Unplugged – The Beginning

Facebook is awesome. With photos, friends, events, places, games, and other endless possibilities how can I not spend all day there? It’s easy. Just don’t log in. A simple solution to a problematic lifestyle found here: uncheck that little box that says, keep me logged in.

I’m not saying that you have a problem, and I’m not saying that Facebook isn’t cool. What I am saying is that in today’s world it is hard enough to find time for ourselves. And no, Facebook stalking your “friends” isn’t alone time, let alone time devoted to yourself. I’m just telling you the truth, you need more time for you. Those of you who do this digital life as a means and a lifestyle, I’m especially talking to you.

Take those few precious moments, or hours in many cases, and just relax. What sort of life are you living when you are always checking the latest youtube videos, or Reddit updates and Facebook statuses or text messages? I’ll give you the answer, an un-enriched one. Why waste time talking about your hobbies and posting photos of your nights out, when you could be doing more and making more memories? I’m not asking you to neglect your internet and telephones and other electronic life sucking devices, I’m just asking you to take some more time for yourself. I’m looking out for the betterment of you.

You might not see the effects of being plugged in every day, but they are there. I’ve been there, obsessively checking my phone and email to see if anything has changed, but unless there is an emergency I don’t find either of those activities to be fulfilling or compelling. I’ve even found those behaviors to lead myself and others toward a decline in health and social life.

Our bodies weren’t made for this life of non-physical social interaction. And by that I mean is a non-responsive interaction. Our bodies and our minds crave social interaction, and we think to ourselves that text messages and IM’s are just as good, but our bodies and minds don’t react the same way when someone actually laughs at our comments or even cries when we tell them of our failures.

If you don’t believe me, check the facts. Many prestigious and enlightened schools of science have studied these things. Sure, they are generally the same scientists who promise us fat burning pills and whatnot but there is some truth to their science somewhere. Discover Magazine has done many articles on the studies of multimedia users and multitaskers and found, humiliating results. Our brains just can’t take the stress, literally. Be become dumber in these moments to compensate for our lack of ability to absorb them all at once.

So if you don’t like being dumb, you don’t like doing things less than your best, and you really just want to find some time to better yourself, get unplugged. Uncheck those pesky boxes of remembering your password and logging you in automatically. You’ll be surprised how just the step of having to type in your email address and password will remind you of how many times you’ve logged in today.

If you are doing tasks on the computer for work, school or even just for information searching be mindful of your current task. One of the ways that I personally avoid my email, facebook and other such deliciously addicting sites is to use two separate browsers. For example, use google chrome for youtube, and maybe Firefox for your email or internet explorer for Facebook. That too will help keep your work and play life separate from your digital worlds. That way, every time you open that different browser you will recognize what you usually do there; keep bookmarks and passwords relevant to that use separate. If you know that you are going to be distracted by the escapist all afternoon, don’t use that site in your favorite browser. That way your history will be separate and you can better stay on task.

 

Interested in researching more yourself? Check out these links that I have provided from reputable sources!

Discover magazine articles on Multitasking and Multimedia

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2009/08/24/infor…

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/08/25/multitaskers-a…

http://discovermagazine.com/2005/aug/email-make-you-dumber/?searcht…

 

NPR’s article on multitasking

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95256794

 

Study explained on multimedia multitasking at Boston College

http://www.bc.edu/schools/csom/graduate/news/2011/Multimedia_and_Mu…

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