I’ve been thinking a lot about how to disconnect from technology these days. From smart phones to connected watches, digital personal assistants to connected appliances, technology and our lives have so many touch-points. Heck, even that clock on my microwave is a non-yielding blast of cold digital color.
Why disconnect from technology?
Some augmentation is good, but when you end up speaking to Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google more than people in your home—when you end up using technology as a crutch to help you connect less rather than a tool to help you connect more effectively and more deeply, you might have a problem.
You don’t need to do something drastic to try disconnecting.
Here are five things you can try today to help you disconnect from technology. These suggestions will help give you the space between digital and real-life reality to reset and re-evaluate how to use technology to create deeper communication.
Turn off all notifications for a day
Both Android and iPhone have a do not disturb mode. Activate this mode for an entire day and see how it changes your perspective on the phone in your pocket. It’s kinda like leaving your phone at home, except with the added benefit of having it close-by in-case of an emergency.
Take all meetings in person
The first time I saw it, I could barely believe my eyes. People in the same office were using video conferencing to meet with each other. Sure you don’t have to leave the convenience of your own desk, but there are certain human mannerisms and communication subtleties that can’t be fully appreciated from the comfort of a computer screen. Spend one day conducting all intra-office meetings in person.
Eat lunch with a human
Whether you work remotely, or in an office, it can be tempting to sit on your couch or at your desk and have lunch. Instead, if you work in an office, ask an office friend or a colleague you don’t know, to grab a bite. If you work remotely, eat lunch with a friend or colleague in the same town.
Instead of Googling, phone a knowledgeable friend
Have a question about health? Technology? Science? Home repair? Instead of looking the answer up on Google, phone a friend or walk into a store. Sometimes there are tips, tricks, and context we get from humans that we don’t get from a written article.
Call instead of text
Ok, this one still involves technology, but this is a good example of using tech to connect more deeply. Texting can be impersonal and isn’t always great at conveying exactly what you’re attempting to convey (emotion, context, empathy, etc). For an entire day, if you have more than two text exchanges with someone, pick up the phone and give them a call.
Disconnecting from technology doesn’t have to be hard. These are simple steps you can take to adjust how you use technology in order to communicate more deeply.
Of course, if you’re interested in a weekend cleanse of technology, please join us at Camp Press this year. :)
All for now! Leave your tips on how to disconnect from technology in the comments.