Unplugging: A digital detox experiment

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Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

This post is a way overdue follow up to the National Unplugging Day article I wrote, and my experience unplugging. 

According to a study by the World Economic Forum, digital media users often spend more hours online than they sleep, yet only half believe it improves their quality of life. Not only is increased in screen time found to not improve our quality of life significantly, but it is also found to be tightly correlated with stress, vulnerability to addictive behaviors, and a decline in physical activity.

You can read more statistics on digital use and mental wellness from the Happiness Hack book (highly recommended).

These stats, however, are no longer shocking. It is evident our addiction to our screens and technology is costing us our physiological and psychological health. As a response to the invasive and costly nature of digital addiction, various movements have sprung across the globe to motivate us to build a positive relationship with our digital lives. 

The National Day of Unplugging is such a movement dedicated to a 24-hour long digital sabbatical to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using today’s technology, electronics, and social media.

On Friday, March 1st at 7:00pm, I unplugged for the first time in a very very long time by putting away all my electronic devices* for a 24-hour period.

The experience was refreshing and inspiring.

#Textiety: Is texting culture giving us anxiety?

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Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

Writing is a very therapeutic and self-reflecting practice for me that allows me to learn a lot more about myself.

Until I started my research for this article, I did not know there were, in fact, plenty of blog posts, articles and even peer-reviewed journals out there on the phenomenon of texting anxiety. Although I didn’t feel I was entirely alone in suffering from texting anxiety, I didn’t think the problem was relevant enough to grant clinical terms, such as textiety and textaphrenia.

Textiety refers to the anxious feeling one gets from not receiving or sending text messages.

Text messaging is an essential part of communication that is a quick and convenient method to stay connected with our friends, family, and acquaintances. Despite being a useful mode of communication, the expectation to be reachable and responsive 24/7, literally, can be very stressful and overwhelming to some.

Mental health professionals are starting to see anxiety around texting show up in their offices more often, and it’s part of a new area of research and treatment related to mobile devices and online communication.

I broke my laptop and my grades improved! Re:  Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.

A few weeks ago, I came across a thought-provoking New York Times’ article on LinkedIn: Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting.

Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, has banned almost all electronic devices during her classes and research seminars.

Her rationale for such ban is the growing number of evidence that shows that overall, college students learn less and earn worse grades when they use computers or tablets during lectures.

The reason?  Laptops distract from learning.