Most of us are chained to our devices. Computers, cell phones, tablets... and the list goes on. Don't get me wrong, technology can be great and makes our lives easier in a lot of ways. But, I think we can get "hooked" and lose a lot of valuable time scrolling, posting and scanning emails. It can add to our stress and lead to constantly comparing ourselves with others. I think we also use technology as a way to distract ourselves - from the present, from our thoughts and from our feelings. For example, I love listening to podcasts while I'm driving, doing dishes or folding laundry (rather than actually focusing on the particular task at hand).*
A few days ago, I started wondering what would happen if (outside of doing work that had to be done one my computer and phone) I took a mini, one day break from constantly checking my devices and obsessively listening to podcasts when I was driving or doing housework. So I tried it.
It was very quiet. It was very calm. Time moved more slowly. I spent more time in the present moment, being mindful of the tasks in front of me and the interactions I was having with my family. I kept noticing that I didn't feel as rushed as I usually do. I also had more time to just think and process things that happened in my day.
What is the takeaway?
My mini digital detox helped me to slow down and just be in the present moment. I think it also reduced my stress levels by allowing me to focus rather than constantly rushing and trying to multi-task.
Try it for yourself, you might be surprised at how calm and peaceful you feel without your devices!
*One interesting study, Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind, suggests that I am not alone in preferring to distract myself with technology rather than be alone with my thoughts. In the study, participants were given the choice of sitting quietly for 15 minutes with no distractions or giving themselves an electric shock. More than two-thirds of the men and one-fourth of the women chose shocks over sitting in silence.