Often, when looking around me, I find I am surrounded by a world that is consumed with technology.  I am by no means against technology and just like everything else, I think it has its place.  What I miss are the days when I don’t have to let everyone know exactly where I am every second of the day and I don’t have to have my cell phone glued to my side in case I might miss a call… oh my.  Even when we’re in conversations or at work, the cell phone goes off and we have to give an immediate response to the text or answer the phone call otherwise the world might end, right?  If you think back, there was a time when the cell phone didn’t exist and everything was ok.  You could only get ahold of someone if they were home, which was more often than now a days.  I don’t exactly want to be back in that time because I do like my cell phone, but I wish it was more common to just unplug.

Sometimes we get so caught up in everything that is going on on the internet or with our online “relationships” that we lose connection with what is going on around us.  There are studies coming out that people are more lonely with the more internet use they have.  This paticular study stated that “loneliness is a byproduct of excessive internet use because users invest in online relationships at the expense of real-life relationships” (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cpb.1999.2.431).  I think this also applies to how much we are texting and calling and constantly being in another world.  There are some people I hang out with who are constantly texting and checking their phone when they are hanging out with me.  While this doesn’t completely annoy me, it makes me wonder how they are not stressed all of the time.  It also makes me realize why they feel so busy all of the time.  There are some days that I just leave my phone at home and take a day off from having to think about it.  Those days I just don’t want to be held accountable to anyone, and I just want to chill.

I also hear people complain a lot of times about how there isn’t enough time in the day.  I think there is plenty of time in a day, but we have crammed it so jam-packed with everything that there is never going to be enough time in a day.  Even if we did get our wish granted of have a couple of hours added to the day, I think we would continue to fill our days with things so that there will never, according to us, be enough time in a day.  Just like when dishwashers were invented.  They were intended to give us more leisure time and what did we do with that extra time?  We filled it with more things to do.

All of that is to say that I think we should all practice taking time off from our technology.  Maybe that means taking a day off from your computer or shutting off your phone for a couple of hours.  Maybe that’s just turning off your phone when you’re with someone else so you can devote all of your time and energy into that moment.  It’s also nice to take time away from the screen and get outside into some nature.  Being outside can do so much for the mind, soul and body.  There has been a study that shows being outside for as little as 20 minutes a day “dramatically elevates your mental outlook, and lowers your perceptions of stress.  That alone is enough to improve your cognition and focus, and increase your creativity.” – Dr. Logan.  We were made to get out and enjoy this world that we are blessed with.  The world would be a lot less stressed if we all just took a step back from all of the things we “have to do” (answer every text, email, phone call…) and just took some time to live in the moment.  Take a walk outside.  Have a face to face chat with someone and enjoy the time you have together.  For further reading about the benefits of being outside, there is a really good article here: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/your-brain-on-nature

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