After reading Larissa’s blog post this week, it inspired me to write my own. As much as I believe technology plays a vital role in education, and in society, I think there is a need to set limits and to experience what it feels like to unplug. What are we doing to ourselves when we are constantly staring at a screen, unconsciously checking social media, or sending text after text? Are we losing the ability to have social interaction by becoming too dependent on technology? Why has it become the norm to document everything on social media? What message is this sending? How much of life are we truly missing out on?
I encourage you to check out the video below that I found on Joshua Becker’s blog, Becoming a Minimalist (7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find Space). It is a realistic representation of how attached society has become to their smartphones.
Here is a journal entry from my time volunteering in Costa Rica:
Today I am really thinking about the role technology plays in my life and the life of others in Canada. Why have we become a culture that is so dependent on our phones and on social media? What role does it really play? I am questioning how much life I miss out on when using my phone. As I sat with my host family showing them pictures of my family and friends back home, I started to reconsider how I spend my time with friends and family. What would it be like to meet up with friends and leave our cellphones in our pockets? Is that a realistic expectation back home? One thing I can say for sure is that living without technology has made me realize how much time is wasted in a day on social media and how quickly life can pass by. Here, in Providencia, the days go by slower and I am able to appreciate every second for what it is worth. Soon I will not be able to sit and visit with my host family looking out at the lush green mountains that have clouds hanging over them.
Since returning home from Costa Rica, I noticed how easy it was to fall back into the craze of social media and how quickly I became attached to my phone. I decided I needed to make a change in my life. I found that I was checking facebook way too often throughout the day. Sometimes I did not even recognize that I was checking facebook, which is somewhat scary. For the past three months, my phone has been facebook free. I find that I only go on facebook about two to three times a week now. I also try to be more conscious of the time I spend on my phone, using social media, and other forms of technology. Here are a few things I have noticed:
- I no longer find myself scrolling through my news feeds before bed; as a result, I have noticed I fall asleep faster and feel more rested.
- As an avid reader, I have found I have more time (or make more time) to read!
- I no longer feel the need to check facebook constantly.
- I feel like I don’t waste as much time on social media and have more time to experience what is happening right in front of my eyes; in other words, spend more time LIVING.
I want to make myself clear. I am not saying that you should never use social media or technology. I’m saying that you need to find a balance. I do not think you can truly understand how much of life you are spending on social media until you omit it from your life for a period of time. So, I DARE YOU to disconnect. Whether it is facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other form, I encourage you to try a digital detox. My goal is to do a complete digital detox over the break where I do not use my phone or laptop for a few days while I am at home visiting my family. I want to use this time to take a break from school, connect with my family, and live in the moment.
What do you think? Do you think we have become too attached to our phones and missing out on what is happening right in front of our eyes? Are you up for a digital detox? It can be something as simple as taking a break from one form of social media. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, but I promise that you will notice a difference.