The average Brit checks their phone 28 times a day, roughly once an hour, and it seems that we can’t stop. Our addiction to technology is only getting worse, and we have become solely reliant on how we use our phones, iPads and computers. Put it this way, without technology, a question rises ‘would we cope’? The answer is no. It has become so difficult to disconnect, albeit for an hour or for a week when on holiday, and we always seem to find a reason to access technology.
It’s more disconcerting to think that Brits spend a significant proportion of time online than they do sleeping, and according to a recent study by Ofcom, 70% of 16-24 year olds prefer texting to talking, and 34% of adults and teenagers claim they find it hard to switch off. Not to mention, a rise of mental health issues has been a build-up of social media, and how we interact with others. It is a fast paced world, and if you do not fit in, mental health issues can arise and affect the way you see yourself and the way you fit in society. Not to mention social media body shames the young, criticises and harasses the old, and fails to accept everyone has an opinion.
So here are some useful tips to switch off from technology every day. Even if you find yourself a self-confessed tech addict, even these simple hacks to leave your tech gadget alone for some time, will help your physical and mental health.
Don’t charge your phone under your pillow
They say the first thing we all do in the morning is check our phone. We don’t turn to the person next to us and greet them ‘good morning’, nor do we take a moment to lie in bed and contemplate the day ahead. Brits are known for charging their phone under their bed or pillow – with easy access to check at all times of the night. So let’s change this bad habit – put do not disturb on your phone to resist the temptation to check WhatsApp, or the daily news alerts. Perhaps even put your phone on the other side of the room charging.
Your phone is not the only alarm clock to have
Okay so your phone is now on the other side of the room, and you realise you need to set an alarm. What do you do? Take it back to the ‘old fashioned days’, where radio alarm clocks were the biggest hit for UK workers. You don’t need to rely on your phone, so take it back to basics and invest in a radio alarm clock. Not only will it mean you don’t wake up to a bright screen every day, which can harm your eyes, the alarm clock will wake you up slowly. You can even customise it to wake up with the radio and not a mundane morning alarm.
When you go on holiday, it’s time to disappear
Employees who are round-the-clock workers, find it hard to switch off when they go on holiday. And though you may work for a company that doesn’t expect you to check your emails, reply or send documents here and there when abroad, it’s easily tempting to, so you’re up to date with what’s happening back at the office when you return. This is the worst thing you could do. TURN OFF. If you have a company phone, don’t take it with you. Annual leave is there for a reason, and you shouldn’t be expected to work. If you simply have your emails accessible on your personal phone, delete them for the duration of your holiday.
Do you need wifi?
It has now become commonplace with every location in London and even abroad to have free access to wifi. And only recently, London Underground have enabled wifi when stationary at individual tube stations, meaning for the sake of a half hour, to an hour journey, or even less, we have now become compelled to making sure we connect at every station. Although the argument in favour is to let anyone know you’re meeting should you be late, my argument should be, this is the only time you have to yourself. Take a book with you, read your favourite magazine, or dwell in your thoughts. Perhaps the toilet isn’t the only place for ‘me time’ after all.
Exercise without technology
We all need to exercise as much as we can during a working week. When we sit down for 8 hours of the day, glued to our computer screens, with instant access to the internet, the gym is the only time we have to wind down and to work some muscle. A lot of Brits are still keen to keep their phone and iPods separate, so they leave their phone locked away whilst exercising. Even whilst we’re exercising, it’s clear to see how distracting our phones can be – when the person next to you is on their phone the entire time and not working their hardest. So leave your phone at home – if your family, partner or friends know where you are, then you don’t need it. Spend an hour of the day without technology and your exercise will feel even more heroic.