On average, we tend to pick-up our phones 80 times a day! It’s a horrifying number that makes you cringe when you think of it for a second longer. Yes, we’ve turned into slaves to our devices and what’s even more saddening is that we don’t even see the real damage it’s causing us every day. This is why it’s time to consider some practical steps to take and put an end to this digital slavery. You can start with banning phones from the bedroom and placing them on charge anywhere else, making sure that your hand won’t be reaching for it during the night (just get yourself an alarm clock!). When it comes to meeting up with friends, agree to allow one phone out on the table shared between a group of friends (let’s face it, you only need one decent selfie). And when it comes to a proper digital detox, start with doing phone-free weekends and see how that feels. You also might need a nudge to change your habits, here are some benefits that come when you get off the phone drug.
There’s nothing easier than getting lost in a digital world as soon as you get home from work and, in this way, forgetting all about your worries. Modern shows (both drama and comedy) are getting produced and uploaded with an unprecedented volume and speed, which means that there’s always something to binge-watch. With a single click of a mouse, you have access to all the movies that were ever made, and video games are getting more and more immersive.
With services like Postmates, you don’t even have to leave your home to do a grocery run, seeing as how you can have it delivered to your home address. If for some reason, you do need to get out, you don’t even have to hail a cab the old-fashioned way, because you have an Uber app on your phone.
Nowadays, we’re facing the impending VR era, which might just eliminate another reason or two forever going out. Sure, some may claim that AR trends like Pokémon GO can make people go out into the real world but is this a genuine outdoor activity or just another instance of staring at your phone in a different (a tad healthier) setting. All of this being said, why would one even leave their home or attempt engaging in an offline activity? Well, there are more than a couple of reasons behind this and here are several of them.
A boost to your physical health
Offline activities are crucial for your health, maintaining healthy body weight and overall feeling like you’re in great shape. Regular exercise also boosts your physique, which a lot of people find to be closely tied to their self-confidence. A simple daily walk can help you lose weight and make you feel healthier, but for a person who is in their prime, there’s so much more to be done. This is why one of the first suggestions that come off the top of your mind is to start going to the gym.
The first thing that a lot of people will say when one mentions going to the gym is – what about a home gym?
Sure, one can make a decent home gym and, sure, this too is an offline activity, but the result is never really the same. You see, once you go to the gym, your only purpose for the next 45 minutes to 1 hour is to exercise.
It’s much easier to cut your exercise short or skip some reps while working out at home. This is especially true when going to the gym with a friend. In a way, this can become an important social activity for the two of you.
Exploring your hometown
In the age of globalization, you can order Chinese food in New York, same as you can order a Porterhouse steak in Beijing. If both of these foods are delivered to your doorstep and you spend all of your free time staring at the screen, does it make any difference where you live (other than your Netflix account restrictions)? To find an answer to this question, you would have to go offline and explore the local region.
Walkabout and see if there are any new stores, restaurants, agencies and fast food venues open in the vicinity.
Try new things, admire street performers and, overall, enjoy the fact that out of all the settlements in this world, this one is the one you call home.
Throwing a party
Throwing a party is supposed to be an offline activity, yet, once it begins and you see how many people are live-streaming the event, tweeting about it and staring at their phones, you’ll feel the need to rethink your position on this topic. However, where there’s will, there’s always a way, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t throw an old-school party.
First of all, you need to assign your party a theme to make it more immersive for people to follow the no-smartphone rule.
For instance, you could make it into the 80s or 90s party and have everyone come dressed for the occasion.
As for the photographs, you can hire a real photographer or, better yet, hire a photo booth from an agency to make this rule even easier to uphold.
Setting the right example for your children
Saying phrases about how staring at the screen will ruin one’s eyesight didn’t work on us when used by our parents, so why would it work on the next generation? Instead, you need to start teaching your kid by an example.
Instead of just asking kids to go outside and do stuff try making a playground in their backyard, take them to a nearby park or establish a ritual where you walk and talk every evening.
Going for a walk with your offspring is something that you can do virtually since the day of their birth. This way, they’ll get accustomed to a more active lifestyle since their early age and will successfully avoid traps of sedentary lifestyle later on.
Other than this, you can enjoy numerous card games and board games that you, yourself grew up playing. For parents who have it a bit more on a nerdy side, starting a Dungeons & Dragons session with the young ones can be quite fun and, also, turn into a family tradition. From a didactic standpoint, this can make the young ones explore their creative side, exercise their imagination. It can also help them find out that they don’t need an AAA game and a thousand-dollars-worth graphics card to get immersed in a fantasy world.
Starting a movie marathon with your kids may also be quite fun. Instead of criticizing their taste in movies once they enter puberty, why not expose them to some of the most influential cult classics. While this too can be somewhat controversial, because it’s an on-screen activity, it still has a traditional sense about it, which makes a huge difference.
Start a DIY project
Some people love working with their own hands. Benefits of such a thing are entirely understandable, seeing as how these trends help you reduce costs, improve your personal opinion about your skills and abilities, as well as make you more self-dependent.
Depending on the scope of your ambitions, this can be an easy and inexpensive hobby to start, but there are some instances in which you have to make a massive investment in tools and materials. All in all, it’s just one of many options for you to explore.
Getting in touch with people who mean a lot to you
Staying in touch with people is much more comfortable in the digital era than it ever was before. After all, it takes less effort to just like someone’s post or sends them an inbox message than to go and visit them or pick up a phone and call them. This creates a certain disconnect and serves as a cause for an even higher level of alienation between people.
People that you decide to reach out to in this traditional way will know the difference, and they’ll know how to appreciate the gesture. Remember that humans are social beings and that they feel the urge to be close to other people, regardless if they’re introvert or extrovert by nature.
As you can see, there are a plethora of reasons for you to do offline activities both alone and with your friends and family. However, which of these speak to you the most depends on your personal preferences, interests, and priorities. Either way, we’re not suggesting that you should utterly forsake the online world, only that you need to find the accurate measure between the digital and the analog. Nothing more, nothing less.
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