You utilize technology for business and blogging, you use it to stay in touch with family and friends, to check your online statements, to pay your bills – it is the entertainment of our very existence, but you surely remember life without it, right?
There are people alive who grew up without electricity and running water (we don’t even have plumbing now in 2017 and let me say that in this cold winter it is actually a blessing!), they grew up without phones or television, the latter being things we often take for granted in this modern world. Abundant information is only a finger-swipe away, yet we aren’t smarter than ever. On the contrary, we are more distracted than ever.
Overwhelmed we have become, with multiple choices left and right. Yet, when we look towards the future we have a choice to continue down this self-destructive path, exploiting natural and human resources for our beloved technology, or we can take a chance and not accept all that a consumer society has to offer. At least not so readily, anyway.
We have access to unlimited knowledge – if we want it – and now, more than ever, we desperately need the quietude, peace and relaxation so that we can process all that we truly know – not what we can look up at a moment’s whim, and forget the next second. It may or may not be true that technology is messing with our long term memory, but as a minimalist, I happen to cherish my memories, so I will err on the side of caution and use devices when needed, rather then relishing them as connections to the outside world.
To access your intuition in crazy, busy times such as these, we must reduce the amount of time spent with technology – this applies to older and younger generations alike.
When we are ready for a little digital detox, consider trying out any, or all of these three technology “awareness” plans.
One. Put down your cell phone and turn it off for an hour, a day or even a week! Let people know that you will be unreachable for a certain amount of time, lest they panic and think you got lost somewhere… If you must, then have people call you at your work number, and for your part, if you must make an emergency call, most everyone has a phone nowadays that you can borrow for just a minute or two.
Leave your cell phone at home and act as if it were a land line, the kind we have all had at one time in our lives, if nothing else we have seen one in movies, you know, the one with a rotary dial. Intentionally forgetting your phone at home will encourage you to make commitments and stick to them, rather than leaving a quick call or text escape route.
Two. Take a break from email. I know, it already sounds difficult, but give it a chance! You could practice your handwriting and compose a letter by hand. It is more thoughtful, more personal and definitely unique, curated by you and no one else. As a bonus, the recipient will be pleasantly surprised to receive such a gift out of the blue.
Three. Go for the ultimate goal and do a full digital detox where you spend a defined amount of time not logged into any account on any device at all.
What can you do with all your extra time instead? Think about what people used to do before their lives were consumed by screens and technology. You could cook wholesome meals at home, rather than ordering in on your cell phone, and invite friends over for dinner with no screens attached. You could engage in hilarious games of the non-electronic kind, read books, garden, explore a hobby, hike, camp, bike, get outside, listen to the radio or be absolutely quiet for as long as you can.
Get off the flashing, noisy technology craze to reestablish your place in society and interest in human, as well as more-than-human interaction.
Your spouse, your children, your parents – they will all thank you for the time spent with them, rather than your “virtually” being there, by them.
There is only one way to know for sure what you will find without a screen and chances are that you have to see it to believe it.
What are your favorite non-screen activities? Let us know in the comments below so that we can all be inspired by a lower-tech existence.