I love technology – it’s such a big part of my life that the idea of living without it seems unthinkable! My work is 95% internet based (I’m a digital marketing consultant) and therefore I rely on technology to help me pay the bills (and keep me in dresses). Advances in technology in recent years have been staggering – I mean seriously, if you were to wake up from a five year coma, it would really blow your mind!
Technology fits into almost every part of my life – I use an iPhone app for running, I order my food shopping online, I have my news delivered to me via an RSS feed, it’s the biggest source of communication with my friends, family and clients, and pretty much anything I need to learn can be demonstrated to me on YouTube.
For some people – the way I engage with technology might be a bit full on – and sometimes even I can feel a little bit overwhelmed. I wake up (by the alarm on my iPhone), I check emails, I check Twitter, I post a picture on Instagram, I watch the news on the TV, I head to work listening to Spotify, I “plug myself in” for eight hours a day and then head home to watch shows I’ve recorded on my V+ box. I finish off some crochet from a pattern I’ve downloaded from a craft website and then check on my phone to find out what the weather will be like tomorrow. Technology is no longer just a part of my life; it’s ingrained in almost every bit of it.
So last week I decided to take a break from technology. I had planned to go on a boat holiday with some friends to the Norfolk Broads – so it was the perfect opportunity to ‘unplug’. I took my phone with me and for the majority of the time it was switched off in a draw. I even went as far as turning off my emails and social media accounts (I know crazy right? People would actually have to wait for a reply….pfft!) Instead, I spent the week chatting and laughing with my friends, playing board games, cross stitching and spent hours with my head in a good book (and a real one at that!) It was fantastic.
Surprisingly, it was easy to switch off but much harder to switch back on. After wading through emails – looking at Twitter and Instagram it all felt a bit odd. A week off in the world of technology feels like seven years in the real world! Of course, I’m a technology addict – so it didn’t take me long to get back into the swing of things – tweeting, liking, pinning – it was like I’d never been gone!
However it did make me realise how much of my life I spend online or using technology. It can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming – the internet for example, provides me with so much incredible information but can also leave me feeling even more confused and suffering from information overload.
Taking a break from technology was a useful exercise, it reminded me that switching off is important and that my little brain needs to slow down sometimes. I’m certainly not going to change how I engage with technology, but perhaps taking more frequent breaks would be a good thing.
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