Social media and digital communication are amongst our most valuable tools in the modern age, providing a wealth of knowledge and a connection to a wider world. But they can also prove unhealthy if misused or overused. Productivity can suffer in both the workplace and life itself and social networks offer an open forum for many who wish to vent their negative energies, which can be contagious and damaging. Someone’s bad day on Facebook shouldn’t become yours, but it can happen – whether you realise it or not.
Now, we hope this has opened your eyes a little bit to the consequences of abusing your tech and we don’t expect you to completely power down and go live in a forest far away from any plug sockets (who’d read our blog?) But there are ways to curb these digital habits which could be affecting you IRL (“in real life”).
Renowned American author, motivational speaker and podcaster Brendon Burchard believes that “people have become addicted to their devices, their technology and tools in such a way that it is stripping away their humanity” and has written an article for his blog called The Charged Life in which he offers some enlightening steps on “How to Unplug” –
1. Don’t check email the first hour of your day. When you do check it, have an intention for how long and what must be accomplished. The inbox is nothing but a convenient organizing system of other people’s agendas. So, beware jumping into the sinkhole that is your inbox during the first hours of the day – it can only lead to a reactive life. Instead, stretch or workout, think, eat well, then sit down and plan your day as if your time were as valuable … because it is.
2. Don’t look at tv, social media or email 90 minutes before bedtime.
3. Walk outside 30-45 minutes per day without your phone.
4. Take several “digital diet” days per month, where you don’t look at anything digital whatsoever.
5. Don’t look at your phone during meals or when interacting with – gasp – a human.
Burchard’s full article is a really interesting read and is available on his website where you’ll also find a video based on the above steps – or if you’d rather, there’s also a podcast you can listen to through iTunes.
We think that it’s really worth investing some time in learning How to Unplug because you never know when you might find yourself in a situation without your beloved WiFi or access to favourite communication apps such as Skype or WhatsApp.
Think of this as a survival guide!