It’s no secret that the world is becoming more and more dependent on technology. It seems like every time you turn around, there’s a new gadget or app to make your life easier or more convenient in some way. But, what if you’re one of those people who feels like they rely too heavily on their devices? Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to take an electronic detox and what it means to be “unplugged” from your devices. Below will guide you and curb any anxieties you might feel.
Set Your Unplugged Time
One of the best ways to disconnect is by unplugging your devices for set periods every day. Many people choose to only do this on weekends, but it doesn’t have to just be one or two days a week that you take an electronic break. You can also try taking time off during the workweek if that’s easier for your schedule. The important thing is not how long you’re unconnected, but rather what happens when you are disconnected from technology and other outside sources of distraction.
Benefits Of Going Unplugged
When you allow yourself time offline, there are many benefits. You get more sleep because your mind isn’t racing with all kinds of thoughts about things you need or want to accomplish at work/home/school etc. You spend more quality time with your family and friends, and you have a renewed sense of peace.
Filling Your Unplugged Time
With the free time available without tech distractions, you might ask yourself, “so what now?” There are many things that you can do. Taking up a hobby might be the first pick for many people. However, if you are putting your whole family on a “detox,” you can use this time to reconnect and build memories. Game nights with actual games that you don’t play on apps will make you all interact more. Bring back the golden oldies like bridges. If some family members don’t know how it works, a crash course to Learn Bridge can fix the situation in a snap.
When it comes to electronic detoxes, you can take them in many forms. For instance, if you’re really attached to your phone or tablet but find yourself checking social media constantly while at home alone with the kids, try leaving these devices in another room when you get home from work. Don’t bring them into the playroom until bath time is over. Likewise, if you need to use a computer for work or school-related activities during this period (or any other), make sure that all social media sites are closed before beginning your task so they don’t distract you later on down the line. It might seem silly at first, but eventually, limiting distractions will become second nature, and you’ll have a much easier time focusing.
Apps To Help You Detox
The next step to taking an electronic detox is knowing how and when it’s okay to check messages or use social media during your downtime. There are many apps available that allow users to set timers for themselves. Hence, they know exactly how long until the device can be used again. An excellent app for this purpose is Offtime, which allows its users access only at certain times of day or on certain days of the week to “protect” them from distraction. You could also try using websites like Forest or AntiSocial, so you don’t get sucked into scrolling through Twitter feeds while trying to study, read, etc., but remember- even these sites’ benefits are limited if not used correctly.
Become Unplugged While Out And About
Another way to accomplish a tech-free day is by limiting your access while you’re out and about. You all know this feeling: you walk into a restaurant or store, whip your phones out of your pocket or purse, and see that the notification count has skyrocketed since you’ve been gone. Many of you end up spending more time on these devices than talking with anyone around you for fear of missing something important (which usually isn’t true at all). Try leaving your phone in the car or somewhere else where it won’t be able to distract you from enjoying yourself. This will allow you to focus more on what matters most. Family and friends who are there with you rather than virtually through social media.
Photo by Marek Levak