Have you noticed the change? It started slowly, over many years, but it has now become very apparent. We have become a nation of addicts. We can’t go a day without our phones and would be lost without WiFi and our other digital devices. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to technology in the 21st century, with smartphones, flat screen TV’s, iPads, iPods and the thousands of other digital products out there. As a nation we love our gadgets, but they do have their drawbacks.
If you walk down the street today you will likely notice one common occurrence, people on their mobile phones. Staring down at the screen, not looking at anyone, or their surroundings, engrossed in Facebook, YouTube or maybe their blog… all whilst the world passes them by. I’m guilty of this as much as the next person, but it’s something I have been trying to change.
Looking at our phones has become a habit, part of our routine and everyday life. In fact, the average UK adult checks their smartphone 150 times a day, that’s once every 10 minutes! That’s a staggering amount of times and something we should really address. We spend an average of 8 hours and 41 minutes a day on screen, that’s more than the hours we sleep on average each night.
What’s more, without realising it we have lost skills along the way, some technology does the job for us which means we don’t have to think about it ourselves. Take map reading for instance, many people wouldn’t be able to navigate a traditional map as google maps takes us to our destination at the touch of a button.
Being a blogger means I spend a lot of time online and update my social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when I’m out and about. When I was out for the day with my camera I thought I was capturing the day for myself, and to share on my blog. But, when I took a step back I realised something. I was missing out and not living in the moment, I was seeing the day through my camera and not enjoying the here and now. Life was passing me by whilst I was looking at it through a lens.
Don’t get me wrong, technology has it’s place and has helped make our life easier in many instances, it can help make tasks quicker and our work more efficient, but it’s not without it’s drawbacks. It’s easy to get drawn into the digital world and engrossed in a virtual reality where you start losing touch with the people around you. Research was carried out last year that suggested there should be warning labels on smartphones, tablets and other digital devices to help prevent users becoming addicted to them. A combination of the reasons above is why I decided to have a digital detox, and it was one of the best decisions I have made.
My digital detox concentrated on my phone and not using it when I was out and about so I would start enjoying the here and now. I deleted all of the social media apps from my phone, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were all thrown on the virtual scrap heap and I felt a huge sense of relief. I started enjoying my time out, capturing memories first hand and connecting with the people around me.
If what I have said sounds all too familiar, why not Unplug from your digital devices and enjoy your own digital detox. Turn off your phone, shut down your laptop, log off Facebook and turn off the TV. Get back to the real work and reconnect with those around you. There’s a great 7 day Detox Infographic below from It’s Time To Log Off which gives helpful tips on detoxing from your digital devices. One thing I can guarantee if you decide to take a digital detox is you’ll be glad you did, it will open your eyes to just how much we are all addicted to our devices and you’ll never look at them the same again.
Have you had a digital detox, or are you considering one?