In this day and age, it’s all too common to see a group of friends out for drinks, brunch, or whatnot and watch them all furiously scrolling or typing away on their phones. As pathetic as it is, we can’t help it. Being constantly plugged in and available at the touch of a couple buttons has become second nature. Even when we aren’t ignoring our friends in favor of Blake Lively’s Instagram, we’re seemingly always in touch with technology.
Think about it. When was the last time you went home and didn’t have your laptop open with multiple tabs, your phone dinging away with texts, or old episodes of any random TV show on Netflix playing in the background while you did something else? It’s the digital age, and somewhere along the way we forgot how to really, completely decompress.
To a certain extent, it’s inevitable. More and more, our jobs, classes, and connections are entirely dependent on a wifi connection and being “at the ready” 24/7. No one researches offline any more, actual handwriting is becoming obsolete. We don’t call before stopping over at a friend’s house, we text and get annoyed if we don’t see a response in under five minutes. If your job is in social media management and you don’t log on, you aren’t going to be getting a whole lot of work done. We’re constantly connected, constantly accessible, and it’s exhausting.
I’m just as guilty. I honestly don’t remember the last time my phone went on airplane mode for an extended period of time or I could genuinely say, “I wasn’t reachable, sorry!” Even as I’m typing this I have two YouTube videos paused, my email open, texts coming in on my phone, and it’s an embarrassingly difficult struggle to not look at Twitter.
That’s not a way to live.
If you’re constantly plugged in, you forget what it’s like to unplug. You forget what it’s like not to be berated by strangers on the internet for something as simple as your appearance, or your opinions. You forget how it’s okay not to respond to an email in two seconds. You forget how to turn your phone off, not just put it on silent, and actually look at someone in the eye and connect.
We might not think about it, but we all need an unplugged day. We all need a day where we don’t constantly put our thoughts on social media, no matter how trivial or groundbreaking they may be. A day where we appreciate silence, where we read words on a page in a book, not just ones blaring at us in the “trending” sections of different websites. A day where we remind ourselves that we won’t die without our iPhones, that we won’t be forgotten if we aren’t online. That although technology is truly impressive (even if overwhelming at times) and makes our world a lot easier and unbelievable, we don’t always need it.
So this is me, encouraging you to do your millennial, digital self a favor and unplug. Leave your phone at home, and your laptop closed and go outside. Give your eyes a break from looking at brightness settings that are probably too high all the time, and your fingers a break from using keyboards and touch screens.
Instead of sending an “I love you” text or phone call, go hug someone and tell them how much they mean to you.
It’s a messy, technological, and crazy world out there, but someday you won’t be in it.
Don’t miss it because you had to answer one more email. Don’t miss it because you were distracted by a notification. Don’t miss it because you were focused on retweets and likes.
Unplug and go live. You’ll never be sorry you did..