The world we live in is currently engrossed in a big fat bubble we call technology.
Earlier this year, I decided to execute a little assessment test on myself and the conclusion was that I spent about 70% of my time every day on my smartphone(s).
Being someone who is not so social and outspoken, it was slightly shocking to actually realize that so much of my time was spent keeping up with others through social media; even those that I did not know. This was done in a repeated manner: scroll through Instagram, scroll through Twitter, scroll through Snapchat, then repeat.
I dedicated all this time to one single device, not because I had something valuable to gain, but because I was weirdly interested in what a stranger, who lives 3 continents away from me, has been up to.
Nonetheless, I’ve learned that some other things have gradually been lacking in response to the growth of technology. Not many people spend time with nature like before. Kids don’t play with their friends at the park like they used to. I see 7 year olds on Instagram more than I ever have. Not many people use their free time reading novels, taking walks or doing something they enjoyed doing before they got so caught up with snap chat and the trends of Instagram.
I’m not insinuating that it’s a bad thing to stay connected with others via technological devices, but it becomes problematic when we live and breathe through it. Life is all about balance, but that word is rather strange to our generation because of how we have made everything revolve around the four corners of our phones.
The good news, however, is that it’s not too late to start giving the digital world a break every once in a while. There are so many things you can do with your time rather than cyber stalking people who don’t even know you. (Yes, you do it.)
Adopt the habit of discovering the world around you by engaging in simple yet meaningful activities that can help you gain even more than you would have while gazing at your phone screen.
- Appreciate nature:
Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to live in such an amazing planet. There is so much beauty around us, but we often fail to notice any of it. Put your device down once a day and dedicate some time into acknowledging the charming environment around you. Watch the sunset, enjoy the night breeze, observe birds as they fly across the sky or walk around a garden and inhale the enthralling cologne of your favorite flowers. In one way or the other, try to embrace and value the enchanting nature you are surrounded by.
- Read, write or create:
Pick up your favorite novel, recipe book, magazine, Quran, bible or anything and read through it for a while. Reading regularly has proven to be a source of mental stimulation, vocabulary expansion and a relief for stress. If you’re not that much of a reader, then write. Spend time putting something down, be it your thoughts, ideas or experiences. You could work on your analytical thinking skills by doing this often.
If you’re not interested in either of the two, go on to create something – anything! I doubt you can discover your hidden talents while texting your friends non-stop. Challenge yourself by trying out new things. Drawing, painting, writing songs or poems, sculpting, cooking, and learning something new are also ways to occupy yourself and work on your creative side.
- Spend time with others:
You’ll never know the amount of amazing moments you’re missing out on when you’re locked up in your room tweeting about an issue that has no effect on your own life.
Make it a daily routine to spend some quality time with those around you. Take walks with them, drive around town, have an expressive and meaningful conversation. Invest time in others, rub minds with them, get to know what they’re up to and find out how you can be involved in their lives once again. Call that aunt you haven’t spoken to in months. Walk your dog. Join a charity organization. Visit a long lost friend.
Rather than being the first to know who got hitched in Hollywood, be involved and up-to-date with all the wonderful people that are in your life. It obviously won’t be easy saying goodbye to your buzzing phone and laptop for some time, but I assure you that it won’t hurt either.
Make an effort to step out of your little technology-immersed bubble today, even if it’s for one hour out of the 24 that you’re entitled to. You’d be surprised at how active and more vigorous your life would become when you spend less time on the digital world and more time doing other momentous things.