There’s no denying that we live in a VERY digital age. For a lot of us we are bound to a desk job that leaves us connected for prolonged periods of time, and for some of us we just simply love everything that is social media and the Internet.
Sometimes we get so caught up in technology we are unaware of the damage it can do to our relationships with others and ourselves. We send our friends a bulk text saying ‘hi hw r u I miss my BFF it’s been lyk 4eva’ instead of catching up with them over a coffee. We forget how to actually enjoy our meal at a restaurant instead of taking a photo of it on every single angle for our ‘instafood’ post. We spend hours upon hours looking at ‘fitspiration’ photos on the internet when we could’ve spent that time going for a run and actually getting fit. We send a birthday shout out via twitter instead of sending a birthday card. We get so fixated on documenting every moment of our day on Facebook to get ’50 likes’ instead of actually enjoying it for what it is.
What’s scary about all this is that now it’s starting to become socially acceptable to do all of these things. Although I’m not going to sit here and rant about the ‘good old days’ and what it used to be like before Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg came about. There’s no changing the fact we are stimulated by connectivity and the approval of others. But what I will say is that it’s important to learn when and where we should switch off.
I know this is easier said than done – coming from the girl who at the moment has six safari tabs open, is refreshing her Facebook feed every five minutes, checking instagram on her phone, and watching gossip girl…all at the same time. So I’m guilty of this too. But one thing I can say is following these tips will help you take control of your digital cravings, and allow you to live a REAL life over a virtual one.
Tips for switching off and re-connecting with others and ourselves:
No technology after 7pm. By giving yourself at least two hours of no technology before bed you will instantly better your sleep.
Avoid checking social media throughout the day while you’re at work (unless your in a social media job of course). This will allow you to focus more on that’s in front of you and get your work done. To make this easier switch off the notifications setting on your phone.
Limit your social media to one half an hour session a day. Don’t use this time to post 20 status updates either – one is more than enough.
Give yourself a certain amount of time once in the morning and afternoon to check your emails and reply to them. Outside of these times leave your inbox alone.
When you’re out to dinner with friends, put all your phones face down in the middle of the table on silent. You can also make a fun rule that if anyone checks their phone they must shout the table a drink.
Use social media blocks when you’re getting distracted. ‘Anti-social’ for Mac can block distracting websites for a certain period of time – so you can finally be more productive and get s*** done!
Have a ‘digital detox’ weekend – no laptop, T.V, social media and Internet. Use this time to go to yoga classes, read a book, go out with your friends or partner, cook, dance; whatever it is that enlightens your spirit!
Only capture the moment on your phone when it’s necessary – otherwise see it, breathe it and enjoy it for what it is.
Instead of texting or emailing your friends and family, give them a phone call. Even cuter, write gratitude letters to the people you love and appreciate – it will go a long way.
Don’t eat lunch or dinner at your office desk and practise mindful eating, its better for your health and for weightloss.
Don’t post your daily diary on Facebook – if you need to vent call a friend or go see a therapist.