The world around us is moving at warp speed. We are connected to everyone we’ve ever met in our lives via Facebook, we are watching news unfold in real time on Twitter, watching our friends at music festivals on Snapchat, and examining the lunch selections of people nearby on Instagram. We panic and freak out when we spend even 5 minutes away from our phones, laptops, and tablets. I understand that this is the “age of information” but I have to wonder, what would happen if we didn’t panic? What would you do with your 5 minutes?
Recently I have been thinking about and feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information we are consuming daily. Typically we are switching between the same three apps all day, we are checking so and so’s Facebook and making comparisons, texting 8 people and are in 3 different group chats, and refreshing our preferred news site. Check, refresh, repeat. Lost in all the “FOMO” we have lost the ability to be social. We no longer have good conversation at our dinner tables or at bars with our friends. The more missed texts, phone calls, emails and notifications the higher our anxiety. So how do we fix this? How we take back our relationships with other people and most importantly ourselves? I have narrowed down a few steps that I am challenging myself and everyone out there in cyberspace to do. After you’ve read this blog of course.
- Keep regular business hours
- Since our devices are now super glued to our hands and wrists it’s much easier to answer work email from home or on weekends. I have three words, It Can Wait. Seriously, unless you are getting a 911 from the office you need to take this time for yourself. Keep work at work.
- Delete Social Media Apps
- Obsessively checking how many likes your status or page has received? The solutions to that is easy, just delete the app. You won’t be tempted to check the app if the conversation lulls or the silence is uncomfortable. Be okay with the silence and comfortable just inside your own head.
- Rethink your Data package
- Going over our data plans is really expensive. If you are super serious about cutting down on the amount of time you’re plugged in, lower your data package by a gig. The only time we learn our lesson is when it affects our bottom line.
- Push Notifications
- Do we really need to be alerted every time someone likes, comments or emails you. When you really think about it, probably not. Turn off your push notifications!
I am challenging everyone to try and unplug. I am not saying to unplug for 7 hours a day and use it as an excuse to not get your work done. I’m saying that when you are at dinner with friends or family lean in and really listen. You might learn something about them you never knew before. Spend time alone with yourself and your thoughts, make some time for you. Let’s reconnect with ourselves, people, and the community around us.
Stanton Street is a web design and website development firm in El Paso, Texas specializing in Websites, Intranets, Extranets, SEO/SEM, Website Analytics, Email Protection and Email Newsletters. Designing and developing websites since 1999.