By Amelia Wood, Guest Contributor to TechAddiction
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily the views of TechAddiction and/or Dr. Conrad.
Whether you are addicted to social media, video games or the Internet – breaking that addiction often means overcoming symptoms of withdrawal.
By this point, you’ve taken that first step and admitted that you have an addiction, but now what?
Technology is a multi-faceted tool that can keep us connected, provide information and entertain us – but healthy workers know when to put their tools away. No one expects you to remain unplugged forever, but in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you must learn when to turn off your computer, put away your phone and stop playing the game.
Try to spend an entire weekend without technology. Many of us are incapable of avoiding technology during work, so it may not be realistic to ban it completely; but you can spend two days out of the week entirely tech free. (That’s right. No TV. No internet. Landlines are OK, but no cell phones.)
Even those who don’t suffer from technology addiction can benefit from spending a weekend unplugged. The constant accessibility to information and communication of the Internet can cultivate a false sense of urgency and security. Letting go and disconnecting is a great way to clear your mind and focus on the things you love.
Once you have decided to cut out technology cold turkey, you will more than likely experience symptoms like loneliness, heart palpitations and anxiety. Though it may be unnerving, try to take consolation in the fact that these are standard withdrawal symptoms.
Also, withdrawal symptoms are an important part of understanding why you are dependent on technology. You could find a sense of social connection through Facebook and feel lonely after being unplugged. A sense of paranoia or anxiety over a lag in business correspondence could indicate an addiction to the sense of constant productivity. These irrational feelings can be put to rest if they are confronted and accepted as part of an addiction.
Your tech-free weekend doesn’t have to be miserable. Plan healthy activities to occupy your time. Clean your house. Plant a garden. Write in a journal. Listen to music. Go for a walk. Visit a bookstore. Grab a coffee. Try to make sushi. Play with your kids. Cook a romantic meal for your spouse or partner.
As with any addiction, your obsession with technology has crowded out other hobbies and activities. Take the weekend to rediscover what you love, and relax! Your computer will be there on Monday.
Keep planning tech-free weekends until you are managing your tech use throughout the entire week. Invite friends and family along for the ride. Let them know “No tech is allowed!” It can be a fun exercise for people of all ages. In fact, members of the younger generation will benefit from learning to use a road map or asking a stranger for a restaurant recommendation.
Embracing a tech-free life isn’t about banishing technology from your life; it’s about embracing other aspects of your life that you love.
Guest Author Bio
This guest post was written by Amelia Wood. Feel free to reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Could you go one weekend without technology?