Opinion

Unplug and Unwind

Unplug Unwind 1Technology has taken our society by storm and it is highly unlikely that it hasn’t influenced some aspect of our lives. We rely on devices so much more than we ever did in the past. Currently, our cell phones have become our GPS, music players, communication devices, and gaming devices all in one. It is no wonder why we spend so much time on them.

However, there are some drawbacks that make us want to cut the cord and unplug from time to time. We have scaled back on face to face interactions and experience a great deal of anxiety due to our usage of social media.

It’s a different time in terms of face to face communication. It’s hard not to notice the numerous amounts of people that sit on their phones while they are out to eat that are not even speaking to the person right in front of them. Even before we start our 8:30 a.m. class many people are texting on their phones with Airpods stuck in their ears. People are choosing not to socialize and instead isolate themselves on their devices.

As a society, we tend to spend more time at home streaming Netflix and Hulu than out with friends. It makes one sit back and wonder what it would be like just to take a hiatus and re-shift our focus on something more productive. You would have much more time for joking with friends or working on that art project you have been procrastinating for months. Your free time is much freer without the constant usage of technology.

Another downside that should be addressed is the effect that technology has on our self-esteem. Social media is the worst culprit of this. It unfortunately gives us the ability to constantly compare ourselves to others.

Unplug Unwind 2

We are constantly seeking immediate self-validation in the form of likes or retweets. We, unnaturally, have the ability to see what that girl from history class three years ago is doing now and we feel like we should be going on vacations like her even though our budget doesn’t allow it.

Our minds become mush because of this constant comparison. We feel like we need to make ourselves look the best on social media. We want people to believe our lives are amazing and people should envy us. Social media gives off this fake reality that we need to constantly keep up with, even if we tell ourselves we know better. So, should we keep letting this drag us down?

The short answer is no, we do not. We need to muster up the courage to say, “I need headspace back and technology is not benefiting me.” Unplugging is basically a reset for our brains. The way we use technology has become an addiction, so cutting back usage might have to happen in small doses for some people. Maybe you can cut back an hour a day watching YouTube videos or only avoid using Instagram.

Luckily, there are applications that can monitor your use on all these platforms to make this easier to track. You could, also, go the extreme route of cutting everything out cold turkey. This would mean only using your cell phone for emergency calls.

Either way, we will gain a new perspective on our current media usage and how we want to use it moving forward. It is a scary yet rewarding form of self-care that we can all benefit from.

PHOTOS TAKEN by Lauren Salois and Hunter Goldberg