Escape the screens (14 reasons)
100 years ago we didn't have screens. Well, the word screen existed, but not in an HD-iPhone-plasma-console-all singing-all consuming-way like it does now. These days, screens are everywhere. Sit on any train for evidence of this. Nobody's looking out of the window any more, or reading a book, or talking. They're all tapping away on their screens.
Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone, iPad, big telly, etc. But just not ALL the time. Yes, these technological wonders enhance our lives in many ways, but it's sometimes hard to remember life beyond the monitor.
So - it's finally time. We need to reclaim life from the bright shiny artificial world behind the glass.
The good news is you only need escape the screens for two hours a day. That - in my experience - is enough to start properly reconnecting and relaxing, and I've been testing this out for 10 months now.
But what exactly will happen if you escape the screens?
- You'll be happier.
- You'll be healthier.
- You'll be more creative.
- You'll sleep better.
- You'll relax easier.
- You'll engage more with actual, real people.
- You'll make clearer, quicker decisions.
- You're less likely to offend with a curt email that "wasn't meant quite like that".
- You'll notice things more.
- You'll stay in the moment.
- You'll think - actually think - more deeply.
- You'll take more exercise.
- You won't get 'iPhone Thumb'.
- You'll avoid seeing your friend Dave's Facebook post about what he had for breakfast today.
Yep, just two hours a day. At first, you'll notice the urge to reach and check all the time. You'll see a sunset and have to actually enjoy it, rather than instagram it. You'll be at dinner, and will have no choice but to engage in wonderful conversation, rather than desperately check whatsapp in a moment of downtime. You'll feel your phone vibrate in your pocket, and - SHOCK - you'll have to wait.
Can you do it? The rest of the day, you can tap, stare and gaze away at your screens to your heart's content. But for two tiny teensy little hours, can you escape the screens?
Technology is our friend in this mission. Because you can actually use your screen to help you escape. (For instance: Set an alarm to let you know when your two hours is up, search on your screen for interesting things to do on your two hours off, tell people what you're going to do and gain support, etc. Let technology help you, not rule you.)
Oh, and preferably in these two hours you'll spend at least some time outside too. The shift to an indoor existence (where most of our screens live) is linked to obesity and bad health, as well as reduced mental well-being. So when you escape the screens, you then might as well go the whole hog and get outside. Research has shown a walk in nature decreases cortisol levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. And leads to better moods and lower anxiety.
Escape the screens and get out there.