Unplugging: What is it and why should you do it?

When was the last time you went an entire day without your smartphone, tablet or device? Although technology has it’s many benefits, relying on it too much can cause us to develop an unhealthy attachment to it.  ‘Unplugging’ has become a practice that many individuals and families are starting to practice in their homes.  It means you disconnect from your phone and social media platforms for a set amount of time to do something screen free, like spend time with your family and friends.

Here are some reasons why you should do it:

1.    Too much connection to what other people are doing and posting on social media can lead to dissociation and dissatisfaction with your life.  The validation factor that comes from getting ‘likes’ can become quite addictive.  ‘Unplugging’ gives you the chance to step away from comparing your life to others online and refocus on all of the great things you have in your life.

2.    FOMO, or ‘Fear of Missing Out’ is a recognized physiological disorder that a surprising number of people suffer from.  When we regularly see the fun and exciting things our friends and followers are doing and posting, we start to fear we are being left out or missing something in our lives instead of being content with where we are and what we have.  

3.    Solitude and reflection is an important part of life.  We need to be able to take the time to reflect on past, current and future events.  When regularly consuming content, it can be hard to find a moment to rest and take stock of what is happening in our lives.  Lessons that need to be learned can often get lost in the distraction of the internet.  

4.    You may miss the great things that are happening right in front of you.  If you’re always plugged into your smart device, there is a real chance you will miss the subtle joys life brings.  

5.    Our imaginations need space!  Your creativity will flourish when you are not constantly consuming content.  Your mind needs time for freedom and exploration.  When your attention is focused on the reading, liking and watching content, creativity does not have room to grow.  

Unplugging does not have to be an extreme event, you can practice it in small incremental ways.  Try going for an hour a day without your phone.  When you are having dinner with someone, leave your phone in your pocket or purse.  Unless you are a professional food photographer, your meal will probably taste way better than it looks through your device.  Dig up your old alarm clock and use that to wake you up instead of sleeping beside your phone.  When you create space for these moments of ‘unplugging’ you will be surprised at how different life experiences and interactions feel.  

Do you ‘unplug’? Share your experience with us in the comments below!  

Caela Berry