5 Ways to Unplug From Technology and Reconnect To Yourself
The world is moving really fast.
There is so much change happening incredibly quickly. We are so connected it is almost overwhelming. The Internet is speeding the world up. And now smart phones are speeding the Internet up. For better or worse, we are no longer isolated from the rest of the world. We are being pulled into contact with a global society—and it is shaking up our collective consciousness in a big way.
As the world becomes connected globally, many cultures and worldviews are crashing into each other, often quite violently. Every opinion is at our fingertips. Ideas that used to be taboo are being broadcast freely, both progressive and retrogressive. Because there is so much trying to get our attention, the stimuli get louder and louder to be noticed above the noise. We are totally plugged in all the time. The Internet is always in our pocket.
Unlike many people, I don’t feel that the world is falling apart. I don’t think the Internet is destroying us. I love the Internet. I love my smart phone. I love being connected to information. I love the potential of it all.
But what I do feel is the pull of this technology. We are being pulled out of ourselves and into our technology. Even when we are not online, we are being affected by the Internet. We are always thinking of our online identities, our emails, our text messages, etc. This isn’t a problem, unless it controls us. It’s only a problem if it becomes compulsive and we lose the choice to do it another way.
So many of us are craving a simpler time–a time when things didn’t feel so complicated and fast-paced. But going backwards in time is not an option.
So where do we go from here?
How do we regain that feeling of simplicity and connection to ourselves?
We go inward.
Start by being aware of the force that wants to pull you outside of yourself. Stop letting yourself be habitually pulled into your technology. Stop automatically being sucked out of your physical experience and into a virtual one.
I’m not suggesting you stop connecting to the Internet. You couldn’t do that even if you wanted to. What I’m suggesting is that you get so in touch with who you are as a human, you can choose to engage with technology and you can do so without losing yourself in the process.
Here are five ways you can go inward to recharge:
- Bring yourself to the here and now. Connect to what is right in front of you. Connect to the people you come into contact with directly. Stop taking the people around you for granted. Have a genuine interaction with the bus driver or the cashier you are talking to. This kind of connection is still here even when we are distracted by the last email or text or tweet we read. We just need to orient ourselves to them and engage.
- Take time to do things that nourish you. Take the time to cook a good meal with healthy ingredients rather than ordering takeout. Set aside some time to appreciate some artwork or listen to music. Better yet, create some art or music. Give expression to your unique inner experience. Take your own way of seeing things, that no-one else shares and give expression to it.
- Start a journal. Write about your experience. When you just bounce from one experience to the next, you don’t always take things in and learn from them. They become distractions. Write about how you are experiencing the world. Write down the ideas you have before you get distracted and forget them. Take a note about the dream you had last night. See if you can describe in detail the weird feeling you’ve been having lately that you can’t quite put your finger on.
- Let yourself feel your emotions. If you are scared, don’t just distract yourself. Let yourself feel the fear. If you are sad, let the sadness in. Your emotions are profound and you have direct contact with them. When we take time to acknowledge them, emotions connect us directly to our humanity and we are less controlled by them.
- Be aware of your body. Go for a walk. Let yourself really feel your breath. Exercise or do some yoga, and really pay attention to the way it makes you feel. Take some time to let yourself inhabit this human form that you are in.
We are adjusting to a totally new world. We have been for a while, and it is only speeding up. We can’t go backwards. We can’t pretend the Internet and smartphones don’t exist. And I for one would never want to.
But each of us can influence the direction our world goes. We can influence our consciousness.
We influence it by connecting to what is real and wholesome. We bring our attention out of our virtual world and back in to our human experience. Not all of the time, but more of the time.
We still have bodies. We still feel things. We can still connect to each other face to face.
Slow down. Connect to yourself. Connect to other people. This is important. See how it transforms you.