Yes, this is real and you need to take a break every now and then to keep your skin healthy. And a warning for guys… Some fertility specialists believe that the heat emitted from your laptop can actually decrease your sperm production.
#9 Give Your Brain a Break
How often do you find yourself checking your phone during the day just to make sure you didn’t miss any calls or text messages? Research shows that 67% of cell phone users check their phone on a regular basis even if they don’t hear it ring or feel it vibrate. Just imagine how tough this constant worrying about possibly missing something is on your brain. Do you brain a favor and give it a break by turning your phone off completely and enjoy the freedom you get from it.
#10 Life at its Best is Happening Right in Front of You
Sure, our world is changing and it’s amazing that we can use technology to connect to anyone at anytime anywhere in the world. But reality is that the true nature of life isn’t changing and life at its best is still happening right in front of you. The face-to-face experience and this particular moment in life will never repeat itself. Conversations are authentic and unfiltered, love is real, so don’t miss out on the best moments of your life by staring at your screen. Unplug from technology and enjoy life.
While ‘unplugging’ seems to be the latest buzzword, we hope that taking regular breaks from technology isn’t just a passing fad. Technology and the internet have grown tremendously over the past decade and we as a society largely benefit from it, but reality is that being plugged in 24/7 isn’t sustainable and it can be extremely exhausting. It takes a toll on our brains, negatively impacts our relationships and mood and slows down our productivity. Take an extended break from technology on a regular basis and you will live a fuller life because of it.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK AND BOOST YOUR MOOD, PRODUCTIVITY AND CREATIVITY
Joschi & Monika