For better or worse, the world has never been more interconnected. The Internet and advances in telecommunications technology allow us to communicate with almost everyone on the planet in real time, but this has both advantages and disadvantages. One study found that Americans can spend up to ten hours a day staring at screens, watching television, and surfing the internet. Our current reliance on technology has many benefits, but it also raises the possibility that we will miss out on some opportunities.
When we let technology rule our lives, whether it’s watching DVRs from a park bench or checking social media while swimming, we miss out on something. Because we watch far too much television, we spend far too much time indoors sitting or lying down. Sunlight, clean air, and regular exercise have numerous health benefits that cannot be overstated. It is critical to remember to disconnect from electronics and spend time in the real world on a regular basis.
Turning off your computer has a number of benefits, particularly if you spend that time outside. According to research, frequent social media use exacerbates stress, depressive symptoms, and health issues associated with prolonged sitting and media consumption. When your days indoors staring at screens, you are exposed to a lot of recycled air and artificial lighting, neither of which is good for your health.
Limiting your use of technology could significantly improve your quality of life. Consider replacing your touch-screen phone with a simpler device that does not support email or Internet access. Consider limiting your screen time in the same way that you would limit your calorie intake when dieting. Instead of staring at your phone during your commute, you might be able to unplug and feel better by reading a book.
The infographic included with this post can help you learn some stress-reduction techniques. You may notice some immediate improvements in your happiness and wellbeing if you complete the disconnecting checklist.