Career Magazine

You Need Breaks From Technology

By Rebecca_sands @Rebecca_Sands

Coffee break at Daily Inspiration Board

Being constantly connected via technology is a habit

When you’re waiting for a red light, or standing in a lift, or hanging out until a friend comes to meet you, what do immediately do? Let me guess. You reach for your phone or your iPad.

There’s an overload of information and activity on the internet – it’s like a party that’s constantly going on, and if you don’t join in, then you feel like you’re missing out on all the fun.

The internet can’t compare with real-life relationships or experiences

The trouble is, the internet is not life. By consuming experiences and interactions on the internet, you’re not actually living those experiences.

You’re like the reader of an interactive book. It’s a fun fantasy, but it’s not actually real. It’s easy to think so, though – particularly when you’re in the heads and hearts of the characters’ lives.

Just like you, I reach for my phone or iPad during every spare second – standing waiting to cross the street, waiting for a coffee; I’m even scrolling through emails while waiting for the ATM to spit out the card and the receipt.

The bottom line is, I dislike waiting for anything. I feel like life is passing me by while I’m standing around. In addition, there’s already not enough time in the day, so why would I waste any further precious moments? It’s these fundamental thoughts that have me feeling the urge to be doing stuff – all of the time. Which is exhausting, and also not possible.

Technology breaks are important to provide you with extra meaning and fulfillment

Recently, I have started taking regular daily breaks from technology. It wasn’t initially purposeful – I started doing yoga and meditating more regularly. After giving myself these breaks, I realised that being switched on during every waking moment (a particularly prevalent trait when you work in the media industry) has me addicted to social media and news updates. Things move so quickly on Twitter, for example – how bad would it be if I missed something crucial?

Not bad at all, frankly. I will find out what I need to know – eventually. Everything else can stay in the virtual world, where I don’t physically live my life – as much as I love the internet! 

The trap with the internet is that it’s like TV. It can take over so much of your down time that it feels as though you are really living your life. You’re not. You’re either relaxing or working, when it comes to being on the internet, but you’re not providing yourself with the nourishment of real-world relationships and experiences.

How often do you switch off totally from technology and give yourself space to breathe and think?



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