Technology saturates our lives. From the FitBit to the smart phone, technology is a big part of nearly everything we do.
For a busy business owner, that’s both a blessing and a curse. While we enjoy the convenience of working from anywhere, using new technologies to reach customers and provide services to them, and generate more targeted leads than ever before, there’s a laundry list of reasons the technological revolution has us ready for a little break from it all.
It’s making us accessible to others almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and therefore working 50+ hour weeks that involve answering emails at obscene hours of the day and subsiding on fast food. It’s causing our anxiety and stress levels to creep up to the point where they’re interfering with our daily lives and productivity.
It’s driving us nuts, but there’s a way to “hit reset”: Take a short-but-needed break from technology.
How do you know if you’re in need of a break from technology? Look at the “symptoms” below and track the ones you experience. Two or more might mean you’re ready for a break from technology, but if you’re considering a digital detox at all, now is a great time to do it.
4 Ways to Tell You’re Overdue for a Break from Technology
1. You’re losing touch with friends
If you have the feeling that you used to be more social and hang out with friends more than you do today, your smartphone might be to blame. Social networks like Facebook and Snapchat make it seem like you’re keeping in touch with friends, and to an extent, you are–but friendships need interaction in person (when that’s possible) to stay solid.
If you find yourself checking your email more than you ever have while seeing your friends less, it’s time for a break from technology.
2. You get headaches from looking at screens too long
Anyone who works with or on computers knows–getting headaches from looking at a screen too long is a very real thing. Looking at a screen can strain your eyes, and doing so for hours without getting up to walk around and change your depth of focus (look at things that are close up and far away, unlike the computer) only makes matters worse.
If you’re getting these headaches more regularly than usual, that’s a great reason to take a break from technology.
3. You’re having trouble sleeping
Tablets, smartphones, computers, and televisions all emit blue light. Blue light disrupts our brains from getting into sleep mode because it inhibits melatonin production and excites our brains into thinking it sees daylight (time to wake up!). Insomnia is a powerful predictor that you’re in need of a technology detox. Using your phone or watching TV before bed set you up for a spotty sleep cycle.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try eliminating technology that emits blue light from your evening routine to get your circadian rhythms back on track.
4. You use your phone during meals
People that use smart phones during family meals tend to use their phones more often throughout the day than those who put the phone away for meal times. If you use your phone during meals, there’s a good chance you’re in need of a break from technology and some uninterrupted time with your family.
After you eat a few meals sans smart phone, you’ll see what you’ve been missing out on since the tech revolution–meaningful conversation with friends and family.