Have you ever thought about the time you spend online? I mean really thought about it — from the moment you wake up by your phone's alarm to the minute you go to bed, your phone is probably with you. You're always plugged in, you're constantly available, and, if you're like most people, you never disconnect.
Don’t get me wrong, technology is a beautiful thing. As a social media blogger and influencer, I get it 100%.
But what if you just unplugged every once in a while?
Guys, there's no need to panic. Unplugging doesn’t have to mean barring yourself from technology for an entire day — it can be as simple as a few minutes here and there a few times a week. And not only is it surprisingly easy to unplug every day, it's also really good for you.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of taking a social media break or digital detox — in the words of someone who's almost always connected.
1. You'll spend quality time with those around you
Have you ever gone out to eat expecting some great conversation only to be met by a group of zombies sitting around you, in silence, scrolling through their social media feeds? It's pretty horrible.
When you make the effort to disconnect from your phone, you open yourself up to truly enjoy the company of those around you. It can be as simple as turning your phone over on the table (if you have the willpower to ignore it) or putting your phone away in your bag.
Finding space away from technology can help you better your relationships with those around you, which is way more important than paying attention to your social media feeds.
2. You can focus on more important tasks
We’ve all been there — you sit down to study or start your work and you find yourself somehow on your phone or computer reading the latest headlines. 🙄
Staying focused is impossible if you don't try. That's why making an effort to unplug will allow you to get through important tasks and to-do's more effectively, usually resulting in less stress and higher productivity while you're focused. You might even surprise yourself with how quickly a to-do list becomes a list of things you’ve completed.
3. You can clear your head
Leaving technology behind from time to time will let you define how you want your day to be — rather than social media making you feel one way or another. By taking a mini detox every morning, for example, you could spare up some time to begin incorporating mindfulness exercises into your routine.
It may be surprisingly difficult to wake up and not immediately reach for your phone (I get that), but challenge yourself to try it at least one day during the week. When you aren’t focused on your screen first thing in the morning, it may help you become more present during the day.
Consider yourself a digital detox expert?
In that case, help spread the word and encourage those around you to do the same. Lead the mindful movement. Out for dinner? Be the one who puts their phone away and asks others to do the same. Doing group work? Suggest the team goes tech-free during the meeting. Don’t be scared to speak up and suggest that others share in your unplugged experience. Some people may not even realize how much they need positively enforced offline moments.
Keep in mind — disconnecting from your device doesn't need to be a painful experience. Make it a small part of your life and you’ll be surprised by the positive results.
Do you have a personal story about how disconnecting from social media helped you? We'd love to hear it! Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Hayley holds an Honours BA in Sociology and is currently working on her Honours Bachelor of Public Health. An avid learner, you'll find Hayley either focused on schoolwork or plugging away at her job as a social media manager and influencer for a popular public health organization. In between work and school, Hayley manages her own #studygram account (@haylstudies) and a blog. As much time that Hayley does spend online, she appreciates abandoning social media and you'll usually find her outdoors, reading a good book, or taking a nap.