How many times have you told your children to unplug and get off technology?
The American Pediatric Association recommends that your kid only spend about 2 hours of their time on electronic devices, and that includes their TV time too. So, do you ever wonder what the guidelines are for parents, and what is a healthy amount of time to spend on technology?
If you’ve been a parent for long, then you know that your children will throw up in your face that you are addicted to technology too. While you try to hold your composure and prove a point, you must admit they’re right, but you parent for what’s best for their growth and don’t always consider your health needs. The only difference between you and your child is that you don’t have to answer to anyone.
There’s no one standing over your shoulder telling you when you can and cannot connect to the world wide web. However, you must consider the needs of your body and the stress level that being connected 24/7 does to your mental health.
The Daily Presence of Electronic Devices
Many experts call the plethora of electronic devices available today timewasters, and they do take so much time that could be used for something else. Have you ever kept track of how much time you spend on your cell phone checking your email or texting back and forth? What’s shocking is the average person spends about 5 hours on their cell phone each day, according to a study referenced on Kommando Tech.
How many times have you said that you wished that you have more hours in the day because you cannot get everything done? Well, maybe you can’t get everything done because you’re wasting time scrolling social media, texting friends, and doomsday surfing the latest news. Thankfully, you can add a few more hours into your day by simply unplugging a bit more.
What if you have dedicated times where the whole family unplugs? What would you do with all that extra time? How would it impact your life if you took an electronics sabbatical occasionally?
Why You Should Unplug for A Weekend?
If you need reasons why you and your family should unplug for a few days, here is a good list. There are scientific rationales and personal ones why it’s good to take a break from technology. What do you have to lose if you try it?
1. If You Unplug, It Lowers Your Stress Levels
Many people don’t realize that the source of much of their stress can come from being attached to a phone. You can never get away from people as you’re always a phone call or text away. You can lower your stress levels if you turn off the devices and spend more time in nature.
Your vitamin D levels are probably low if you’re inside too much anyway. A little sunshine won’t hurt you, and it can help your overall health.
2. Lower Stress Means Better Mental Health
One of the most devastating effects of stress on the body is it can deplete your mental resources. When you’re always under angst, your body feels the pain. Your blood pressure can elevate as well as your glucose levels.
You need to unplug and rest your mind. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when you can relax and not worry about the next email or text you need to answer.
3. You Can Reset Your Passions When You Unplug Once in a While
How long has it been since you grabbed a pen and paper and sat down and wrote your goals? Why not sit with your spouse and reset your passions without the use of technology? One of the reasons why so many marriages fail is because people stop dreaming together and get stuck in a rut.
Put the spice back in your relationship by making exciting plans for all your tomorrows. It’s fun to sit back and dream together, and you don’t need a cord connected at your side to have fun with your spouse.
4. Unplug to Have More Time to Get Things Done
If you spend five hours a day on technology, which is a basic estimate, you could have an extra 10-15 hours over the weekend if you unplug. Now, what could you do with all that time? Maybe you could try your hand at painting a masterpiece that you’ve always wanted to do.
What if you bake some goodies with the children? There are so many things you can get involved in that the options are limitless.
5. Enjoy the Art of Face-to-Face Communication
One of the biggest pet peeves of many individuals is trying to have a conversation, and the other person is looking down at their phone. Think of all the amazing stories you’ve missed because you weren’t paying attention.
Your friends and family would love to spend time with you without your device in tow. Sometimes, a good, old-fashioned conversation is so much better than a text.
6. Get More Sleep
How many times do you lay down to go to sleep, but you can’t sleep because you’re scrolling social media? Social media is addicting, and since there are so many sites these days, it’s easy to spend hours of your sleep time being entertained. Thankfully, when you unplug for a weekend, you can catch up on your rest.
All the lights from these devices take a toll on your eyes. Eye strain is a severe problem, and the blue lights are what’s responsible for this strain.
When you turn off the devices, you will be amazed at how much better your eyes feel. You won’t need all those rewetting drops from eye fatigue either.
8. Focus on Personal Relationships
When is the last time that you played a game with your spouse or children? Not a game over the internet, but you played an old-fashioned board game. When’s the last time you went on a scavenger hunt, took the family to the lake to fish, or played tag in the back yard?
There are so many things that you can do to enhance your relationships that don’t require an electronic device.
9. Can Improve Your Creativity
What happened to people using their brains to create things? Now, everyone hops on social media and copies ideas from other people.
You don’t need some DIY master on TV or a video online to tell you how to be creative. When you unplug and think for yourself, minus any distractions, you will be amazed at what you discover.
10. Improve Physical Health When You Unplug
Your physical health can only improve when you remove electronics. Why is it such an issue? Well, you know it can cause anxiety, but also, when you’re on a device, you’re sedentary. You need to take a walk, run around the track, do a few miles on a treadmill, and ride your bike. You don’t need a cell phone or other device to do these things.
11. Enhances Decision Making
When you have decisions, you need to make in life, you need to do them without any hindrance from the outside. If you’re contemplating buying a new home, you may be turned off when you see the news and all the drama in the world. What happens in your home should not be contingent upon the rest of the world.
Sure, it has some bearing, but you don’t need all these outlying factors to influence your steps. Sometimes, you just need to put on some mood music, like some candles, and be alone with your thoughts. This is the best way to solve problems.
12. Cultivate Healthy Habits
Finally, once you unplug for a weekend, you may find that you love how it feels. Why not schedule these technology-free days regularly? While your children may not like the idea at first, they may warm up to the idea if they realize that it means they have more of your attention. You may be surprised when you see how much fun it is to spend talking to people without texts dinging and emails pouring in.
The first thing you probably thought when you saw this article is that you can never go without your cell phone. What if there is an emergency? There are some things to consider when you unplug. However, you must realize that unplugging doesn’t mean you can’t use your phone; it just means you’re turning it off for general use.
If you don’t think that you can go 2-3 days without your devices, start smaller. Maybe you should just give them up for a few hours or even one day. This electronic sabbatical is more about exploring your other interest and making time for the relationships that require your undivided attention.
Plus, if you have health problems because your job is calling and texting 24/7, this may be a way to save your mental health. Stress can kill you, and before it takes you out, it will make you physically sick. Why not try a weekend without your devices and see how much better you think, look, and feel?