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Why Disconnecting Should Be Part of Your Schedule


You can appreciate something without letting it consume you. I'm in charge of content and social media for a mobile focused software company.

Above the usual level of dependence, tech trends, mobile and being connected are literally my life and livelihood. I strongly value technology's role in our daily lives, and see it as generally good (if you disagree, read this first). I know the benefits mobile brings, but I also know when and why to put the phone down.

I can give you just about any statistic on mobile usage, but at the end of the day, I know I need time without anything electronic. Why? Because you feel better when you go without it, even for brief periods. Heck, you're more productive, too!

If you're not connected, you're missing out on something. There's no way around that. After a certain point, though, you owe it to yourself and your health to take some time off (half an hour, a few hours, maybe a whole day).

Being connected means being stimulated. The average smartphone user scrolls through hundreds if not thousands of feet worth of content every day. Do you know how much your brain is processing during that time?

If you're scrolling for thousands of feet, that means your brain is processing thousands of feet worth of data. Most people get exhausted just after analyzing a spreadsheet!

Being connected is tiring. It's draining. It's all stimulation, and your brain needs a break from time to time, no matter how intelligent or capable you are.

Disconnecting needs to be part of your schedule, because you need a break. That much stimulation causes stress, which works against every other thing you're trying to do (e.g. enjoy life). Here's a good example that just happened.

I got home from work (from being connected), grabbed some dinner, and watched TV while I ate. I knew I needed to write, but I couldn't figure out for the life of me what a good idea might be. So I came outside on the porch, and just sat.

15-20 minutes later, I was moderately refreshed, and even had a topic in mind. Now I'm sitting in a hammock handwriting the first draft of this post, enjoying what are probably the best moments of my day.

Technology is incredible, and in so many ways does amazing things for us. But with anything good, too much can be harmful.

Too much stimulation, like that from constantly being connected, creates unnecessary stress that harms you in every aspect of your life. It's okay to use your phone all the time, but be sure to set aside time for yourself to recoup and remove that unnecessary stress.