Disconnect to reconnect: the importance of being present

Screens are consuming too much of our personal and professional lives. It's time to turn them off, experience the real world and enjoy the little things again.

It sounds like a contradiction, but sometimes you have to disconnect to reconnect. Disconnect – both physically and emotionally – from all those devices, apps and virtual worlds that constantly steal our attention, satisfying our inexplicable fear of missing something. And reconnect with the real world, with the people we are closest to but leave out, with those activities and experiences that don't need a screen to be memorable. In short, to become the protagonists of our own lives again and an important character in our loved ones' lives. If you try it, you won't want to go back.

What does disconnect mean

In this context, when we speak of disconnection – or digital detox, as it is also known – we refer to that moment when a person decides to separate himself from all the technology capable of absorbing time and attention. This can be a mobile phone, a wearable, a computer, a tablet or even the television. It may sound exaggerated, but the average person spends almost 10 hours online every day. That's too much.

This is not to say that technology is not a great tool. In fact, the expansion of social networks has led to the virtual approach of loved ones separated by great distances, and it's easier than ever to find people with your same affinities and tastes. But that's only a small part of the time we consume daily in front of a screen, and that leaves us little space to learn new things, create, nurture relationships with those around us. When we disconnect, we can experience a more direct connection with others and with ourselves.

How do I disconnect?

A digital detox process can be tough, especially if you're really hooked on notifications. And in many cases, separating completely from all devices is not an option depending on the work you do. That's why there are no specific formulas, but there are a number of recommendations. Read them below.

Analyze how much time you spend online and set goals

Have you ever stopped to think about how long you use your cell phone? Maybe you haven't even noticed, but surely the last thing you do before going to sleep and the first thing you do when you wake up is check your notifications. Imagine now the rest of the day. Luckily, most phones today include options that measure usage time and allow us to limit it and block certain apps. Analyze the time spent on each one of them and set a disconnection goal: if you want to do a full detox or if it is going to be something progressive. Here are some ideas:

  • Turn off the notifications completely. It is not possible to disconnect if every few rings an alert. Set specific times to check your phone.
  • If the sun goes down, your phone does too. For many, the evening is the only time they can enjoy quality time at home. When that time comes, take your electronic devices and keep them out of reach. And don't bring them to bed!
  • Uninstall the most time-consuming apps. It may seem a little hardcore, but sometimes the only way to disconnect from an app is to remove it completely. As time goes by, you'll realize it's not as necessary as you thought.

Plan alternative activities

Well, you finally managed to disconnect for a while. What are you going to do now for all that time? We often use our mobile phones out of boredom, so to avoid falling back into temptation it's best to plan what to do with that time. Here are some suggestions.

  • Reconnect with the people you love. How long has it been since you saw that great friend face to face? Or how long has it been since you had a deep conversation with your partner? Maybe a family activity? Now you have time for everything.
  • Explore your creativity. Instead of continually consuming content that others have generated, why not create your own? It's time to take up those painting, dancing or cooking classes you've forgotten about, and discover new skills and hobbies you never thought you'd like.
  • Work out. Not having time is no longer an excuse not to go to the gym. Or even to exercise at home. Just 45 minutes a day is enough to get in shape. Those abs you've seen so much on Instagram can be gotten for real.

Disconnect to reconnect. It doesn't seem such a bad idea once you start experiencing new things. And if you need some help escaping the outside world, why not try an OSTRICHPILLOW HOOD? You'll only notice what you really care about!

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Photo by Bino Le on Unsplash
Photo by Matias North on Unsplash
Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash
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