I’m grateful that I grew up without a phone in my pocket.
Life before the internet, social media, email, or apps galore was slower and more simple. Gratification was less instant. Photos had to be developed to be seen. Phones were plugged into the wall.
Today, it seems we are surrounded by a society captivated by screens and virtual reality.
One of my best friends from home still uses a flip phone and has never joined Facebook. She owns multiple record players and a VCR—seriously. While I admire her analog lifestyle, and appreciate my own quasi-hermit lifestyle in the woods, I also value using the internet for business and communication.
The key is balance and moderation. I have gone through phases, in the past several years since tablets and smartphones have become ubiquitous, in which I have definitely been too attached to my devices. Checking Facebook and email compulsively. Playing Candy Crush and similar games to fill my free time with mindless entertainment. Developing an unhealthy attachment to my Google calendar and task lists.
I’m glad to have dropped these bad habits. I still use a smartphone and computer almost daily, but have learned how to turn them off and put them away at designated times, opting instead to read a book with my daughter, gaze at the trees and sky for awhile, or have a cup of tea and conversation with my hubby.
The Technological Middle Path
Take a moment and reflect on the times throughout the day when you pull your phone out for no real reason. Sitting in traffic or waiting rooms, or after a class or a shift at work? Workout time, lunch break, or while running errands around town?Imagine that you don’t have a phone and cannot default to this common activity. Would you feel anxious, liberated, or something else?
Imagine the feelings that would arise from searching for your phone and not finding it.If anxiety comes up just by visualizing your phone having been lost, broken, or stolen, there’s a good chance you could benefit from a complete break from internet technology, otherwise known as a digital detox.