… at least for a day. I know about our special relationship with our technical devices. For many, the thought of spending a day without access to their phones or laptops can be almost frightening. However, I want to promote spending some time away from them.
This is also called a technology detox. I hope it will become obvious, why it is a detox of some sort.
How do you describe your relationship with your mobile phone? With your laptop? With your television? I can say that my relationship with my phone isn’t the healthiest one. I read mails late at night and early in the morning, I take it almost everywhere with me, and I constantly check it for any updates. This raises the question: who is in charge of whom? Am I in charge of my mobile phone or has it actually more control over me?
If I am honest, I think very often it is the latter. The problem is that it absorbs and ties up a lot of my energy. Unfortunately, this is something I realized after I got away from my devices for a while. So, you might say it isn’t that bad and maybe you are right. But, I invite you to at least try it and see for yourself. Moreover, I am in a reactive position. I wait and check and wait and check, if something happens on my phone. Sometimes, I check something and a second later I forgot what I was checking. Not very mindful, I know. And the worst thing is that this reactive behavior slowly turns into a passive life. I mean I understand, it is the fear of missing out. But do we really miss something? Shouldn’t our lives be more focused on actively experiencing life and not only passively through our devices?
I already made some adjustments. Firstly, I don’t get my working mails on my phone. I try to prevent that always-on-mentality that many people have. I mean, can you really enjoy your evening when you “fear” another work mail arrives? Although this is only a mild stress, it is stress and it is a constant one. Secondly, I try to be mindful why and for what I am checking my phone. It doesn’t always work, but it helps me to remind myself to have a more mindful relation with my phone. And thirdly, I try to put my mobile in airplane mode, before I go to sleep. This one is still a struggle though.
But why do I propose to completely get away from your devices and not just rethink how we deal with them? I think that a lot of the benefits of spending time without our gadgets, take some time to realize.
One of the benefits of doing a technology detox became clear to me when I was studying for an exam. I had to read a lot of scientific paper, which often are hard to read and can be very boring. I read all those articles 2-3 times already and it always took me a while to go through them. I was capable of reading 1-2 articles a day before I said to myself: No way Jose, I am doing something else. However, during one of my detox days, it was so much easier for me. Not only was I capable of reading all of them (I think there were about six or seven), but my retention of the content was way better. I memorized so much more after reading the articles. Before, after finishing one article, I already forgot a lot, but now, I memorized so much more. In general, that day, I felt energized and more awake. And I felt I have so much more time. Yes, I also got bored, but this also told me that I have enough time for something fun or productive.
I mean the reason I got bored had also something to do that I was also doing a silent day, but more on that in a different entry. So, what can you do instead? You have more time to spend time with friends or family. You can read a book, you can go into nature, do sports or other fun activities. Your fantasy sets the limit. As long as it doesn’t involve technology you are good to go. The goal is to improve our relationship we have with our devices and let it become healthier.
So, why don’t you try it out yourself? Or have you already done something like that? What are your experiences? Let me know in the comments below, or write me a mail.
Have a wonderful day and take care =)