Technology has become a vital part of our lives. Thanks to our various technological devices, the world is more interconnected than ever, and the convenience we enjoy is unmatched. Every rose has its thorn, though, and there are significant benefits that we can glean from powering down our gadgets.
Turning off technology to detach enhances our lives by helping us get better quality sleep and prompting us to appreciate the world around us. By taking a device detox, you’ll be well on your way to improved relationships, quickly making you happier and healthier.
If you’ve ever thought about stepping away from your gadgets, you’re in the right place. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the advantages of detaching from technology. Towards the end of the article, I’ll offer some helpful tips to get you started in your device-free period.
The Benefits of Disconnecting for a While
Using your devices often is all fun and games until you get addicted. Unfortunately, data collected from recent polls show that this is the point many electronic device users have reached:
- 99.2% of respondents in one study said they’d get anxious or fearful if they left home without their phones.
- 39% of children in the UK admitted that they felt they couldn’t live without their phones.
- 17.3% of the parents interviewed in one survey revealed that they spend more time with their phones than their children.
In another recent study of 1000 Americans, 58% of travelers regret overusing social media on their holidays and most vacationers check their smartphones 32 to 80 times a day.
These respondents exhibit textbook signs of cellphone addiction, also known as nomophobia. In fact, 75.4% of subjects said they felt like they had nomophobia.
A preliminary benefit emerges from this data (yanking the keys out of your gadgets’ hands). What other pluses would you gain access to by prioritizing life away from technology?
Miss Out on FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is that nagging sensation you get when you see your friends or even total strangers seemingly living their best lives.
Technology, via the internet, slams our eyes and ears with apparent proof that other people are living better and happier lives than us. It’s easy to fall into a pitiful cycle of degrading what you have when it seems like everyone else has more.
And what’s worse? FOMO begins as an exclusively mental feeling, but the stress it elicits can manifest as physical symptoms like headaches and poor appetite.
Turning off your devices renders FOMO a thing of the past. You’re not constantly shown all the ways the whole world is enjoying its time. You’re empowered to go out and get your groove on without worrying about what other people are doing.
For more information on anxiety and technology please see our article “Do You Know Someone With A Smartphone Anxiety Disorder?”
Improve Your Sleep
It’s impossible to overstate the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. Not only does your body rebuild and recharge for the day ahead, but your immunity is also bolstered, so you get sick less often.
The blue light from our screens is an expert at throwing a wrench in our achievement of these perks. By blocking melatonin, this blue light makes it harder for you to fall asleep. And if you already have some sleep disorder, using gadgets so close to your bedtime exacerbates them.
Taking some time off technology before bed will significantly boost your sleep. You’ll feel more energized in the morning, and the people you interact with will be grateful you’re not cranky.
Appreciate Life Around You
Technology has a knack for making us feel like what’s on our screens is all that exists. The “world wide web” can gradually relegate the people and activities around us to a secondary level of importance.
Yet, life is all about those we love and who love us. Taking a walk and noticing the small and big developments in your immediate environment can have an incredibly calming and grounding effect on you. And even if there’s nothing new to appreciate, you can revel in the magic of the mundane.
Technology can sometimes feel like a constant neon sign shouting “Look here!” with every new notification. You can return to the here and now by detaching from it momentarily and focusing on what matters.
Besides, there’s a vast, wonderful world out there, one much larger than our relatively little screens.
Get Your Time Back
As per Exploding Topics, the average American spends 7 hours and 4 minutes staring at a screen. Sometimes, we’re guilty of texting while watching TV. Regrettably, I’ve sometimes neglected work or educational duties to get that oxytocin hit from my devices.
By most metrics, one-third of your day is a considerable chunk. You could’ve been learning a cool skill, getting into a fascinating hobby that’ll set your heart on fire for life, or maintaining your relationships.
It’s easy to ignore the cost of staying glued to technology because, for the most part, we’re enjoying their services for free. However, it’s wise to remember that time is a nonrenewable resource consumed with every screen unlock and swipe.
Reinvigorate Your Creative Side
Most of our online activity falls into the consumption category. We watch videos, play video games, and check out photos. Reading this article also counts as consumption.
There’s a delicate balance between creation and consumption. Indeed, creative pursuits can certainly be inspired by exposure to what others are doing. However, if you stay on the consumption side for too long, you risk dulling your creative side.
Why should this concern you? Humans are innate creators. We write, compose, cook, paint, code, draw, and speak to express ourselves and shape our world.
Taking some time off your gadgets can go some way in enhancing this aspect of your being. Who knows what you’ll come up with by tapping into it?
Practical Steps to Getting Off of Tech
These advantages are undeniably attractive. However, technology has an increasing interest in keeping us hooked on it. What are some tried and tested approaches to freeing yourself from its wiles?
Institute Tech-Free Zones
Your home should run by your rules. If you feel like you or your housemates are spending too much time on your gadgets, talk about which spaces can be strictly phone free.
The dinner table, the kitchen, and other communal spaces are good options. This way, everyone can connect without the distractions technology presents.
Nip Your Device Use in the Bud
Many phones, laptops, and TVs have features you can employ to regulate your screen time. These include:
- Tools to restrict your access to certain apps at certain times.
- Features that cut off your internet connection during the times you set.
- The ability to block notifications.
If your device doesn’t offer these options natively, you can find several apps online to help you achieve your desired results.
Another interesting topic is digital eye strain and we have an article addressing that as well called “What is Digital Eye Strain and How to Prevent It.”
Step Into the Real World
There are lots of activities you can engage in that’ll engross you so much you won’t remember you even have a phone.
The particular one that satisfies you would depend on your likes and interests, but here are the ones I recommend:
- Reading a physical book.
- Spring cleaning.
- Taking a walk, going on a run, or working out.
- Fixing yourself a plate of your favorite meal.
- Spending device-free time with friends and family.
Bring a Group of Like-Minded Companions Together
Teamwork really does make the dream work.
If you and like-minded friends unite to wean yourselves from technology gradually, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. Sometimes, the missing piece to prying yourself from your gadgets’ grip is the accountability community offers.
Just like tech, AI is a double-edged sword. We dove right into its pros and cons in this article.
There’s no limit to the perks of being a little less attached to technology. No one’s expecting you to go cold turkey on it, though. Slowly but surely, by following the tips outlined herein, you should be able to regain your independence from your devices.
There are many health benefits of unplugging from technology and life without technology has its advantages and disadvantages.
For more information on this relaxing subject please see our article “How to Break Free From Your Smartphone (Yet Still Be Reachable).”