If you can go an entire day or at least 10 hours without internet or mobile network, good for you. If you can’t? This is for you.
From texting to email, phone calls, web surfing and touring on multiple social media platforms, it’s pretty difficult to have a life that doesn’t revolve around web-related activities, making it almost impossible to give 100% attention to things offline.
According to research, social media is a drug of choice for millennials. Although excessive attachment to the Internet is very common among youths, it is yet to be classified as an addiction. In a study by University of Maryland, 200 students were placed on a 24-hour media fast and when they were asked about the experience, all the students complained that they got bored, anxious and disconnected from life and happiness during the fast.
For some people, staying glued to their gadgets is for the purpose of staying in touch with family, friends, and breaking news whenever, wherever. While for some others, it’s just an escape from reality. Sadly, for whatever reason, the internet is taking people’s focus away from the things that matter most to them.
This was not the case in the good old days, where you could literarily “switch off” your social life by just staying at home. But smartphones, social media, and the expectation that everyone should be available all the time have made taking a breather much more difficult and the obsession of these platforms can actively harm relationships, interpersonal communication skills, and mental health. It can also cause lack of productivity, negatively impact social relationships, and increase overall stress amongst other negative consequences.
This is why unplugging from internet activities is occasionally required as it can go a long way to restore sanity. In fact, shutting off completely may be crucial, dedicating a little quiet time to optimize brain function. From brief activities such as taking a short walk to spending time in nature or daydreaming, unplugging from online activities can help the brain reboot, help you learn new skills and keep the brain at its cognitive best.
More people are beginning to welcome the idea of tech-free hiatuses, you should try it too, using the tips below.
- Reduce your time online or stay offline as often whenever you can
- Go online only after accomplishing your task for the day (that is if your work doesn’t require the internet.
- Set a time frame for online activities and a log out timer
- Delete some of the phone apps you are addicted to or better still sign out in the meantime.
- Initiate tech-free fast on weekends and holidays.