The Importance Of Learning To Unplug: Why You Shouldn’t Let Technology Run Your Life

The Importance Of Learning To Unplug: Why You Shouldn’t Let Technology Run Your Life
Life
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

We live in a society fueled by advanced technology and electronics, a society in which our faces are constantly glued to our devices. We numb our minds with music at ear-drum-bursting volumes rather than actively participating in the discourse of our surroundings. Potentially, we’re missing out on a lot.

On a typical Monday morning, I sat while sipping coffee. My phone was perched on the desk in front of me, set to vibrate so I wouldn’t miss anything important. But, it got me wondering about the ever-increasing attachment we have to our devices and the adverse effects that addiction may have on our universal well-being.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized: this ever-present access to others and to information may ease anxieties about missing out, but the overall result has been detrimental. It has fostered an inability to be alone, especially among those who have been plugged-in from an early age.

The other day a friend of mine shared an observation that he made in line at Chipotle. He looked at the people who were standing in the long line that snaked out the door. Every single one, he said, was staring straight down into phones. Playing games, texting, using Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. What might have ensued had all these people left their phones at home? Maybe they would have been forced to engage in an actual, interpersonal conversation.

Generation-Y has a unique problem to navigate, a problem no generation of human beings has faced before. The addiction to trolling social media and other mobile activities is slowly but surely diminishing the quality of our lives. Think about all time you spend on your iPad or phone, all the time you spend wearing headphones.

Now, remove the devices. What remains? Every time you unplug, you create an opportunity to strike up a conversation with a stranger. It’s not difficult — try to sit down at the dinner table with family without tweeting about it.

With our over-stimulating tech habits firmly established, unplugging is a fate easier intuited than achieved, but this realization should not serve as an excuse to try. Work some technology-free time into your day.

Don’t look at a screen for an hour during this designated time. Completely unplug, and observe what happens. Initially, anxiety may set in that you might have missed a text or an exciting Facebook notification, or some other menial tech development. But, after a few unplugged sessions, you will feel empowerment for successfully freeing yourself from the devices that generally rule over you.

Do we not have enough stress and annoyance in our lives that we look for ways to feel more? With social institutions like Facebook in place, we really struggle at times to face reality. Scroll through your newsfeed right now. You’ll read things like “just got into dental school!” and “can’t believe we’ve been together for 3 years!” or “skydiving in Switzerland was amazing!” While these status updates aren’t meant to be boastful, the result is a constant competition between people to create an illusion that all is well with the world — except for your world.

On social media, people only project the positives in their lives, which leads you to disproportionately emphasize your negatives. I’m not saying it isn’t fun to share your experiences with your friends and the world, but must we really drown our brains with a constant flow of useless information? It isn’t good for our health, and that’s why we need to take a breath to unplug once in a while.

It’s bad enough that we’ll interrupt our real lives, with people we love, to engage in lonely tech updates. But, more and more, people are opting for screen time in favor of real life company.

Next time you scan your email, texts, and social networks, remember to ask yourself what you just gained from what you read and how it made you feel. Obviously, you’re reading this post on a screen, which I know is very ironic. But don’t read this article and think, “hey, that’s actually true,” then do nothing to make a change. Actually give it a try. Unplug from the cyber world and see what happens. Maybe you’ll be surprised.

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Tony Michaels

Tony is a full-time student studying psychology, and a full-time employee as a legal assistant at a law firm in Seattle. After exploring the arena of golf instruction for a few years in San Diego, he returned to his hometown of Seattle to further his education. He enjoys playing golf, hanging out with friends in the city, and pursuing his goals with running. Tony very much enjoys writing in a conversational and enjoyable tone to entertain his readers in hopes that they critically think about the piece.

More In Life

Motivation Jackie Thomas

The Real Reason Why Our 20s Is The Best Decade Of Our Lives

Like most people, I spent half my senior year trying to avoid feeling anything if I could, but there’s one emotion I was always making a conscious effort to steer from: fear. There’s a reason college seniors spend more time at the bar than in class. Those 20-somethings are drunkenly saying goodbye to the last […]

Life Carolyn Gladd

An Open Letter To All Of The Employers Who Didn’t Hire Me

To every one of the 300-plus companies that denied or ignored my application: Was it the résumé that I revised and got approved by multiple professors that did not match up? Or was it my raw honesty and craving for the position to which I applied? Perhaps it was my promise to be the most hard-working, […]

Also On Elite

Food

Edible Cupcake Wrappers Just Solved All Of The World’s Problems

Everybody loves cupcakes, but nobody loves fighting those annoying cupcake wrappers that get in the way of the eating adventure. Thanks to a new product from Dr. Oetker – who may or may not be a real doctor – you can now have your wrappers and eat them, too. Edible cupcake cases are the newest ingenious food […]

Life

4 Ways The Tragic Malaysia Airlines Crash Reminds Us To Cherish Our Lives

Flight MH17 departed Amsterdam at 12:15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6:10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day. Unfortunately, it never arrived.  Malaysia Airlines MH17 crashed, killing the 298 people onboard. There I was, sitting on the kitchen bench, having my morning coffee while browsing Twitter. Being […]