The Big Switch Off

This is an issue that I think is definitely important to discuss, especially in this day and age. I originally wrote this post for my University newspaper, The Spark, but I thought it would be good to bring the blogosphere’s attention to this as well. Especially with us embarking onto the new year, if you have resolutions, try adding this one onto the list!

Most people – including children – spend at least nine hours watching TV, online, or talking on the phone, as recent research suggests. Given we live in an age not only obsessed but dependent on technology and the online world, this is hardly surprising.

Photo by: Nimra Imran
Photo by: Nimra Imran

Technology, in all shapes and forms, demands a high price from us, despite its plethora of benefits making our lives easier on a daily basis. Countless studies show our ever increasing dependency on media is debilitating. Technology is impacting our ability to create meaningful relationships, attention span, and generating the false expectation that we should be contactable every minute of the day. The intimacy of conversation and the integrity of relationships seems to be compromised by quick and cold forms of communication everyone around us has accustomed to. It seems that the more technological advances we make the further we drift from engagement with the real world.

However, detaching ourselves from technology is indefinitely easier said than done. Many of us would no longer be able to do our jobs without the aid of computers, phones and personal digital assistants. Alas, therein lies the problem; when we leave work or school, technology follows closely on our heels in a constant stream of Facebook updates, Instagram notifications, tweets, text messages and email. It would seem we are utterly addicted and fixated on the gods of information.

The challenge? Take a Tech Sabbath. Shut down your computers, turn off the phones, click off the televisions and just switch off. Make sure to give yourself at least twenty-four hours, preferably from sunrise to sundown. Then dedicate your time to anything you like; go for a walk, read a new book, get that spring cleaning done, paint the shed, go on a new adventure, the possibilities are endless when you have all the time in the world far away from technology’s distractions. Take up new challenges and rediscover old hobbies.

But, like any other challenge, taking a break from technology will require practice and patience, but you might find it rewarding and even a chance to reconnect with yourself. After all, you will have all the time in the world…

Tech Sabbath Day: 4-5 March 2016

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