I realize that by typing this up and publishing it on my website via my computer, then picking up my iPhone to Tweet out the article, I’m being a bit hypocritical with this next statement. Nevertheless, it’s critical that while you read this article you seriously consider the implications of not taking a vacation from technology.
Experts predict that over 90% of the world’s population over the age of six will have a cell phone by 2020. Numbers like that give me a headache. I can’t imagine being more connected than I already am. As more and more people become mobile, however, that’s exactly what will happen. In order to avoid burning out and failing both personally and professionally, a vacation from technology is essential.
How many of you catch yourselves picking up your phone to check your email, social media pages or text messages because you’ve got this sinking, irrational fear that you’re missing out on something? I would guess that about the same percentage that will own cell phones by 2020 raised their hands to answer ‘yes’ to that question. It’s great that you’ve got such zeal for your profession and your personal life that you want to avoid missing out on a message or a connection, but the problem is, we miss out on real-life connections in the process.
Real-life connections are what really help us thrive both personally and professionally. The digital world just helps us enhance those connections. When we spend too much time on our devices, we end up missing out on these, and our lives are far less full without them.
So do yourself a favor. Even if it’s just one day a week schedule a stretch of time where you’ll put down your phone, turn off all your other devices. Look at your spouse, your children or your co-workers and make that in-person connection. Take your family to the beach for the weekend, and leave that pesky smartphone in the room. Gather together a group of co-workers with whom you’d normally host most conversation via Microsoft Teams or another chat app and go out for an extended lunch or maybe even happy hour.
Before we burnout and lose the ability as a species to truly connect meaningfully with one another, we’ve got to start taking vacations from our technology. I know it’s not easy. Trust me, I know. But if you want to increase the quality of your life, relieve stress and truly live, set a technology vacation on your calendar right now!
Have you ever taken a vacation from technology? If so, what tips do you have? Leave a comment below.
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