A look at the benefits of taking a break from technology

 

Do you spend more time with your mobile phone than you do with your family? Is your partner constantly competing for your attention with your iPad? If you just can't switch off your social media or stop checking your email account, you risk missing out on real relationships. By living locked in a virtual world you'll find real life opportunities could pass you by. It's time to turn off your digital devices and reconnect with real life.

Why have a digital detox?

The Internet can be a fantastic force for good - it enables you to share information, learn at the touch of a button and communicate instantly with people all over the world. But as with all good things, you can have too much. It's easy to become obsessed with your online technology to the extent that you neglect the people around you, or you lose track of time surfing online and miss out on completing important tasks, such as studying or work. It also becomes a negative force if you find yourself competing with friends online as you try to post the best selfies, vying to prove that you had the most fun. This not only eats away at your time but also your self esteem and has potential to damage relationships.

How to digital Detox

1) Sleep & Sex
Your bedroom is for sleep, relaxation and for intimacy. Digital devices intrude on this precious, rejuvenating time. No phones, TVs or computers should be allowed in your bedroom. If you use your phone as an alarm clock - stop it! Buy an alarm clock instead of using your phone, or else you risk being woken from your slumber by a spammer's email. Plus there's nothing more mood killing than the ping of your phone while you are in the throes of passion! Ban digital devices from your bedroom.

2) Switch off
Choose one hour per day to unplug all your devices and have a digital-free 60 minutes. Sit down with your partner or children and have a chat; do some exercise; do something creative such as painting or crafting or writing or cooking; read a book or go for a walk. You will slowly begin to reconnect with the world around you.

3) Mealtime in real time
When you sit down to eat with family or friends, it's very disconnected to be checking your phone. It can make the people you are with feel as if they are not important to you. You should give all your attention to the people you are with not to your digital device. Have a conversation with the people around you rather than those online. Some people clutch their phone as a safety net if feeling self conscious or to prove how popular they are. Both these attitudes will ultimately weaken your ability to make friends and to keep them - so switch off your phone when you're in company.

4) Digital Room
Have a designated space in your home for digital devices, including the television, then ban them from all other rooms. So when the family sits down you can connect with a conversation that's not interrupted by the blare of the TV.

5) Picture this
It's good to take the occasional snapshot on your phone of friends and family to remember happy moments. What's not so good is if you are constantly snapping away in an unspoken competition to seem as if you're having the most fun. Aside from being draining, this online competitiveness prevents you from living in the moment and enjoying what's going on around you.

6) Set Time
Have a set time to check your text messages and email instead of constantly looking at them. You will find you can focus much better on a task if you do this and you will be far more productive. Turn off the beeps that sound when you get a message - that way you won't be tempted to peek at your phone.

7) To Do List
Imagine this was your last day on earth. Make a list of the most important things in your life and the things you would like to do in that time. This will help you to see what matters in life. But don't wait until your last day to do them! Begin now.

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