Unplugging From The Internet
The internet can be a glorious thing; full of access and resources to education, news, art, and entertainment. You can check the weather, read an interview, tweet a long-distance friend, and listen to music all on the same device. It is truly amazing what we can do today with this technology. However, we have a tendency to get a little too wrapped up in it all. It has become a part of just about everything we do. Personally, I don’t even think I could cook a meal or find my way around the city without the internet.
With a new year upon us, it might be a good time for some self-reflection and openness to change. It might be a good time to unplug from the internet. Don’t panic, it doesn’t have to be permanent. Like I said, the internet can be a great. Nevertheless, detaching might be more beneficial than you realize. Stop and think for a moment, how many times have you checked your phone today, even without having any notifications? Obsessive phone checking might be this generation's most common bad-habit, but bad-habits can be broken with a little work!
Most importantly, unplugging from the internet for a bit can be beneficial to your mental health. Studies show that 1 in 3 people feel worse about themselves after visiting Facebook. Social media in particular can cause unhealthy feelings of jealousy, as we are constantly comparing ourselves to “IG baddies.” Not to mention the FOMO, or fear of missing out! Ever caught yourself alone at night, watching all of your friends on Snapchat having a great time? FOMO has actually been recognized as an emerging psychological disorder. It prevents people from being content in their current space, and increases feelings of loneliness.
Aside from mental health benefits, unplugging from the internet can provide you with social benefits as well. Imagine spending as much time with your friends each day that you do on the internet. You’d be full of memories for a lifetime, don’t you think? Unplugging can help improve your conversational skills, and your attentiveness to others. Time to yourself is also essential. It is imperative that we allow ourselves time for self-care, self-reflection and decompression. We aren’t fully engaging in these activities if we are spending all of our alone time scrolling on our devices.
Powering down from the internet can spark your motivation, it can lead to creation, and it will certainly force you to really participate in your day. The benefits are endless, and while the internet can provide you with a great deal of positive things, it’s important to maintain a balance. You can learn to take advantage of the internet without over-consuming. I’m not saying unplug forever! I mean, some of us have jobs that require us to use the internet (hence the article you’re reading now). If any of this interests you, but you aren’t sure where to start, my advice is to start small! 79% of people check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. Try enjoying the first 30 minutes to an hour of your morning without scrolling. It might be nice to start the day uncluttered, and aware.