In this day and age, being plugged in has almost become a way of life. If you’re plugged in, you’re connected to the rest of the world. You’ve got your finger on the pulse, you know what is happening in the world when it happens and you are very unlikely to miss out on the “important things” in life. Even though this may seem like a good thing, being plugged in all the time is not really beneficial. In fact, being plugged in for long periods of time each day can be harmful to one’s health, can use a lot of energy, can lower your productivity and can actually cause you to become less connected to family, friends and life in general.
For decades and centuries, our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on, all lived without having to be plugged in 24/7. If you wanted get updated on local or world news, you actually read a printed newspaper. If you wanted to chat with friends, you picked up the phone or stopped by in person for a visit. After school, kids spent their time playing with friends until dark, when they came back inside for dinner (at the dinner table and yes, without cell phones or televisions). On the weekends, you spent time outdoors with friends, had barbecues in the backyard, went to the beach, went camping or took a road trip with the family. Staying indoors all weekend was pretty much an unheard of concept.
Believe or not, there are real benefits to being unplugged. Here are a few biofriendly reasons you should unplug more often:
Being unplugged allows you to be more present in the moment. Your attention can be outwards on the world around you rather than sucked into a phone, tablet, computer or television screen. Unplugging more often also helps you manage your day/time. People who unplug often tend to have less body pain (aren’t hunched over a phone or computer), exercise more, have less eye strain and better sleep. The National Sleep Foundation even talks about why electronics may stimulate you before bed and the benefits of unplugging at least an hour before bedtime. Unplugging has been shown to improve memory and mood as well.
Unplugging lowers energy usage and cuts down on costs. Even though we live in a digital world, we don’t need to be “on” all day long or have our appliances and electronics always ready at the drop of a hat. Once you know how vampire power works, you’ll want to be sure to turn off and unplug your electronics and appliances when not in use. Being unplugged helps eliminate the vampires and saves you money too.
Although many people work online, unplugging often can actually increase productivity. The less time you spend “connected” and online, the more you will get done in real life. At work, fine, be on the computer to get your work done. Then, after work or during your breaks, unplug. Instead of constantly checking your Instagram or Twitter, do the tasks assigned to you at work, complete projects at home or accomplish tasks you may have put off for far too long. You’ll probably find you can get quite a bit done by unplugging.
Reconnect with Life
When you unplug, getting outdoors and reconnecting with nature, family, friends and life just comes naturally. Life is meant to be lived, not viewed through the tiny screen on your phone. Don’t just connect with friends on social media, connect with them in real life. Sit and talk, face to face. Go for a walk, take a hike with friends, go camping with the family, ride a bike. The options are limitless. If you can’t think of something to do, just remember activities you used to enjoy as a kid and do those. I used to love going to the beach, playing outside with friends, going for walks, camping, scavenger hunts and hanging out with friends. What biofriendly activities did you enjoy as a kid? I bet you would still enjoy many of those today. Give it a try – unplug and reconnect with life.