I’ve just returned from two weeks of vacation at a lake where there was no wireless of cell reception. To get any wireless involved leaving the cabin and transporting to the nearest golf pro shop, only to sit outside on the steps to access their very slow free internet service. A phone call meant a 30-minute drive to the nearest town.
It was nearly a full online detox. It was like I was living back in ’82! I really enjoyed it, and believe that we should all work to limit/control our phone use.
- It contributes to the monkey mind: This is when your mind swings from tree to tree and amuses itself with whatever presents on YouTube or social media or the news. It’s an aimless and pointless and stupid way to drug yourself and waste your time.
- It keeps you from healthy boredom: Healthy boredom forces you to pick up a book or go for a walk, or chat with another human person, or think about your life.
- It hampers relationships: On our way to the cabin, we stopped for lunch, and while we were waiting for our food to arrive, I noticed that every one of us was on a device. Back in ’82 we would all have been chatting and chatting during down times is an important way to build relationships.
- It makes us stupider and sicker: This is just my hunch. We read short summaries, and don’t engage in books that make us think more deeply about topics and issues. We see an explosion of mental health issues (anxiety/depression) among younger people. I feel certain that our phones contribute to this problem.
Here are some suggestions to be a healthier you:
- Take an online sabbath – shut your devices down one day/week
- Don’t look at your device first thing in the morning
- Dramatically limit your time on social media (there are apps to help you with this)
I’m sure you have ideas that work for you. Take steps to unplug and be better!