Imagine a world without smart phones. It wasn’t too long ago that we lived our lives without them. In 2007, Apple released their first iPhone. This was a game changer and literally changed how we live our lives.
We live in a digital world, for better or for worse.
For me personally, the better is that i’ve built a digital marketing business in it, BartX Digital. Our digital innovations have created many high-tech jobs across the world. But like many things in life, moderation is key.
In 2019, the average world’s internet user spends nearly 7 hours online each day. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter say they were designed to connect us, and in many ways that is true. However, on a more personal level, it feels like we have regressed socially.
In addition to diminishing personal quality time together, new disorders like social media anxiety disorder have been created from people who are anxious or stressed from not being able to check their accounts and spending too much time online.
Which brings me to my personal ways to unplug and recharge. While I spend many hours building digital marketing strategies for businesses (including psychologists and other mental health professionals!), i have found it imperative to get away. Here are a few ways I unplug and recharge:
One of the most important parts of our day is the way we start it. I avoid being online and being on social media like the plague until about 9 or 9:30 am.
I typically start my day by reading and praying for 30 minutes. In my case, I connect with a Higher Power.
I also do weight training and run 1-2 miles each morning outside around my local city of Charlotte, North Carolina. Exercise is so important in releasing stress and getting our minds focused for the day.
The third thing that I do each morning is to walk about 1 mile after my run. On this walk, I follow a mixture of a few things I learned from Tony Robbins and Wim Hof. This third step includes:
- 5 minutes of focused breathing – 4 inhales through your nose, 4 exhales through your mouth
- 5 minutes of deep breathing and hold – I take a big deep breathe in and hold it while I count my steps. I do 3 sets of this. On the third step, I typically can walk 60 to 80 steps, while on the first set I only walk about 40-50 steps.
- 5 Minutes of being in gratitude. I try to think about all the things I’m thankful for. Simple things like being able to walk, another day given to me, or bigger things like family and friends.
- 5 minutes of smiling. I purposely smile for my last 5 minutes while I finish my walk. Try this sometime, it’s very interesting! People will look at you and sometimes smile back.
Night Time Usage
My goal is to turn all electronics off after 8 pm. I’m not quite there yet! However, I do try to avoid checking social media after 9 pm. In fact, I try to avoid checking social media altogether (other than client work during work hours).
Being able to relax at night and wind-down is, from my experience, so important to releasing stress and being able to fall asleep.
My suggestion is to set a time to put down the phone. Make it a personal challenge. Try it for a week and see how you feel afterwards.
Relationships Without Electronics
One of the most important things is to nurture the relationships we’ve been blessed with. I make it a point to put down the cell phone and actually talk to people!
So many times I’ve been out with friends eating dinner or having a drink, and every single person is on their cell phone living a digital life away from their real lives. Not only is this annoying but it prevents us from building deeper relationships.
If you’re with your significant other, perhaps set some ground rules on doing activities without your eyeballs glued to your phones.
Being on your phone at all times creates, in my opinion, creates problems. Being on social media at all hours can create anxiety and stress. In my experience, people’s posts often make their real life look 10 times better than it really is. The problem with that is that we think our lives suck in comparison.
I am by no means saying being online is a bad thing, but like any good thing, moderation is key.