Unplugged – Where to Start?

The Internet 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. If you want to find more time in your life, and separate yourself from digital space uncheck that little box that says, keep me logged in.

It is hard enough to find time for ourselves. True time devoted to yourself. If you need more time for you and you utilize a digital life as a means and a lifestyle, I’m especially talking to you.

Take those few precious moments, or hours in many cases that you used to scroll the feeds, and do something else. 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? If you feel happy and content, I don’t have advice for you – but welcome! For those of you that feel drained, busy, hectic, I want to help you find an enriched life. I want to help you stop being a Robot and start being a Cyborg. I’m not asking you to neglect your internet and telephones and other electronic devices, I’m just asking you to take more time for yourself. I’m looking out for the betterment of you.

You might not see or notice 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 personally find either of those activities to be fulfilling or compelling. I’ve even found those behaviors to lead toward a decline in the quality of my emotional health and social life.

Our bodies weren’t made for this life of non-physical social interaction and the non-responsive interactions we receive from most digital 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 for yourself. Many prestigious and enlightened schools of science have studied stress and anxiety on our bodies, and how social media might contribute to harmful and negative experiences. Discover Magazine has done many articles on the studies of multimedia users and multitaskers and found humiliating results about those of us that claim to be capable of handling the multitude of digital projects at once. Our brains just can’t take the stress, literally.

If 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 tempting sites while working is to use two separate browsers or email addresses. Keep your work and play life separate. If you know that you are going to be distracted by something 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

 

A study on multimedia multitasking at Boston College

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

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