Why You Should Disconnect

Last December, I went on a month-long vacation abroad, where I had  very limited Internet time, I wasn’t taking my trusted laptop and I honestly thought it would be the most difficult thing ever. When you’re used to accessing 300MB so easily, you’d expect serious withdrawal symptoms. Sure, at first I was worried about all the amazing pictures that were sitting in my gallery and not being uploaded to Instagram, but as time passed, I started caring less. I mostly focused on living the moment and enjoying what I was doing and not snapping a million selfies with all the landscapes. It was such a smooth transition that I barely even noticed it until I returned home and turned on my data connection again and realized I didn’t know what to do. Sure, now that I have it again, things have mostly returned to normal, but an Internet break is very recommendable. In case you’re looking for something less drastic, here are some tips to unplug:

Take a day or even few hours

No matter how short, it will help you stop concentrating on notifications and focus on other things. It’s a good idea to do it on weekends when work won’t interfere. Turn off your devices and indulge in other hobbies, take the time to tidy up a bit or relax with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Go far away

Replicate my experience of no Internet connection someplace a bit closer to home, like a basement or the mountains. Since you won’t be getting any signal, it kind of forces you to enjoy your surroundings instead.

Reconnect with loved ones

Take time to talk with your friends and family without screens interfering at dinner, coffee or any other chance you get to see them. A lot of people have taken to browsing Instagram or texting when in the company of others and, honestly, it can come off the wrong way. By abandoning your smartphone when you are in the company of your loved ones, you’ll be taking a break and having a blast.

Don’t do it alone

Get someone to disconnect with you. Everything is more fun with a friend! That way, you can both meet up instead of text or go for a stroll instead of watching Netflix together.

Call in the experts

If it all seems too overwhelming, try an application or program like Rescue Time, which helps you track how you spend your time online and allows you to block websites after using them for a certain amount of time. This works really well when you need to get some work done and you know that the Internet is a distraction.

Do stuff!

If you find that you’re bored without technology, look up Pinterest DIYs (and then turn off your device and do them!), take a cooking class, sign up to yoga, go for a hike, go to your local thrift store and find a gem, explore parts of your town that you’ve never been to, call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while, try your hand at watercolors, volunteer… There’s so much to do if you get a bit creative and have the will to look at things and not at screens. Maybe disconnecting from the omnipresent Internet isn’t for everyone, but it can help you reconnect with real life hobbies and activities and then, if you can’t resist, you can go Instagram all about it.

Post originally published on The Haute Mess

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