We live in an age of information overload. Between facebook, instagram, twitter, and snapchat, we are constantly bombarded with things to keep our brains occupied. If we’re not browsing social media, we’re waiting to hear back from friends on multiple messaging apps, or we’re binge watching our favorite TV show. With all of this screen time and information, it’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed sometimes! If you’re feeling like there’s too much going on in your head and on your screens, it may be time to consider taking a technology break.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying break up with your electronics this very instant forever. Technology is a wonderful tool both for business and pleasure – heck, I sit at a computer all day long with no less than 3 electronics within arms reach at all times! So electronics and media certainly have their place, but does that place to be every place? So often we carry our phones, tablets, and other electronics with us “just in case”. We feel safer with them close because it seems like it’s our connection to the outside world and our friends. But when we have that connection with us at all times, staying actively connected can become a habit we form a dependency on to get through the day. Sometimes I find myself checking my phone at least every 5 minutes throughout the day, and I know I’m not alone! But when you leave your phone at home, it becomes a huge source of anxiety. You find yourself reaching for your phone even when you know it’s not there, and you start to get anxious when you’re not scrolling through the depths of Facebook or Instagram… But why is that?
It could be a lack of connection that puts you on edge – sometimes without my phone I feel as though I’m missing out on some great conversation though I know that if I had my phone, I would just be scrolling through social media looking for something to occupy my mind. Or it could be just a lack of something to fidget with! On the flip side, having access to all of that information all of the time can lead to some serious stress, too. When your phone is continuously making noise and people are trying to contact you all the time, it can become a little overwhelming and it’s not uncommon to feel like you need to hide from the world! No matter the cause, when your electronics start to become a major source of stress, it’s time to take a break.
Taking a break from your electronics can be incredibly intimidating and difficult at first. You’ll want to check your phone all the time, and if you’re anything like me, just the thought of your Facebook and Instagram notifications piling up will be enough to drive you crazy! But if you can push through the initial few days of withdrawal, the benefits will far outweigh the few days of stress you’ve endured. When you take a break from your screens, you’re forced to be more productive and find things to occupy your time. This is a great time to get back into some hobbies you’ve lost or take some time for self-care and create some new habits and hobbies to get you more focused! Taking a break from technology really helps bring to light all of the things you used to enjoy without screens, and it gives you time to relearn yourself and your personality. But more importantly, having much less distraction and no electronic connection forces you to make real life connections with the people around you and gives you some actual quiet time to just relax and recoup from the stressful days you’ve had with technology out of mind.
It is absolutely important to stay connected to your friends, family, and work opportunities, but it’s equally as important to take a step back and give your mind a break once in a while!