How are your internet habits? Between the multiple smart devices we carry around and use, and the constant buzz of emails, texts, calls, reminders, and alarms, we often hold our online activity as a priority over everything else. The unfortunate result? We become overwhelmed from trying to stay connected with our technology, and our internet habits start to become full time jobs.
Regardless of whether your internet habits are for personal or professional endeavors, it’s important to balance your life, both online and offline. In fact, spending too much time online can actually hinder important relationships with your friends and family, harm your mental health, and even can cause stress and sleep deprivation.
If you’re looking to break the cycle, here are ways to help you unplug and practice better internet habits.
Refocus your Energy
If you’re the type of person to respond to an influx of emails or messages in your free time, consider changing your internet habits. Not only does your brain need a rest, but you need an equal balance between your work and personal life. Don’t miss out on a family dinner or event because your face is buried in a thread of notifications. Responses can wait, and you can always set up automated responses within a server that become active during certain days or times- this way users know you’re unavailable.
Make an effort to give your energy to other things than your tech. Host a family night, get together with friends after work, or just simply put your smart device away for a few hours and read a good book.
Use Technology for Good
If you’re still struggling to change your internet habits, a website and app blocker like Freedom can help. This software does a lot for an affordable price. On multiple devices you can block websites, social media, and even the internet itself. Even better, you can schedule times the blocker becomes active forcing you to take a break and use your time in another way.
Additionally, if you’re not comfortable with the price, consider adding a free browser extension like StayFocusd for Google Chrome. This won’t necessarily block the internet, but it can help you break free from online distractions like social media or news media.
Turn off your Notifications
While you’re attempting to unplug from the internet, consider silencing unnecessary notifications from your social networks, email, and other apps. It may be tempting to respond to every buzz or ping you receive, so disabling these functions can help you focus on what’s happening in the real world.
Additionally, if you don’t want to permanently disable these notifications, you can also put your devices into do not disturb mode for a few hours. If you’re worried about an emergency while your devices are silenced, both Android and iOS devices give you the option to make certain contacts a priority and allow their calls to come through.
Don’t Worry About Missing Out
Changing your internet habits may seem intimidating, especially if you feel frustrated by it. Many of those negative feelings often stem from a worry of “missing out.” We live in such a fast paced information consuming society today that you may feel as though you’re left out of the loop if you aren’t online all the time.
However, this information doesn’t suddenly vanish after a few hours. Pictures of your friends will still be available for you to see on social media after it has been posted, and news stories are obtainable at any hour of the day.
When you give yourself a break from the internet and tech in general, you may not know about trends or breaking news the second it comes out, but when you’re spending too much time online you’re missing out on a lot more in real life.
Make your friends and family a priority, don’t forget to schedule them into your everyday life!
Focus on You
This may seem a bit selfish, but it’s okay to take some time for yourself to unwind and destress. If you’re being unproductive online because you’re bored or don’t know what to do in your free time here are some things you can enjoy instead:
- Go for a hike or walk outdoors
- Visit a museum to learn something new
- Join a community or volunteer group
- Take part in a local event to meet new people
- Travel to a place you’ve never been to before
- Listen to live music from a local band
More Benefits of Unplugging from Technology
Looking for even more benefits from unplugging from Technology? Check out this blog post from our friends at Self Development Secrets, as they review some of their top benefits from unplugging from technology as well, as they review how technology helps people, the downsides of technology, and more.
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to this list, and you certainly don’t have to cut out your online presence for good, just be mindful of your internet habits, how much time you spend online, and the people who truly matter around you.