Hand holding a phone.

How to Step Away From Technology When You Are Surrounded by It

How to Step Away From Technology When You Are Surrounded by It

In a world that is constantly bound by some sort of technology, it may seem hard to catch  a break. Not to mention that more than half of jobs now resort to the “work from home” phenomena introduced by COVID-19. When you are not working on your computer, sending emails, or sitting on the dreaded zoom call, you may resort to more media via your phone. Today’s generation has grown up heavily with technology shoved into our faces for a distraction. Now, we are all finding it difficult to put the distraction to rest. Though challenging, there are many ways that you can balance the amount of time you spent working, studying, and catching  up on social media. Completely shutting out technology may seem threatening, especially since a majority of our lives depend on so much of it.  

Instead of being intimidated by completely shutting out the world of technology, try to narrow your time spent on a screen to necessities. Our society has tricked us into the scheme of consistently being involved in all thing’s technology. If you miss an Instagram post, the world will go on. In order to fully start seeing the world in front of you, you must be willing to shut the computer, put the phone to rest, and stop to smell the roses.  

Technology in itself has created a world of opportunity for advancement in the workplace, the way we communicate with others, and many other aspects of our everyday life. The line between when to take a break and when to utilize it is quite fuzzy. The research has showed that spending too much time on our devices created a disconnection from our bodies and in-person communities that we have created. Often, people think that constantly staying connected will allowed them to kinder those online relationships. We, scientifically, crave human interaction. Whether that be a coffee chat over a brisk walk, out to dinner and drinks, or in the office with other colleagues, each one of those interactions is beneficial to our overall well-being. The reality of the situation is that many adults are chronically addicted to their devices. Most people spend more time behind a screen than sleeping in general. Terrifying as it sounds, technology is taking over and not leaving the best impact.  

Totally stepping away from technology may be unavoidable, but there are certainly ways that you can cut back. One thing that is super beneficial is the "Do Not Disturb" function on the iPhone. Personally, I find it extremely hard to not check my phone every time that it buzzes with a notification. By having your phone on "Do Not Disturb", it is allowing you to stay focused on the  task at hand and not constantly play into the classical conditioning theory.  

Another technique that is helpful is to set specific time limits to be on media. The emails will still be there in the morning and so will the newest Instagram reel. By allocating specific times to check your feed, you are letting yourself still be a part of that world, but not constantly relying on it every minute of every day. Lastly, the tip that may be most rewarding is to complete a digital detox. If you can’t, try to completely cut out social media and as many other forms of technology for a day or however long you please. This will allow you to focus on things in the present and be in the now.  

The benefits that flow from taking a break from the world of technology are plentiful. Just as stated before, social media is a great way to stay connected to those physically far, but  when it is used solely for communication with people you could visit in person, it becomes counterproductive. Relationships are better formed in person due to the personal connection value that people feel when in one another’s presence. Studies have also shown that greater productivity and increased focus is associated with breaks from technology. By stepping outside and getting some fresh air, it may not only benefit your mental health, but also improve your work and help you get tasks done in a more efficient way. 

To imagine stepping away from technology is so difficult because it is so embedded in  our everyday lives. Establishing boundaries with technology not only will benefit you, but it will improve your mental health, physical health, and relationship with others.