Why We Need To Take A Break From Technology

Why We Need To Take A Break From Technology

Your snapchat story doesn't always have to have something to show.
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I know we all love our phones dearly and can't imagine a day without them, but we all need to unplug sometimes and take a break from technology. We as a society have a very hard time putting our phones down and enjoying the life that is in front of us, even I'm guilty of it.

We are constantly sitting on social media scrolling mindlessly through pictures and feds we just laid eyes on only minutes ago to see that nothing has changed, we have to keep those Snapchat streaks because hell will freeze over if we lose a stupid fire emoji that literally means nothing besides sending a black screen or ugly selfie first thing in the morning to make sure you still have that streak, we creep on old friends to see what they are up to and compare our lives to those around us based on the things they post which of course is only going to be the amazing concerts, vacations, friends, boyfriends, and the most breathtaking selfies that took over an hour to get right.

Then we wonder why we are unhappy with our own selves. We all have a bit of an unhealthy relationship with our beloved phones. We are missing out on some amazing things in our lives. No, you don't have to take a picture and post it on every social media site to show your on vacation or went to a concert, your Snapchat story doesn't always have to have something to show.

We need to start putting our phones down and interacting with the people around us.

Yes take pictures of the people in your life and the places you visit, but not everything you do needs to be broadcasted to the internet. I know you want to show your friends and family what you are doing with your life, but what if you gave them a call or even visited them and showed them the pictures of your adventures in person? I understand the satisfied feeling of getting likes on pictures, but we can't rely on a stupid like button, think about the priceless facial expression when you tell your grandparent or parents about the vacation you just went on, think about the laughs you'll share, and the conversations you'll have.

We need to start taking the time to enjoy the good company around us, and take in our surroundings. It amazes me how many couples or families go out for dinner and they aren't even talking to one another they are playing games or scrolling through their social media accounts missing out on valuable time together. Technology is a very great thing, but when it starts cutting into your relationships and family time it's a problem. Think about how much you are on your phone, think about what you are doing on your phone, is it really that much more important than having a conversation with your friends and loved ones?

Don't get me wrong I love having a smartphone and having the internet right at my fingertips it's a glorious thing, but the mindless hours spent on my phone when I can be doing more productive things makes me cringe when I think about all the wasted time spent using my phone.It crazy to see how much tome is given into using something that can't even have a real conversation with us, sorry Siri.

I encourage you all to take a break from your phone for a few hours, days, maybe even a week and see how often you want to grab it for comfort. Even trying deleting the apps you use the most often if you aren't comfortable completely giving up your phone. I've done this many times before and it's disturbing to see how often I'd try to click for the social media app that is no longer there, and it made me think why I wanted to check the app. Nine times out of 10 it was just out of boredom and then I'd scroll and click through for minutes to hours at a time wasting precious time on something that doesn't even matter.


This summer I encourage you all to try and break away from using your phones as often as you do, take a break from social media and make some memories only you and your friends know about, take the time to truly listen to your friends and family around you. Invite a friend to lunch and leave your phones in the car then you won't be tempted to use them. Take a vacation or camping trip where you don't get service and enjoy it...bring a few good books and great company and I promise you'll have those memories for a lifetime, even if you don't have the Snapchats to prove it. Take pictures only you know about that you can cherish forever and show your children some day. Give social media and your phone a break and you'll start to see more of the greatness around you.

Cover Image Credit: Justin Main // Unsplash

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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To All You Zombies Stuck To Your Smartphone's Tiny Screen, What Are You Doing?

Why is technology becoming so advanced, but people are more and more likely to lonely and emotionless zombies?

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In this age, there is an emotion called "lonely in connection". I realized it on a rainy day, feeling empty while holding my phone in hand, looking at the "green active on-off button" continuously, and wasn't able to find a person to text. I keep surfing one website to another, all superficial and tasteless.

Deep down, I know what I really want to do, of course, not surfing the Internet. The true feeling of happiness that I crave for is not the likes, shares, and meaningless icons on Facebook. That day, I decided to leave my phone in the room, have a walk in the park near my house, and I realize that smartphones have taken away more from me than what I got back...

Smartphones are changing us to zombies.

Warning about the harmful effects of smartphones is everywhere on the Internet: children using smartphones are at risk of autism, light from smartphone's screen makes users lose their sleep, Facebook increases the risk of depression, smartphones increase the risk of traffic accidents, even deadly cases because of "living virtual"...

So what? The truth is people still use them: Use them until they become addicted!

Even though smartphone users have hundreds of reasons to justify why they are looking at their phone, such as "updating information", "keeping connection", "working" ... the truth is they only do so as the result of reflex, of the habit has been deliberately "trained" by phone makers and software developers. Today, the software works so well that even an illiterate child can use smartphones and become addicted.

Smartphones are turning us into technology zombies that only know how to act reflexively.

And day after day, the comfort of smartphones gradually turns us into technology zombies, acting instinctively by habits and very little thinking. We go through this website to another website, read the crap, post status to talk about bullshit, wait for likes and shares unconsciously. We jump continuously from email to Facebook, to Instagram, to YouTube. We aspire to interact, eager to receive notification from any source. We plunge into stimulating loops - reflexes from the phone, so if it is silent, our lives will also stop.

And maybe for some people, their lives will stop if smartphones disappear!

The problem of smartphones right now is not only addictive but also making things simpler and easier. Instead of saying "I like your opinion", we click like. Instead of saying "thank you", we drop and release icons. Instead of retelling our own experiences, we take a virtual live photo and use a "deep" caption. Instead of texting people to ask them, we're just surfing on the notification ... And then instead of taking pleasure from human interaction, we become addicted to virtual interaction between people and machines. We like just to like, surf Facebook just to surf Facebook ... We don't connect for real connection, but because we can't stand the feeling of being "disconnected".

I want to finish my article with a story about an experiment. It was the early 1950s, American psychologist James Olds discovered the area that governs the feeling of satisfaction in the brain of mice. In one experiment, he placed the electric pole on that part of the mouse and connected it with a button. The mouse can press the button to satisfy itself. As a result, the mouse repeatedly pressed the button, not caring about food and water, until it died of exhaustion.

This story may sound funny, but actually very similar to the behavior of smartphone addicts. Increasingly, smartphones and applications within it are optimized to give users quick "rewards". They are fast food, which can give users instant gratification.

But in the long run, addiction to smartphones will not bring anything good for the spirit and emotions of users. Because human is a strange animal. It needs to experience sadness, suffering, loneliness, hostility, effort ... to be able to connect with each other and enjoy the full joy of life.

Just by putting down the phone, staying away from the easy satisfaction that smartphones bring us, accepting real efforts, embracing the complex and lively mind behind each one, then we will have a real sense of life, real connections, and real happiness.

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