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Tied up with technology? Need a break? Then give yourself permission to step into yesteryear every now and then.

Remembering the good old days.

It was only a generation ago that you could leave home and not be contacted. A message would be left on an answer machine (if you had one) and you could just enjoy the pleasures of the day without interruption. No ringing phone, no texting, No email. NOTHING!!!

Sitting at a table in a cafe or restaurant making conversation was the order of the day. No mobiles were taken out of pockets and bags and placed on the table. However, if you look around you today, mobiles are obsessively checked every 10 minutes. It’s commonplace to see folks having phone conversations, faffing with social media, emailing and texting while somehow managing to interact with those sitting right in front of them. In some cases, the phone wins out and face to face conversation takes a back seat.

Last week, I was sitting in a cafe chatting with a friend while two young women were sitting at the next table. They never spoke a word to each other. They just ate and left. All the conversation they had was with their phones. That is no exaggeration!

People send emails and texts rather than picking up a telephone to talk or meet with someone. Emails are sent across an office rather than a person physically getting up from their desk and going to talk to the recipient face to face. The reason being, to save time. There aren’t enough hours in the day, have you noticed that? Yet there are no less hours in the day than there were 20 years ago. Funny eh?

 

What are you talking about you silly person?!

This may sound like a vast exaggeration especially to those who don’t remember the days before electronic devices, the internet and the shrinking of the world and that’s okay. In all respects, the good side of technology is a great way to go. But in others ways, we have been robbed of ‘tech-free’ time. What I mean by that is, due to technology, life has become stuffed with ‘stuff’.

As technology has promoted speed and immediacy it has brought with it an expectation that we too, should act with that same speed and immediacy. The only problem with this is, unlike machines we are living beings who are not designed to be switched into the ‘technology matrix’ every waking hour. Society promotes this constant connection and you have to make a conscious decision (should you wish to) to step out of it.

In the case of work, we are expected to push ourselves to produce greater results and hit more targets. In the process, the pressure can become too much and lead to stress, musculoskeletal problems, mental health issues and absenteeism etc. For some unfortunate people, complete ‘burn out’ takes hold. It sounds extreme, but I have seen such things in the work I do.

 

Let’s stuff our spare time with more technology.

The more time saved by technology, the more we fill it with technology, rather than taking advance of the time saved to enjoy the simpler things in life.

 

Let’s make a conscious decision to step out of the technology matrix?

Is that a stupid suggestion to make and if so, why?

What would happen if, for one hour, you cut yourself off from technology with the intention of doing something tech-free? That means putting your phone in a drawer and switching your computer off completely.

The first thing that may set in is panic. No phone! ‘What if I miss a call or text?’ You’re very likely too. But it will be registered on your phone on your return.

Then there’s that feeling of missing something. That ‘missing something’ is the connection with cyberspace. That unseen but very real world we have all come to relay on.  But what about the real world and our connection with our peace of mind, slowing down, taking a break and switching off?

 

Getting some balance.

It’s wonderful to be able to do all the incredibly positive things we do, thanks to technology, but we were not designed to be switched on 24/7. We need time to unwind and chill out. And no, I don’t mean with a phone in your hand, sitting with a computer on your knee or gaming. This is what I mean (remember, no technology):

Going for a walk; having some holistic treatments; having a meal with the family at a table and making conversation; playing a board game; going for a meal with you partner; reading a book made of paper; sitting in the park communing with nature; taking the kids on a picnic…the list is endless. You can be as creative as you like.

The more you put ‘chilling out’ into practise, the more you start to understand the importance of switching off from technology for a little while and feeling free from the modern world and all its pressures and expectations.

 

Giving yourself permission to let go.

Giving yourself permission to go tech free for awhile is a challenge when phones and computers are a part of all our lives. We have become conditioned never to be without them and that’s okay, if you want to live that way. However, for those of you desperate for a break, give yourself permission to let go every now and then. Plan a suitable time to ‘untether’ yourself from technology and experience the good old fashioned ‘small world’ pleasures of life. It is truly liberating.

The world of yesteryear may not be one we want to reclaim permanently, never the less, it is certainly one we should encourage ourselves to experience every now and then, for the sake of our health and wellbeing.

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