Happy 2016! Another year has gone by, and it seems that each year is passing faster than the last! This blog about trying an electronics detox is a follow up to one I wrote in November of 2013 called, “Is the Zombie Apocalypse here? Social Media Overload.”
People are always setting goals in the New Year. Usually the goals are health related, involving a better diet or more exercise. And if you are “plugged into” one of those dieting apps, other people can track your progress along with you. Do you want my suggestion? Try a different type of detox.
A few years ago, I started to do what I call a Facebook detox. This is when you take a deep breath, go to your account settings, and hit the deactivate button. You don’t have to do it forever. If you are really “plugged in,” you can start by trying it for one day.
When you try the electronics detox, lots of questions might run through your mind.
What will happen if the world doesn’t see every intimate detail of my daily life? Will I be missing out on the world? It can seem pretty scary! But guess what? There might be good things that come of it. You may discover the outdoors. You may realize there are people in your life who will actually call you and want to spend time with you! You may notice your children more–they’re around, and they like it when your face is not in your phone!
Do you find yourself sleeping with your phone next to your bed? Or checking your Facebook and Twitter account more than once an hour? How about playing games on your phone? I’ve been guilty of all these things.
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, you might feel like all this technology is good because it makes it so easy for us to stay connected with other people. The problem is, by immersing yourself in technology, you may actually be losing vital human-to-human contact and becoming more disconnected!
Sometimes while dining out I’ve noticed couples sitting at a table, and one of them is completely engrossed in their phone. They’ll maybe answer a few questions here and there or peek up at the waiter to order. How romantic! At some restaurants, they now have a tablet device at the table so that the whole family can be absorbed in a game instead of connecting with each other! I even see it at work… about 90% of my clients prefer to leave the sound on their phones during their massage.
When I deactivate my accounts, I’m not focusing on anything but spending time with my loved ones. And guess what? They LOVE it! Each time I do my detox, I try to increase the time I spend away from the electronics.
I have some exceptions to the detox. I still have to run my business and I still need to remain connected through my business page, so I have an extra Facebook account that I only use for this purpose. The whole point of the detox is to take a step back and really look at how much time you invest in social media, and evaluate what it really means to you.
Social media can cause us to develop a false sense of trust and vulnerability.
The more time we spend plugged in to our “devices,” the less time we spend on self-discovery and developing healthy relationships. We end up walking around like zombies, straying away from working at forming real connections with others. Out of the hundreds of “friends” you have on Facebook, how many of them spend physical time with you?
There is a significant increase in anxiety and depression in our society these days, and there are several studies being done to figure out the connection between depression and social media and multitasking.
Living in the moment is difficult enough without all the technological distractions. What worries me most is our children’s ability to forge real relationships. I sometimes feel like my grandfather saying, “when I was a kid, I had to walk 3 miles through the snow to get to school.” I’m not quite that old, but I did spend a lot of time with friends doing actual physical activities when I was a kid. We didn’t have Facebook, and we didn’t text or play video games together over the internet.