Embracing The Desire To Unplug In Our Hyper-Technology Era
Technology is essentially everywhere in our modern world. It has become an integral part of the culture of many first world countries As a result, we have an easier way of staying connected with others. With the rise of smart devices, social media, and the integration of more technology in the workplace, it’s hard to see people without their technological devices.
Technology has been a great advancement for us, however, it can become hard to separate yourself from it sometimes. Our society’s technological obsession can make it feel like you have to constantly check social media, messages, and alerts. Whether it’s the fear you’ll miss notifications or of not being in-the-know, technology can have you feeling almost compelled to check it, even when it’s not necessary.
This is how I used to feel about technology, especially back when I first got my first iPhone in high school. It had gotten to the point where I would “feel” phone vibrations and my phone hadn’t even gotten a notification! Recently, I’ve found myself desiring and needing to take steps back from the technological madness of our world.
Initially, I felt like I was one of the few millennials who had grown tired and overwhelmed by the technology around me. It wasn’t soon that I realized a break from technology was necessary. I needed freedom from the texts, emails, and social media alerts, everything. However, I wasn’t sure how to go about embracing my desire when I still needed to be technologically connected for my jobs and personal life.
It wasn’t something I just miraculously decided to do, it kinda just naturally happened.
I embraced my desire to unplug from technology by carving more time out for myself. It was the best decision for me and my mental health. Through focusing on my hobbies and interests (that weren’t technologically based), I was able to turn my focus away from my buzzing devices and towards embracing my life experiences more. I hadn’t even realized what I was doing until I was called out one day for being a “bad texter” because I wasn’t replying fast enough. At first, I really thought I was bad at texting until I realized my texting speed wasn’t the issue; my values had just changed. I used to place a huge emphasis on texting, but now I would rather talk on the phone or meet up in person to converse. Months of subtle changes in my habits led to a change in my values. After the “bad texter” incident, I decided to be more open with others about my views on technology, regardless of the opinions I would receive.
I was expecting more people to look at me oddly for desiring to use my devices less because how high our technological dependency is as a society. However, after talking to friends and peers, I discovered more people had similar feelings about unplugging than I realized. As connected as we are, especially millennials, we’re recognizing that sometimes you gotta take a step back from social media and the applications.
And while everyone’s motivations for unplugging might be rooted in similar ideals, the best thing about embracing that desire is that it’s ultimately your choice of how you want to unplug and for how long. Some of my friends do week-long social media blackouts, while others only use their social media and technology for a certain number of hours a day. If you have an Apple product, ScreenTime can be a good tool for showing how much time you’re spending on your device(s) and what you’re mainly using your device(s) for. It even will let you know your average screen time per week or month.
The most important thing to remember if you’re thinking about taking the step to unplug is to not worry about being judged or feeling left out by people who are more dependent on their technology. Everyone is different. If you feel it’s in your best interest to disconnect, embrace that desire and live the life you want to lead.