How to Unplug from Technology (and actually enjoy it)

As stupid and pampered as it sounds, staring at a device can be exhausting. Not because you get physically tired, but because mentally- it’s draining trying to be in two places at once.

Maybe you’ve reached a point where you just want to enjoy truly living again. You know, be completely submerged in your surroundings rather than glancing at your cell phone a million times a day.

In order for any technology break to be a successful one- you need to determine a few things.

  1. How long will you break?
  2. How often will you break?
  3. Why are you breaking?

How long will you break?

A week? A month? A day?

It takes a good heap of honesty to determine how long you need to break from social media in order to reap a benefit.

Personally, I think the longer you break- the better.

How often will you break?

Once every month? Once every two weeks? Once every six months? Breaking frequently will allow you to develop a love for past times that don’t involve staring at a screen.

Why are you breaking?

Recognizing the reasons you are breaking from social media before you break will help motivate you to stay away from your device.

Answering these questions will help to keep you focused and determined.

Alright, it’s time to get down to the hard part. Breaking away.

These few tips I am about to share have helped me to not only break away from technology but enjoy it as well!  I hope I am able to help those of you who may be looking for ways to gain something from your technology break.

  1. Download Unplugged.

 

I know, it sounds rather contradicting to combat spending time on your device with downloading another app. Depending on your level of self-discipline- this might not be a method you can do successfully.

Basically, this app allows you to set the timer to any amount of time you want to stay away from your device. It tells you to put your phone on airplane mode and then goes to a screen that displays how much time you have left to be unplugged. My favorite perk about it is that it tracks how long you’ve spent away from your device. Seeing the “High Score” kind of strikes my more competitive string and encourages me to want to spend even MORE time away from my device- which is the desired affect of the app and in turn my goal!

I was able to find this app in the Apple App store, but I am unsure if it is on the android market. If it isn’t, you can simply just put your phone on airplane mode for a certain amount of time each week.

2. Keep all electronics turned off- and in one place

If it’s out of sight, it’s easier to get it out of mind. When all of my electronics are in one place, I still know where they are in case I absolutely NEED them but it’s easier for me to ignore them.

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Also, you want to try to put them in a place where you wouldn’t ordinarily need to use them. For example, if I’m trying to unplug from my devices for a week, I’m not going to turn them off and lay them on my nightstand where they would be easy to grab if I get bored or can’t go to sleep. However, I know that if I put my devices in my home gym- where I wouldn’t grab any of my devices because I am actually trying to do something- then 1) I will have to make an effort to get them 2) I will probably ruin my workout routine if I spend that time on a tablet/phone.

3. Do things you’ve been wanting to do without your device.

This is the greatest perk about unplugging!  If you like reading, go to the library (and get a membership if you don’t have one already) and pick out a book you find interesting. Or maybe you like playing video games- if that’s the case,  try setting up a board game night and wha-la! Instead of playing against some random opponent in Japan (or even worse: the computer) you are actually watering your friendships by having a good time playing against people you know and enjoy.

There are several things to do at home and even outside that don’t involve electronics. Explore that, and do what you like the most!

4. Accountability

It helps to have someone to keep you accountable, but we don’t always have that option! That doesn’t mean that something can’t keep you accountable. I find that using a personal reward system helps with this area.

All you do is set a goal, write it down, set a time you want to have it completed and when you complete it get yourself a treat. It doesn’t have to be anything HUGE, just something that keeps you running toward that goal. For me? It’s a Starbucks drink. For you? It could be a movie, a desert you really enjoy, a trip to the nail salon, etc.

5. Tell People

Not to keep you accountable. This is for a different reason. Obviously, we don’t live in a perfect world where nothing bad ever happens. We need our cell phones for more reasons than games and social media.

It’s important to make sure that your contacts know you are taking a break from being on your devices and can only be reached by phone call or if absolutely necessary, text (literally like one or two- we’re not trying to text a full fledge conversation here!). From the minute I unplug from my cell phone I like to think of it as a house phone. I keep it in a general area, like the living room or kitchen and only go to it when I need to call someone or am answering the phone.

Make sure you tell important contacts how long you plan to be unplugging!

It is important to remember through out your break that every minute you are spending away from your electronics is a minute you can use to better yourself and find contentment with what you have right in front of you! This is a GREAT, mind opening thing.

It’s easy to wish you were someone else, with someone else, or doing something else thanks to the updates we needlessly receive through social media outlets, often times dismissive text message conversations, and even games!

When you break from that world, you are taking back your life. You are no longer letting it waste away watching/listening to what everyone else is doing while your day wastes away- you’re getting a life. Remember that as you go about your break!

If you guys have found this guide to be helpful or have any other questions let me know in the comments! To those who are breaking- Enjoy your newfound time(:

-TCA<3

 

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