It's no secret that these days we are constantly connected to a life that is not real. This behaviour of always being switched on and tuned into the fabricated perceptions of other people's lives is not good for many reasons, as it hinders our productivity. About a month ago, I had had enough of constantly checking my Facebook messages and the time at which people were last active, or seeing how many people and who had viewed my Snapchat story, or liked my latest Instagram post. I wasn't getting enough out of my day simply scrolling mindlessly through story after story, and it was affecting my ability to see what was actually a real, attainable life. 

So, I decided to switch off. Completely. For an entire weekend, I went M.I.A on absolutely everything. I turned my phone off and hid it at the bottom of a bag somewhere. After the initial few hours of freaking the hell out, I began to feel this sense of calm that I hadn't for a very long time. It didn't matter that I wasn't getting all the messages as they were being sent, they would still be there when I checked in my own time. If people wanted to get in touch with me, there were plenty of ways they were able to. I had so much more free time than I could ever remember having, and pushed myself to use it well. My productivity soared and the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of that weekend was pretty impressive. 

Obviously, I turned my phone back on, as I am a 20 year old in 2016, I'm not going to not have a phone or connect with my friends and peers. However, this weekend taught me so much, and even now I have stuck to what I learnt from it. 

IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO DISCONNECT. We hear it all the time, that blue light from electronics interrupts the production of melatonin and makes it difficult for us to sleep. We know that we physically can't look like that hot fitspo account on instagram. Logically and rationally, we know this, but we are completely addicted. And, the best way to quit this addiction is to learn how to disconnect. 

I have deleted both my Facebook and Messenger apps off my phone, tablet, and from my bookmarks. I only use snapchat, occasionally, and instagram and twitter. For all of these I have turned off my notifications, so I am only distracted by them when I choose to be. To be fair, I barely touch these too. It is so difficult to understand just how much we rely on these platforms until we take them away, and, although you feel anxious, stressed and like you're missing out, the reality is that you aren't in any way, shape or form. I keep in contact with my close friends via text, and check Facebook on my computer maybe once every couple of days, to reply to group messages and tag my mates in stupid memes. 

From doing this, I am achieving things I never thought I would be able to. The time I used to spend just scrolling when I was bored could have been used to read, blog, write, get a head start on university projects, spend time with friends and family by calling them, watching a film or tv show I'd never seen before - all of which are things you can learn from. You won't learn anything that you can take through your life from Facebook. 

I agree that this age of technology is amazing and it fascinates me. It is so fantastic that we have friends all over the world and can reach them in an instant. But we need to know when it's time for us to turn off and do other things in the real world. Trust me, you'll feel so much better for it. You'll find yourself sleeping better, feeling more productive, not binge eating while bored online, noticing things around you that you hadn't before. 

Disconnecting is power. 

Zoe x

Published by Zoe Taylor