Disconnecting to Connect
Technology is awesome, there’s no denying it. Now more than ever, there seems to be no boundaries to what we can accomplish. As long as the Wi-Fi connection is strong, we feel unstoppable! Yet, the benefit of constantly being connected has left us feeling even more disconnected. Instead of using technology as a tool, it has begun to run our lives, so much so that 67% of phone users report checking their phones even when they haven’t received a message or notification. Our unhealthy attachment to devices is detrimental to our wellbeing- stealing our time, energy, creativity, and even our happiness. Consider how these reasons relate to your own life:
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real, and it’s so much worse when we scroll through hundreds of pictures of people’s daily highlights. Our streams are filled with things to do, and places to be, and items to buy, making it impossible to be content with where we are and what we have. Unhealthy feelings of bitterness, jealousy and loneliness can start growing into nasty weeds in our mind if we don’t chose to power down and refocus our attention on being grateful and content with everything we already have. One moment you’re having a great day and the next you’re upset because you weren’t at the Coldplay concert with all of your other friends… and you don’t even listen to Coldplay!
Constant connection to a device robs you of TIME, and time gives way to opportunity. We can sometimes act as our own roadblock when it comes to fulfilling a passion or meeting a goal when we absentmindedly spend our days scrolling through twitter, browsing the internet, checking our email, watching Netflix, and getting lost on YouTube (the ultimate vortex of everything imaginable). How much time do you think you would gain from powering down all devices? And then, what would you choose to do with all that time?
SOLITUDE is powerful but impossible when we don’t allow ourselves to disconnect. In a world that’s swirling with memes and flashy advertisements, we still wake up and place our two feet on solid ground. Without solitude, we can quickly begin to live lives that are not grounded. Quietness stops distraction and gives us space to reflect on life. We can become more aware of our emotions and actions, allowing us to reconcile areas that require adjustment and appreciate all that is going well.
Now that you’ve evaluated the impact of a constant connection to technology, here are some tips on how you can disconnect for a bit:
Choose a time of the day when you will intentionally power down all of your devices. A good question to ask yourself is what time of the day is your mind at its peak. Don’t allow your peak mental state to be wasted! Instead of spending good brain power scrolling through Instagram, use it to meditate, create, journal, rest, reflect, etc.
Commit to leaving the first hour of your day free from screen-time. Research has shown that the first hour of our day is crucial in setting the stage for the rest of our day. You’re more likely to have a great 23 hours ahead of you if you can spend the first hour of your day wisely.
Consider a fast from the biggest technology time wasters. If you feel like Snapchat is sucking away hours of your time, think about ditching it for 40 days. You would be amazed at the impact of removing unimportant distractions that rob you of your time. Once you decide to abstain from a specific app, be intentional about how you choose to fill that time. Don’t fall into the trap of replacing one time waster with another.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I don’t have time to disconnect,” burn out is close behind you… if it hasn’t already hit you yet! You owe it to yourself to disconnect. You will actually find that you can better connect once you’ve disconnected. Give it a try.