Disconnect to reconnect
Nowadays, the technology we have at our disposal is superior to the one NASA had when they sent the first man to the moon. What didn’t exist in our lives until recent years has now become a crucial part of our day-to-day. At an arm’s reach, we have access to a variety of digital gadgets, whether it’s a smart phone, computer, tablet or a television. Living in a digital era has many advantages and without a doubt, we have to appreciate the conveniences they provide. Technology advances to make our lives simpler, easier and effective. However, having a mobile phone at hand at all times, aside from the side effects that some experts warn they may cause, and of the impact they have on our productivity, can also be detrimental to our mental health and balance.
We live in an era of hyper-connectedness. The amount of hours a user spends on average looking at the phone is of 2 hours and 42 minutes a day, tapping the screen a total of 2,617 times a day. Those who are more addicted can spend over 4 hours a day on their phone. This is time taken out of our work hours and personal life, leaving little time to dedicate to activities that are beneficial to our health and our personal growth.
As a result of these habits, our brain doesn’t have time to switch off, and is constantly bombarded with information that doesn’t allow us to be more introspective, as we tend to focus on what’s happening outside rather than taking care ourselves on the inside. Our capacity to focus and concentrate also ends up being affected by interrupting our daily activities every 12 minutes (according to the statistics) checking our phone.
Having a healthier relationship with technology doesn’t require radical changes. It’s about changing certain habits to become less dependent on digital gadgets and spend more time connecting with yourself and the world around you. Vacations are an excellent time, taking advantage of the fact that our work obligations are on hold, to start what we call a digital detox. Holidays are supposed to be about disconnecting, recharging your energy and spending valuable time with your loved ones. All of this can’t be done in its full potential if half of the time is spent looking at a phone screen. It’s the ideal time to disconnect from our digital devices, making a conscious effort to leave them aside, focusing instead on enjoying conversations without distractions or interruptions, reading a good book, practicing sports outdoors, meditating, cooking nice meals, going on walks, swimming, listening to music, and most of all, being mindful and present in whatever we’re doing.
Ultimately, disconnecting to reconnect with ourselves.
Vicepresident of SHA