Shayna Schmidt | July 1, 2018
Here at Livekick, we obviously love technology. But we acknowledge that sometimes our gadgets become our enemies instead of our friends.
Tell us if this sounds familiar...
You wake up to the blaring of your phone’s alarm. When you hit “stop,” you also notice the 7 notifications you have. You start answering your friends’ texts, as well as the one from your boss. Can’t let him think you’re not working at 6am, after all. You may as well also check that Facebook notification. Oh, and see if you got any likes on the Instagram post you put up last night of your cat.
You hop in the shower, leaving your phone on the bathroom sink. Upon exiting the shower, after cursing your iPhone for making you actually type in your passcode since your thumb is too wet to unlock via thumbprint, you scroll through your inbox. On your commute, you get in a solid 15 minutes of Instagram stalking. You work on your computer from 9am to 6pm, all the while texting your loved ones when you have free time. After dinner, you find yourself reaching for your phone again to see how many new Instagram followers you have, and/or to see if your ex posted any pictures of the cruise she’s currently on with new beau yet.
Can you relate? We thought so. You may be in need of a digital detox.
For many of us, being connected is a necessity. Whether you’re running your own business or reporting to a demanding boss, the lines between personal time and professional are increasingly blurred. In addition, our addiction to technology is fueling the need to always be plugged in—leading to feelings of stress, depression and depletion. We may want to disconnect, yet find the idea overwhelming. While using your phone for personal training sessions is a healthy technology use, you may be using your tech in some unhealthy ways. Here are some tips for conditioning ourselves to unplug a bit, perhaps leaving the plugging in for the times when it’s MOST serving us.
Digital detox tips
- In Blake Snow’s book, Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting, he discusses the four burners theory: family, friends, health, and work are the burners. Anything that is not essential to these can (and should) be removed. "That means no alerts, beeps, buzzes, or notifications of any kind, perhaps with the exception of voicemails for emergencies." But Blake notes that "most emergencies are imagined." By instituting these practices and removing distractions, we focus on what really matters and make better use of our time.
- Deal with your inbox. Delete the emails that don’t serve a purpose. Don’t get stuck in the number of emails yet to be answered—if it was important, you would have taken care of it already.
- Ask "why" when you pull out your phone. Sure, our smartphones are amazing tools for finding answers, keeping in touch with friends, or even checking the time. But more often than we think, we use our phones to distract, to avoid, or to ignore whatever is happening right in front of us. Instead of pushing down our anxiety—perhaps when we're sitting alone or just feeling alone with a group of people—we can choose not to use our phones as a security blanket. Then we remember how to be present and grateful for the moment.
- Don’t be afraid to disappear from social media for a while! Delete the apps from your phone and take periodic breaks once a month, or once every few months if that’s less scary. Show yourself you don’t need Instagram to feel happy. Even if you didn’t post about it, it DID still happen!
- We know that the urge to engage with social media can be hard to break, so don’t be afraid to enlist the help of loved ones. If you feel like you’re really getting addicted to Instagram scrolling, tell your friends or partner—anyone you spend most of your time with. That partner of yours can make sure to remind you of those feelings you expressed, and then call you out (kindly, hopefully) when he or she sees you stuck on the ’gram.
- Prove to yourself that certain apps can actually be used to show you that tech does NOT have to be a distraction! Take apps like Headspace and Livekick. Headspace provides guided meditation for you to follow-- you simply hit play on your phone and then you leave the phone alone as you close your eyes and become transported to visualization land. With Livekick, you connect with your personal trainer and then you do not touch your phone ONCE during your whole session. Imagine that! A workout session uninterrupted by texting! All you have to do is listen to your trainer’s voice and watch his or her demonstrations. Boom. Defying those traditional tech stereotypes.
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