Tweet, post, follow, like, sync, share, upload, comment—with smartphones becoming a permanent staple of society, few can ignore the constant hum of technology. From Facebook notifications to Snapchat updates, most welcome any and all forms of digital disruption. In fact, one third of smartphone users report feeling nervous when briefly separated from their beloved gadgets. While staying connected has its obvious perks, it also comes at a high cost, making it nearly impossible to resist the Web’s grip. Learn to stay engaged with the real world using these four simple tips!
Don’t live online
With the line between online and offline becoming a blur, it’s not uncommon to see people answer phone calls, respond to text messages and surf the Internet in unlikely places like restaurants, movie theaters and even hospitals. Instead, set a digital curfew and schedule certain times to unplug. Taking this temporary tech hiatus allows time to engage in more meaningful device-less interaction.
From work documents to uploaded photos, the storage space in inboxes seems to be infinite, with the average adult receiving 147 emails per day. Since most of them either go unanswered or are deleted, lighten the load by unsubscribing from sources that don’t serve any real purpose. Facebook notifications for mentions – does an email really need to be sent out whenever this happens? Unsubscribe. Twitter mentions? Unsubscribe. Linkedin messages? Unsubscribe. The key is to remove all unnecessary streams of information that produce digital clutter.
Disable push notifications
While push notifications are a great way to interact with apps, the persistent alerts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks can be a nuisance. Having a constant stream of updates only adds to the inherent fear of missing out on new developments and is generally disruptive. Instead, choose the time to check messages and be intentional about it. Remember,
disabling those push notifications also disables distractions.
Find an offline hobby
These days, in-person interaction is becoming a rarity. People are so tuned in that they’re tuned out from making real connections. To combat this growing trend, recommit to something that doesn’t require use of the Internet. This will bring about a renewed enthusiasm to enjoy life without having a cell phone within arm’s reach. By engaging in quality face-to-face time, the mixed communication that comes with toneless texts and emails is avoided. Plus, all answers can be received in real-time!