As I start writing this post, it’s 9pm, I have my laptop on my knee, my tablet on my left, my phone on my right and I’m watching One Born Every Minute on tv. That’s crazy right? When my laptop runs out of battery, no doubt I’ll pick up my tablet and endlessly scroll through social media or check up on my farm until I go to bed. It happens most nights, and that’s a problem.
Why are we so dependent on electronics?
Constantly feeling the need to be connected to the internet and the online world. Endlessly scrolling for hours without realising that the world is just passing by. I did actually grow up without needing the internet when I was younger – well, primary school age. When I got to high school, msn, piczo, myspace, habbo hotel (anyone else obsessed with this?!) etc was discovered and I spent as long as I could on there… Back when dial up was a thing and you’d have to log out every now and then so your parents could use the phone. (What a nightmare eh?) Throughout high school, I never had a fancy phone. I couldn’t check on my Facebook all the time. I still spent a lot of time online on the sites I first mentioned, but I wasn’t so attached.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I actually had a life. I wasn’t constantly checking up on things. If I wanted to see how my friends were doing, I’d go to their house. Now, I feel lost without my phone. I hardly even use it to text or ring people – it’s just having the ability to check on my twitter that I really ‘need’. If I didn’t blog, I don’t think it’d be that bad, but there’s just always something happening in the blogosphere and I want to feel connected. I always feel like I could be missing something. It’s just not healthy, and I really want to start switching off a little more.
Things to do when avoiding the internet
#1 – Read. Yep, the generic answer. But reading is great, and it’s the perfect way to wind down at the end of the day. It’s something I want to make more time for, definitely.
#2 – Colour or draw. My sister bought me the Harry Potter colouring book for my birthday, and it’s so cool. Some things look incredibly difficult to colour, but there’s some easy ones too haha. Colouring in became really popular over the last year though, and it’s supposed to help reduce stress and anxiety and help you to relax amongst other things.
#3 – Listen to music/podcasts/audiobooks. Okay, so technically not ‘switching off’, because you’re still using some form of device to do this, but I think it still counts. On my commutes to Manchester twice each week I’ve been listening to either the Half Blood Prince audiobook or a podcast, and it keeps me off my phone. I’m just more relaxed instead of constantly actively doing something. At the moment I’m loving the Afterbuzz podcasts… Listening to people discuss a tv episode allows me to revisit it and get more opinions and explanations about things. I’m one of those who really needs to hear opinions on a tv episode to understand certain bits haha!
#4 – Write. If I need a break from my laptop, I’ll usually open my Filofax or blog planner. I like to just write down ideas, lists, finish a title page or whatever else needs doing. I’m wanting to get back into actually writing – short stories and the like. I had a huge burst of inspiration whilst I was on the train last night.
How I’m going to attempt to switch off more
I need to start settling down at a more reasonable time, so I’m going to attempt to make some changes with my electronics use. The plan is to have switched off the laptop by 9pm, and to put away the tablet at 10pm. Now I’m not expecting this to work straight away, but the idea is to get out my book or do something out of that list above instead. I want to see if it helps me to get to into bed a little earlier, and if I feel less tired in the mornings.