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Device Dependency Anyone?

Electronic devices are often our best friend, and if things go wrong, our worst enemy. They keep us distracted, focused, organized, and chaotic—all within moments.

Cell phones are perhaps the greatest technological invention. The fact that we can have in our pockets at any given moment the power to reach friends who may live on the other side of the world, check stock options at the touch of a finger, or check friends’ social lives on networks like Instagram and Facebook…

It’s pretty astonishing. And amazing when you consider that the computing power that only thirty or forty years ago would have filled entire offices now exists in the palm of our hands.

Four young people sitting on couch absorbed by smartphones

That is the evolution of technology. The question is, though, are you becoming too dependent on the mini-supercomputer? What if you switched off your social media for a week? Would you survive? What about a day? It’s a challenge worth setting yourself, to test your mettle and see just how dependent you may or may not be on your friend in your pocket. If you decide to do this, what are some ways that you can distract yourself otherwise, and how can you train yourself to not look at your phone every few seconds or minutes?

Learn a New Hobby or Skill

If you’re going totally techno-free for a period of time, use this time to start learning a new skill. Let’s say you’ve never been very good at painting. Well, now would be a good time to go and buy a cheap dollar-store canvas and some paint brushes and start painting. You don’t have to be good, or have any skill at all – the goal isn’t to paint like Picasso. Rather just to paint for the joy of it. And, no sharing any results on Instagram or Facebook for at least three days!

Go For A Walk In The Woods

 Getting disconnected might mean getting really disconnected. If you find yourself needing to use ditching the phone as an excuse to get away from the world, then go. Spending three days hiking in the wilderness to a mountain peak you’ve always wanted to summit. Or, visit as many lighthouses that are in your area as you can. Set yourself a fun little challenge that doesn’t involve or require any cell phone and will get you out and about and appreciating nature all the more.

Reconnect With Your Family and Friends

True disconnection also means an opportunity to reconnect. Instead of texting your friends about your day, or posting photos of it on Instagram for them to lap up, why not go over to their houses for a drink or snack? Why not spend the day with your grandparents (if possible), rather than relying on Skype. Truly reconnecting with your friends and family will be much more rewarding than any Instagram post or Skype call you might have otherwise favored.

Getting disconnected from your cell phone is an excellent opportunity to reconnect with yourself and those you love. Give it a try!