Holiday Food For Thought: Unplug And Recharge

Holiday Food For Thought: Unplug And Recharge

Mentally prepare for the next semester of school by minimizing technology over the holidays.

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With finals fast approaching, I've been noticing that I've been practically glued to my computer, hunched over, frantically typing some paper or assignment that is due in just a few days. This is inevitable, at least until mid-December, when we get the sweet relief of stepping out of that last exam and driving home to a six-week-long winter break!

Over that nap-filled and Netflix-bingeing break, it's important to take some time and relax without so much screen time. Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are great, but maybe take a few hours per day with the phone off and live unplugged.

The best part of social media is that it enables us to live in a virtual present where the quiet doesn't seem so...well, quiet. I love to check in on my friends across the world and stay in touch with people who don't live near me as much as the next person. But what is even more important is to take a break once in a while and either spend the time with those around you or yourself.

It's important to take some time and meditate, read, listen to music or just sit and relax. Your brain is used to the hectic stress of college, and it will thank you for giving it a break. After spending months in what is basically a live-in slumber party, it's not wrong to take a little bit of a breather.

I've written before about the importance of getting to know yourself, but I still stick to that. It's essential that you listen to yourself and give yourself some recovery time. As dramatic as it sounds, you've come back from a hard-fought battle, and there is no shame in a few lazy days and doing what you really enjoy.

But also take time to do what is best for you: brave the snow and go outside, cook a meal with your parents, play with your pets, or spend time with yourself, curled up and reading a book with a mug of tea. Just because it is a cliché doesn't mean that it isn't a great practice of self-care.

Take the challenge this winter to spend a day each week with minimal technology, and you'll come back to the second half of your school year more rested, more focused and more excited to see everyone you missed so much while you were away from your home away from home.

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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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6 Reasons To Limit Your Technology Use in 2019

Trust me, there's more reasons than just "because mom said so."

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As a kid born into an era of technology, I find myself scrolling much more than I should. I know there are better things I could . be doing with my time, but it is just so tempting to pick up my phone instead of getting work done or working out. One of my resolutions for 2019 is to limit how much I use my technology, and this article explains why.

1. It prevents you from face-to-face communication

Technology is a great way to stay in touch with friends who are far away, but it also distracts you from living in the moment. Instead of being glued to your phone and ignoring the people around you, save the texting for when you aren't around others.

2. It negatively affects your self-esteem

Seeing everyone's perfect lives on social media can make you feel pretty bad about yourself. People on Instagram are constantly making themselves look tanner, taller, and skinnier- giving you impossible expectations to live up to. Instead, you might as well just put the phone down all together.

3. It affects your physical health

Staring at a screen for extended periods of time is bad for your eyes, staying hunched over affects your back and neck, and using those thumbs to text too much can cause cramping. It also prevents you from going to the gym and doing physical activity.

4. It's expensive

Everything about technology is expensive- buying new devices, paying for data, and having to fix things when they break. The less time spent on your devices, the less they will end up costing you!

5. It distracts you from being productive

Getting things done is difficult to do when you have a million distractions at your fingertips. Shut down the technology and focus on what you have to get done and you'll be so much more productive!

6. Because your mom said so

Yeah, at the end of the day, mom is always right. Our parents grew up without technology just fine, and you can do the same.

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