8 Sure Signs It’s Time for a Tech Detox

This past summer I visited Yosemite National Park for the first time. And yes, as cliche as it sounds, it was truly the most stunningly majestic landscape I have ever experienced. Every vista literally struck me with a deep and profound sense of awe. But, when I turned to exclaim my awe to one of the dozens of tourists surrounding me, I was disheartened to realize that nearly every other person around me had a smartphone in front of their face.

That’s right, 3 out of 4 people around me were filtering this truly awesome experience through a screen.

Here is the issue. If you are going to drive to Yosemite, shouldn’t you indulge in it? You can look at it through a screen anytime on the internet. Anytime, 24/7, you can open your web browser and see one of the holiest lands nature has to offer. But actually being there, don’t you want to actually appreciate the intricate sights, smells and sounds of each pristine moment with your own senses? Unfortunately, when you experience life through a screen, you are not truly experiencing life. You are not living in the moment, you are living in the mediocre social media afterglow.

I am all for documenting significant moments with photos and videos. Social media can be a great thing. But it is so incredibly easy for us to become addicted to these little rectangles of blue light. They are comfortable. They are safe. They are instantly gratifying and endlessly entertaining. But they are stealing away the most precious moments of our lives. We are addicted to technology, and our lives are becoming less rich and fulfilling because of it.

How can you tell if your use of technology has become unhealthy? Here are 8 ways to tell if you are in need of a technology detox:

  1. Your posture has devolved. You slump in seats. Your posture is continually hunched. Your shoulders round forward. You have back, neck or even wrist pain.
  2. You plan social media into your life. Are you doing things simply because it would make your social media feed look better? Are you always on the lookout for the subject of your next Instagram or Facebook post?
  3. You often look at interesting things through a screen. All of your coolest experiences are had with a phone in hand. You try to record everything, from the inane to the insane, in photos and videos. You have thousands of pictures of day to day life stored on your phone or computer.
  4. You can’t make it through a meal without looking at your phone. In fact, it is probably on the table right next to you.
  5. You feel pressured to reply to every text immediately. Texting sometimes even takes priority over person-to-person talking.
  6. You’ve lost track of your passions and hobbies. When was the last time you did that thing you loved? Or do you just spend most of your time on the internet nowadays?
  7. You haven’t read an article from beginning to end in a long time. The internet floods us with interesting and enticing articles. When was the last time you actually stayed put on the internet long enough to read a whole one, from start to finish?
  8. Scrolling through other people’s social media feeds makes you feel inadequate and insecure about your own life. Because looking at the manicured highlights of everyone else’s life without any of the ugly stuff is enough to make anyone question their self-worth.

Many of us are at least a little addicted to technology, so it is a great, mindful practice to detox and reground yourself regularly. To detox, simply set aside an hour or more each day (or as often as you can) when you are entirely away from technology. That means no email, no internet, no phone, no smart watches, no tablets. Read a book, take a hike, cook a homemade meal. Just spend time with yourself without the distraction of buzzes and bings coming from your devices.

(But that doesn’t mean you’re 100 percent off the grid. If you are going to be away from your phone for an extended period, arrange a system to let your friends and family know how best to contact you in case of an emergency. A landline could be a good choice, or they could contact a neighbor or significant other who might be able to get a message to you. Always make sure you are safe, first and foremost.)

By giving yourself a technology-free zone, be it a specific room, a time or an activity, you are retraining yourself to enjoy the humble-yet-magnificent stimulations life has to offer. Sure, maybe there are no Pokemon lurking around the park in real life, but there are birdsongs, laughter and hot cups of good coffee to be enjoyed. If you free yourself from your technology addiction and feel awe for the world around you, you won’t think twice about forgetting to photograph and share this morning’s latte on Instagram. And you certainly won’t take a place like Yosemite for granted.

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172 comments

Melania P
Melania Padilla26 days ago

Agree, thank you!

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Jim V
Jim Ven2 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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joan s
joan silaco2 months ago

constantly on social media can dehumanize you. use it as a tool, but don't live by it. i don't live by computer alone!

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FOTEINI c
FOTEINI horbou3 months ago

once you start forget things or car/home keys drop tech immediately!

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Roberto MARINI
Roberto M3 months ago

THANKS FOR SHARING THIS ARTICLE

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Carl R
Carl R3 months ago

Thanks!!!!

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Richard A
Richard A3 months ago

Thank you for this article and tips.

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Sandra V
Sandra Vito3 months ago

Thanks

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Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago

I don't like the fact that people are so addicted to their phones/text. People don't really pay as much attention to those around them with that distraction. I don't like phone use at the table during meal time!!! That is rude!

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