What The Tech: Unplugging
CHARLOTTE – We’ve all seen the statistics. Children spend up to 9 hours a day looking at screens. 30% of adults say they’re almost constantly online. There’s really no debate anymore. We’re spending too much time on our devices and social media.
“We are so immersed in the digital environment, we don’t even realize how much it’s affecting us,” says Catherine Price, the author of “How to Break Up With Your Phone” and “The Power of Fun”.
Price says most people know, deep down they need a break from social media but it’s hard to walk away from endless streams of videos, posts, and photos. A break, she says, will shed some light on how it makes you feel.
“One of the most wonderful ways about taking 24 hours to step away from technology is so that you can understand how it’s affecting you both in positive and negative ways, and then start fresh.”
What makes taking a screen break so difficult Price says, is that we’ve forgotten how to fill that time with something else. And just saying “I’ll cut back” doesn’t cut it.
“Just remember that willpower is a terrible way to change a habit,” Price says.”You have to have a reason to spend less time on the phone. You’ve got to tap into things in life that bring you that feeling of energy, joy, and nourishment and you’re not going to want the stuff on your phone. It’s like realizing there’s really delicious food out there and all you’ve been eating is junk.”
Price’s second book, “The Power of Fun” uncovers a secret of life post-social media. Prioritizing fun in the real world. Being around other people. Doing things that bring joy. Having fun doing things you used to do before the iPhone and social media came along. Go outside. Put together a puzzle. Read a book. It doesn’t require spending a lot of money or going on a vacation. Just find something fun to do without a phone.
“It’s an amazing alternative,” Price says. “In reality everybody, we’re going to die someday and i don’t think you’re going to encounter anybody on their deathbed who’s like ‘I really really wish I spent more time on TikTok.”
Cutting back or taking a total break from screens and social media requires being intentional to find that ‘fun’. Unplugging from social media and the internet is a lot like a unplugging a lamp. It’ll still work when you plug it back in.
Global Day of Unplugging, previously known as the National Day of Unplugging is the first
Friday in March. This year it begins at sundown on March 3rd and lasts through sundown Saturday, March 4th.