In today’s day and age, you cannot go a day without looking at screens. They are everywhere! From your phone and laptop to the tablet and TV, it’s near impossible for you to escape screens. Whether you pay bills online, binge your favorite show, or work on the computer all day, the average adult spends about 12 hours a day in front of screens.
The smartphone is basically an extension of the self, and most people have it with them from the second they rise to the second they go to sleep. These technological devices have made life more convenient, connecting people from across the globe. They also made life during the pandemic a whole lot easier. People were able to work remotely, engaging with other employees via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Google Docs, and Slack. People were always connected to technology, but the pandemic transformed this connection into a hyper connection.
How Has Hyperconnectivity Changed People?
Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, people haven’t had a moment to unplug. They watched online cooking tutorials and all of the shows from every streaming service, and scrolled through every social media platform. People may not be aware of it, but all of this screen time takes a physical toll on the body. “Tech neck” is a term that describes the hunching posture that occurs as a result of looking at screens, primarily computers and phones. The average human head weighs about 10-12 pounds, and leaning forward to look down at screens puts incredible strain on the spine. Additionally, people can experience “text claw,” which can lead to a higher risk of tendinitis in the wrist and forearm.
Why Should You Disconnect?
A relationship with technology is not a bad thing, but sometimes it does more harm than good to your mental and physical health. Too much time spent “plugged in” can lead to poor posture, sleep deprivation, stress, and loneliness. Unplugging from your devices offers numerous benefits, including an opportunity to reconnect with the self. When you disconnect, you’ll find that you are more present and appreciate the natural world. Read more about the benefits of unplugging below.
The Health Benefits Of Unplugging
You Get To Enjoy The Little Things
When you spend time away from technology, it’s a lot easier to find joy in things that would otherwise bore you. Spending time doing a puzzle, playing a card game, cooking a big meal, or reading a book seem more rewarding when you don’t check your phone every five minutes. When you are attentive to your phone, you don’t really enjoy the activity that you’re doing. Unplug and you’ll find that you’re more appreciative of the smaller things that you wouldn’t notice otherwise. Smell the roses or walk on the beach and absorb the scenery!
Mental Health Benefits
When you spend too much time on social media, it’s easy to experience insecurity, anxiety, depression, dissatisfaction, and envy. When you unplug from social media, you are able to take a break from “ideal bodies” and negative comments. This toxic tornado of negativity can sweep you away and cause you to self-destruct. You can be more grateful for your life and body when you aren’t always on social media. It’s common for people to be completely unaware of how great their lives are when they are always on social media, which doesn’t accurately represent real life.
More Time For Gratitude
As we mentioned above, social media can cause you to experience jealousy, envy, and unnecessary comparison. You can remove all of those negative feelings from your life when you unplug from your devices. Power down those phones or laptops and focus on what you have in your life. More often than not, you’ll find that you can reset and experience more gratitude.
You’ll Be More Present
It’s hard to be fully in the moment when you are worried about an incoming text, funny video, or Instagram notification. Whether you are sharing a meal with the family or walking around the neighborhood, doing things without technology forces you to be in the moment. No matter what you are doing, unplugging allows you to just be there. Where? There. That’s what life is all about.
Even though technology allows you the opportunity to connect with people from every corner of the world, it’s very easy for it to make you feel lonely. Virtual relationships are not substitutes for the real thing. Lack of physical contact with people can result in unfulfilled interactions, which you have online. We know this is hard to do during the pandemic, but close those laptops and power off those phones for real in-person connection. Meet for a socially distanced hang with masks on, and commit to no phone usage for the entire time.