We’re always connected, be it via phone or computer. Sometimes it’s hard to put some distance between yourself and the technology ruling your life. So how can we unplug?
Online gaming, social media and incessantly checking emails has sucked us into this strange dependency to the internet. So Christian Thurston decided to take a five-month sailing trip from Brazil to New York, using the opportunity to ‘detox’ and break free of wasting 10 to 12 hours online every single day.
Most of us use the internet in some way to not only work, but unwind after a long day. But that can add to the addiction we’re already nursing. Thurston’s internet use is a prime example:
“I wanted to know what was happening and make sure things weren’t falling apart. I did have some withdrawals; the compulsion was still there and I still wanted to find out what was happening with my friends,” he says.
But why are we so consumed with staying connected? Clinical psychologist Les Posen may have the answer:
“Ask yourself what you think you’re missing out on and why it’s so bad if you do,” he suggests. We need people to challenge the idea that they’re leading less of a life if they [aren’t constantly connected]. Many of us are very adaptable and the less often we use it, the less often we want to use it, but it takes effort and commitment.”
So how can you start cutting back from your technology addiction? Start setting boundaries. You can use clinical psychologist Jeroen Decates’ recommendation of having one night per week where you unplug yourself completely. Grab a book, take a walk, or simply lock away all of your devices. Once you feel comfortable, start adding more screen-free nights. Though this doesn’t mean that productivity growth and technology don’t go hand-in-hand in the workplace. But you may find that seeing pictures of your friend’s cats or what they made for dinner isn’t so important to scroll through.