|Disconnect, Recharge and Inspire;
How Electronics Influence Wellness
You see it all the time: a young couple out to dinner, sitting across from each other with their smart phones in hand, barely speaking a word to each other as they browse Facebook or check their emails. Not only are they missing out on the importance of interpersonal communication, but they are also being incredibly rude to each other without knowing it. Although there are benefits to being accessible via mobile devices, constantly checking social media sites and emails eventually becomes an addiction.
We lose focus on the life and people in front of us and give signals to our loved ones that they are not as important as the people at the other end of the mobile phone. Occasionally disconnecting from electronic devices and the temptation that accompanies them can be a refreshing way to refocus on the important things in our lives. If you follow a few tips, you too can experience the benefits.
One of the main benefits of disconnecting from mobile technology is that you can focus on yourself. In this day and age, since we are always available, we may feel the need to respond to emails and text messages as soon as we see our little lights flashing. We feel guilty for “ignoring” someone when we allow ourselves time to just sit and relax. The longer we ignore that flashing light, the guiltier we feel. This unnecessary guilt is not good for our well-being, both mentally and physically. The stress of constantly feeling needed can be exhausting. Many people may find if they tell themselves to avoid responding to emails and texts for a certain amount of time, it can be difficult at first, but eventually becomes easier and even something that they look forward to.
Although many companies appreciate the fact that their employees can be accessed via a mobile device at any time of the day, a few companies are proving to believe the opposite. Companies like Volkswagen have experimented with shutting off their email server a half hour before and after their employees’ shifts to eliminate the “tic” that their employees tend to have of constantly checking their phones. Some companies are learning that there is an important element of group discussion missing in the workforce and that there is a value in working collectively together. They also find that their employees are more productive after having a certain amount of downtime to recharge.
You can apply the same values to your personal life as well and improve interpersonal relationships. Setting your device down for a couple hours at a time not only helps you, but also helps those around you who may depend on you and need your personal attention. If it seems like a daunting task, try slowly weaning yourself off of your addiction for a small amount of time and then gradually increasing the time as you go. Whenever someone is speaking to you, be sure to give the person your full attention.
Another benefit of disconnecting is better sleep quality. Being plugged in 24/7 can keep you from both falling asleep and sleeping soundly. The best way to have restful night is to turn off all your electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime and leave them out of the bedroom altogether. You may be amazed at the benefits to your health and wellness.