We interrupt real life every 6 and a ½ minutes to get online. With most of us working from home at the moment it’s becoming increasingly difficult to limit our times behind or on a screen. For all the amazing ways technology now brings us together, there’s enough evidence that warns us not to overdo it – from the strain it has on your physical well-being to your psychological well-being. Want to feel more present in the moment? Hoping to recharge a bit and find more quality things to do during the day? We give you 5 ways to help you reconnect with real life.
Why should we make an effort to limit our screen time, though? What’s in it for us? Well, it is said that focusing on the real world around you, and your family and friends, will significantly improve your quality of life. From forming more meaningful bonds and improving your night’s rest to eating healthier and learning to leave work stress behind in the online world, there are plenty of reasons to lock that screen. Start paying attention to ourselves and the world we live in, and you will reap the benefits in no time.
1. Set realistic goals
Just like any major lifestyle change, long-term success is best achieved in small steps. Think of your iPad as a cupcake. If you deprive yourself entirely, you’re setting yourself up for a major binge. Try allowing yourself a certain amount of time online per day, not counting your work hours, and try decreasing that amount over weeks and months.
2. Have an experience, don’t post about it
Before social media, we enjoyed things without worrying that all of our friends and family needed to know about them. Think about it: does the online community have a burning desire to see the avocado toast you’re about to eat? Put down your smartphone at brunch and just savour the flavour, or head off into nature and explore.
3. Go retro in the bedroom
According to Harvard Medical School’s online publication, the light emitted from screens before bedtime disrupts our circadian rhythm and melatonin production, resulting in poorer sleep. Instead of using your smartphone as your alarm, leave it in another room. After all, you can’t check Facebook on an old-fashioned alarm clock.
4. Make it a family affair
It’s easier to form good habits when the people around you do it as well. Next time you sit down to dinner, collect all the phones and set them in the middle of the table. The first person who reaches for theirs before the meal is over is responsible for doing the dishes.
5. Give a real-life compliment
Speaking of Facebook, remember when you actually had to speak to a person to congratulate them rather than just clicking on an icon of a thumb? Rather than clicking “like,” why not plan a date to go for a walk with a loved one or close friend? Take this moment to talk to them properly and show them how much they mean to you. The personal interaction will do you both a world of good.
Nobody is telling you to give up technology cold turkey, but limiting your online life is always a good idea. Next time you’re out with friends, try talking to them instead of your Instagram followers—posting all the juicy gossip can wait until you get home.