The Best Times to Unplug

Let’s face it.  A lot of us probably use our phones a little too much.  Whether it is to text, tweet, or post on Facebook, we are constantly checking our phones.  While technology is not a bad thing, it is sometimes important to forget about the virtual world and focus on the real world.  A journalism student at the University of Wisconsin, Emily Sorkin, went a whole day without using technology.  Her experience was noticeably positive.

“Unplugging can be a time to reflect on where you are and what you’re doing. It can be a time to look up and see the people around you. It can be the chance to laugh hysterically with your friends without the constant vibration of your phone. It can be a chance to take a breath.”

There are countless ways in which unplugging will benefit your life, emotionally, physically, and socially.  Here are a few times when unplugging from technology may benefit you the most.

Unplug when you are with friends or family.  You’ll find that conversation will improve and everyone will be engaged with one another.  Being surrounded by people who are always on their phone can be a drag.

Laugh, enjoy the moment,and create bonds that will last a lifetime.

Unplug at concerts.  Memories made dancing with friends at a concert by your favorite band will last a lifetime.  Are those memories worth that 200 second Snapchat story?  The more time you spend recording videos and taking pictures, the less time you have to actually enjoy the music or the people around you.

4Minute, performing live at United Cube in London, live at O2 Academy Brixton, 5th December 2011

Unplug when you are walking places.  Is your social world going to change that drastically in your five minute walk to class?  Your mind will be allowed to wander; thoughts can originate naturally from various stimuli around you.

mindfulness_poster_UK

Unplug on vacations.  I recently went on two vacations where cell service and Wi-FI was very spotty.  Even though I knew the likelihood of getting service was very low, I still checked my phone and social media outlets any time a single bar of service popped up.  I found myself frustrated by technology, instead of enjoying where I was and who I was with.

Unplug at sporting events.  Cheer on your team, appreciate the sheer talent of the athletes.  Don’t check your fantasy team or watch the game on the massive Jumbo-tron.  Watch the game and take in the atmosphere.

Unplug when you are reading.  It’s happened to all of us.  We are reading something, our phone buzzes or lights up, and our mind shifts from the reading to the notification on our phone.  Put your phone in a different room or put it on Do Not Disturb.  You will be more focused on the reading and will understand it better (and won’t have to reread as many paragraphs).

Everyone can be guilty of using their phone too much, but knowing when to unplug can immensely improve your life.  How do you find a balance of technology in your life?  When do you unplug?

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