Seriously! So many people are glued to their computers, iPhones, TVs ALL DAY LONG. They don’t even really know how to talk to each other anymore. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they say LOL or IDK? Really?? Actually laughing or saying ‘I don’t know’ doesn’t take more effort.
I’m probably a hypocrite for giving you this advice because I spend most of my day between my phone and my computer, doing work. Even Madeline knows that I spend a good chunk of my day on the ‘conkuter’. I am working, reaching out to clients, responding to emails and text messages, placing orders for my essential oil business. But I am not rotting my brain or my body on all the other crap.
I’m fired up about this because it seems like we Americans keep getting fatter and fatter, and lazier and lazier, and it scares me! Where are we going to be in 20 years if we’re all constantly glued to our technology? Like those people in the movie, Wall-e, who speak to the person next to them on a screen in front of them instead of turning their head, and can hardly walk when they get out of their chairs??!! We all need a technology and information detox. Here’s what I want you to do:
Turn off the news
My husband makes fun of me for not knowing what’s going on, but the news is stupid. Do I REALLY need to know about the guy from 10 that just killed his whole family? Do I need to know about every car accident and murder that’s happened in the world? The news has become so sensationalized anyway, you never know if what they’re telling you is the truth. If something big is happening, I’ll hear about it. I’ll read it on Facebook or friends will tell me about it.
Turn off the TV
Yes, Madeline watches movies, but they’re on her iPad. There’s just so much crap on TV, stuff that I don’t want her to see, stuff that I really don’t want to see either, it’s hardly worth turning it on. Reality shows are like a sociology experiment gone wrong - do I REALLY CARE if some goofball ‘survives’ on a desert island? Please - SURVIVE???!!! In 30 days on that show, they’ve still eaten more than the average person in India has. Gimme a break. Is THAT what you want to spend your time on?? Watching someone pretend they’re acting ‘natural’ while actually being scripted and directed to have a temper tantrum? Shouldn’t you be out walking or playing catch with your kid in the front yard? The only time I watch TV is for a few specific shows that I like to watch, as I’m winding down for the night. Other than that, the TV is off.
Turn off the computer
Whether you’re in an office or working from home, it is so easy to spend the entire day sitting in front of a screen. Not only is it hard on your eyes, your brain is being constantly stimulated by the light. And if you’re following your Twitter or Facebook feed, you’re being over-stimulated by the constant influx of information. Whether you work for someone else or for yourself, force yourself to find a stopping point and then shut it off! Take a walk around the block, find a spin class to take, go read a book! Your Facebook feed will be there in the morning. I promise.
Turn off your phone
I admit, I am one of those people that will leave my cell phone on the dinner table - and I will look at it while I’m eating with my family, if I don’t turn it off. Every time I get out of a workout or a class, anything that I can’t have my phone with me, I have to check my phone. All day long, I am answering texts, emails, phone calls. I get nervous and can’t sleep if I go to bed without responding to people who have contacted me. Yes. I know. I’m obsessed. That is why I HAVE to turn it off. I force to wait 30 minutes after I get up to check my phone - it gives me a little peace before my day really gets going. And when it’s time to put Madeline to bed, I turn it off for the night, to guarantee that she and the rest of my family have my undivided attention. Just… put the phone down and walk away from it! Cover it up with something if you really have to keep it out of sight to stay off it. Give it to your spouse! I bet they’ll help you forget where it is!!!
Take a wifi vacay
It is amazing how relaxed you get when you don’t have any gadgets constantly going off in your face. A girl on my marketing team recently had a weekend at a cabin in the mountains, where there was no wifi or cell signal. It took hours for her ears to stop ringing and her eyes to adjust to natural light and she slept better than she had in months, without the constant bombardment of technology. But you don’t have to go to the mountains to get that peace. Just… shut everything off! Sure, your friends will miss you if you’re not there for every single post - won’t it be fun to catch up when the vacation is over?
Your body and mind deserve to unplug from the steady flow of information thanks to technology. Your family and friends deserve your undivided attention.
I’ve just given you some suggestions for how to do an information detox. How do you unplug?
By Hayley Hobson
With her unique specialization in the combination and complement of pilates, nutrition and yoga, Hayley offers a cocktail of lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results. Hayley is a columnist for Elephant Journal and has been featured in Pilates Style Magazine, Natural Health Magazine and Triathlete Magazine. She currently lives in Boulder, CO with her husband, former world-ranked triathlete, Wes Hobson and their two beautiful daughters, Makenna and Madeline. Read more about Hayley and check out her new book at HayleyHobson.com
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