Does checking your email come before breakfast? Are you pinning everyone else’s outfits on Pinterest prior to getting dressed? Are the Instagram photos you like making you question why your life isn’t that put together? Do you reach for Snapchat before you taking a minute to physically enjoy an experience? Does late-night Tumblr and Twitter scrolling take precedent over sleeping?
Can you think of the last time you didn’t use some type of technology for more than an hour (not including when you sleep)? I can’t.
(photo via @abigailrena)
We’ve all seen the headlines and the clickbait-y articles warning us about social media taking over our lives, technology swallowing us whole, and the problems millennials are in for because of it. While we probably shouldn’t be glued to our screens 24/7, technology has a large range of benefits that make many of our lives easier, and we definitely aren’t headed for a tech-pocalypse anytime soon. There is also an overwhelming amount of suggestions on how to cut out your electronic usage. While these may be written with good intentions, those of us working in creative industries know that a complete digital detox might add more stress than remove it.
So here’s a guide for the guys and gals slaying at the social game, but who also deserve a break every now and then.
(photo via @allyfrancesca)
Original: Take a day (or week) off of not checking your phone
Revised: Cut back your time on your phone and laptop
It’s obvious you can’t stop checking your email or social channels. Responding to pitches, corresponding with potential collaborators, and posting on IG, Twitter, and Facebook for your company are a few things that are solely digital tasks. Taking a week or even a few days off could put your career in jeopardy. So instead, try to take breaks and work in time without having something digital in your hand. Try to eat breakfast before you read those emails, shut down your laptop an hour or two before bed, and see if you can limit your personal time on apps since you’re on them so much for work.
(photo via @abigailrena)
Original: Leave your phone at home
Revised: Take your phone with you, but put it away
I would feel fairly paranoid if I was going on a trip, or driving somewhere without my phone in case of an emergency. If you’re headed out for a dinner date or wanting to take a trip to the beach, it’s A-OK to have your phone tagalong. Just make sure you stow it away in the glove box, or keep it turned off and zipped away in your purse or jacket.
(photo via @sydneyhelphenstine)
Original: Have an electronic-free weekend
Revised: Limit your phone time
Our digital tools are the best way to communicate with friends, make plans, and stay updated on everything that’s happening. While I strongly believe weekends should be a time for relaxation, it’s a bit unrealistic to avoid your phone and laptop (also who doesn’t have papers to write on Sunday nights???). Try to plan weekend activities that don’t require using a phone. Throw a dinner party and keep all your phones in a basket. Head to the art museum with DSLR and Polaroid cameras instead of your phone’s app. Sip lattes at a café and flip through magazines to pick out the next purchase for your closet. Instead of jamming out on Spotify or SoundCloud, see if your parents have any cool vinyls you can use or play a rad throwback CD–Britney Spears anyone? There are a lot of ways to take time away from the social media world, without completely excluding it from your life.
(photo via @born_intheknow)
Original: Delete your apps and accounts
Revised: Temporarily (or permanently) turn off notifications
Briefly deleting your apps can be a productive way to get work done or focus on homework, but completely erasing your social presence can be detrimental to potential jobs, school projects, and staying connected to friends and family. Our profiles can serve as an online portfolio and offer followers a glance at who were are. Rather than removing it all, simply switch of your notifications so you’re not bombarded with every like, message, and retweet you get each minute of the day. This can bring some peace of mind and allow you to disconnect in a more convenient way.
(photo via @georgiacfashionista)