7 Unexpected Benefits of Unplugging from Technology
It’s become the norm to be forever plugged into the internet, TV, text messaging, social media, Netflix, video games and all sorts of other electronic indulgences these days.
Unfortunately, living responsibly in a digital world isn’t easy. The convenience of technology has led many to adopt bad habits that can be difficult to break, depending on how extreme they are and how long they’ve held them.
Unplugging is often a struggle at first, but the benefits are worth it if you can get past the uncomfortable stage in the beginning. Besides the main benefit of being able to enjoy much more free time, here are seven other wonderful and lesser-known perks you’ll notice from making the decision to unplug regularly.
1. Energy bill savings.
It may not be much, but the average desktop computer that’s left plugged in all day and every day for an entire year will cost you at least $50 a year. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, electronic machines and devices left on standby account for about 5 to 10 percent of your energy bill.
2. Increased awareness of your surroundings.
When you unplug, what you’re really doing is banishing a major distraction. You may begin to notice small details in people, things and places that you never really noticed before, possibly because your brain had previously gotten used to being overloaded with stimulation from technology.
3. Reduced body pain.
Ever heard of “text neck” or “tech neck”? That’s the new lingo people are using to describe the strain you put on your neck and spine from glaring down at your smartphone or computer monitor for so long. With no screens to look at from unplugging, you’ll be able to enjoy better posture, less aches and tightness in all your muscles and zero digital strain on your eyes.
4. Better quality of sleep.
Speaking of giving your eyes a break, you should be able to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for most of the night. The human circadian rhythm depends on darkness to prepare for sleep, which can be disrupted by light-emitting devices. You’ll be doing your body a huge favor by unplugging completely at least an hour before bed.
5. Improved memory retention and mood.
Even just unplugging for a day once a week is enough to give your brain a reboot, which can improve your memory and lift your mood. With less time spent being a slave to technological stimulation, you’ll have more time to focus on doing activities that can grow your brain cells—such as indulging in an enjoyable hobby, visiting a new place, having new experiences or going for a relaxing walk.
6. Enhanced productivity.
You’d think that you need constant access to your social notifications, your email inbox, a bunch of tabs open in your web browser and all sorts of other things to be more productive. But it’s really the accumulation of interruptions of those things stealing away your ability to get things done. Any time you’re interrupted from a work-related task by something from your phone or computer, it can take as long as 45 minutes for the brain to refocus.
7. Satisfaction in simply enjoying being in the moment.
When something interesting starts happening, what’s your first reaction? Do you pull out your phone and start snapping photos or begin texting your friends about it? When you unplug, you’re essentially forcing yourself to be more present. A natural side effect of unplugging is that you stop missing out on what you should be enjoying for yourself, rather than trying to tell everyone on social media about it.
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Photo Credit: Luke Wroblewski