You’ve probably caught onto the recent zombie trend (The Walking Dead, anyone?). Well, if you take a look around, you might notice a zombie apocalypse doesn’t seem too far from the truth. Roaming the streets are people with their heads down, their hands up, walking slowly, and occasionally bumping into things. The smartphones ‘virus’ is taking over, and unfortunately, it’s likely you’ve already been infected.
Phones are undoubtedly useful, but they’re also a recent thing, and humans did just fine without them before the Digital Age. Technology seems to be seeping into every aspect of our lives, and we’ve got a list of just some of the reasons we all need to kick the habit:
- Get Some Time Back
We seem to have developed a ‘twitch’. If we’re not busy doing something productive, no – even if we’re doing something productive – there’s an irrepressible need to check our phones. The scariest part is, we don’t even realise we’re doing it. A recent study found that young adults spend a third of their waking lives on their phones. It sounds far-fetched until you consider the fact that the average person checks their phone eighty-five times a day. Having trouble finding the time to exercise? No wonder.
- Sleep Longer, Sleep Better
Do you often go on your phone or laptop in the hours just before bed? Is it really just often? Or is it every dang night for two hours? When our surroundings are dark, our brains release a chemical called ‘melatonin’ that helps us go to sleep. If you’re shining a bright blue light into your eyes just before bed, it’s going to take longer to happen. That time, added to the time you spent scrolling through things that weren’t actually that interesting, adds up. We all know sleep is important, and a lack of it is linked with all kinds of frightening health issues – depression, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, just to name a few.
- Relieve Your Eyes
We won’t try and convince you that your eyes will turn square – but your parents had a point. When we look at screens, our eyes converge and adjust to looking at something at a constant distance, which strains our eye muscles. According to livescience, reading dark print on a bright background also creates tension in the muscles by our temples, which causes stress headaches. In case that wasn’t enough, we also blink less when we stare at screens, which gives us sore, dry, irritable eyes. If you’re reluctant to put down your phone, at least try looking around the room every few minutes.
- Socialise – No, Really Socialise
Is social media adding to your social life, or replacing it? Be honest with yourself, now. Of course it’s more time efficient to be juggling conversations with lots of people at once, but we’re losing the art of conversation. Meet your friends for a coffee and show them they’re worthy of your undivided attention. Nothing can better the richness of face-to-face communication, and it’ll probably take up the same amount of time as a texting session, anyway.
- Control Your Emotions
Ever felt emotionally drained after a session on social media? You might have just read a stream of angry tweets, be texting your friend through a bad breakup, or scrolled past an upsetting story on your news feed. A study from Princeton University found that emotional states can be transferred through social media via ‘emotional contagion’. Basically, without our awareness, we pick up on and experience the same emotions we find in our news feed. Although it can be a good thing when these emotions are positive, negative energy can hit you a little harder when you’re already having a bad day.
If you’re gutsy enough to give a 24-hour ‘technology cleanse’ a try, make sure to tell us about it in the comments below!