Digital Detox

evolution-man-computer
It’s a sign of the times. We are surrounded by technology and connected to so many people, devices, and systems than ever before in the history of mankind.  Much of this technology has progressed so quickly that suffice to say, it’s difficult to believe how much of an impact it is having on our daily lives as well as our body and brain chemistry.

Some speculate the interconnectivity via technology with our family, local community, and the global community has allowed us to be more human by being able to embrace and share the thoughts and feelings of others and ourselves.  On the other hand, there are those who also speculate technology is stripping us of our humanity.  We are finding ourselves spending more time with our devices than we do with family and friends.

Being in a technology field and working on a college campus, I myself witness this on a daily basis (to varying degrees). I too from time-to-time find myself wrapped up in social media, consumed playing video games on a console or mobile device, binge-watching on Netflix, or even wrapped up in a blog post or two.  I will admit there is a satisfaction that comes with it.   Maybe being a child of Generation X and growing up in the birth of a media-soaked age (cable TV, game consoles, portable audio players, home computers) has left myself and others like me with a yearning for a media-rich environment in our lives.

That all being said, as an adult I am learning to embrace the philosophy of “everything in moderation”.  While I’m fully aware of what this technology has to offer (and what may come in the future), I can’t help but be concerned about the effects of being “plugged in” constantly. We are seeing problems in society today, especially when it comes to video gaming.  Video game addiction is recognized by many psychologists as a clinical impulse control disorder similar to compulsive gambling.  CNN recently posted an article and video about gaming addiction which illustrated some good valid points:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/06/health/video-games-addiction-gentile-feat/index.html

When I was younger, I can remember times where I experienced some video game addiction.  I remember the thrill of intense competition, the satisfaction of escaping the pressures of adolescence and losing yourself into a virtual environment, and the need to succeed.  Now, I recognize that while it allows me to escape there is a lot more in the world that I have not experienced.  It’s one thing to read or watch something from someone else’s point of view..but it’s something completely different to experience and interact first-hand.

“Life is the ultimate experience, and you have to live it to write about it.”
~ Professor Taub (Viveca Lindfors), The Sure Thing

 

So, for those of you who may be reading this, I humbly ask this.  Put away your phone.  Turn off your tablet.  Close your laptop.

Live in the now. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

1. Invite your friends over for a night of dominoes, Scrabble, Risk, and charades.

2. Have a wine and cheese tasting party.

3. Scheme a harmless prank together.

4. Have a potluck dinner; ask each person to bring their signature dish.

5. Create rituals and traditions to celebrate each season with your friends. For example, go to an Irish pub each St. Patrick’s Day and have green beer, go to a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” every October, and play Secret Santa each December.

6.  Get a group of friends together when it’s hot out, find a hill, and go ice block sledding.

7. Start a book club with your friends.  Take turns holding the meetings in each others’ homes; the host is in charge of the refreshments.  You can read the classics, current bestsellers, or any literary genre you’re all interested in

8. Have a foam sword fight

9.  Join a pillow fight flash mob with your friends

1o. Create a scrapbook to document cherished family moments.

11. Make homemade mini pizzas.

12. Try a science experiment: make a lava-spewing volcano or make a battery from a potato.

13. Have a water balloon fight.

14. Play with squirt guns.

15. Have a tickle fight.

16. Make banana splits.

17. Brush up on the constellations and go for a star-gazing walk.

18. Draw a mural together.

19. Have a family awards night and find something positive to highlight about each member of the family.

20. Create a “time capsule” with a few personal items and bury it in the backyard with the intent to dig it up in ten years time.

21. Visit a nearby pond and feed the ducks.

22. Put together a family recipe cookbook.

23. Create skits and plays. Have a talent show.

24. Have a family movie night. Make popcorn, put on your pajamas, and huddle under a large blanket.

25. Make miniature boats and float them in a nearby body of water.

26. Create a Compliment Board by hanging up a Dry Erase Board which everyone in the family can use to compliment each other. For example:

  • “Dad’s hamburgers were great.”

  • “John did the dishes without being asked. Thank you!”

  • “Ann made her bed every day this week.”

27. Have a themed dinner night –Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and so on. Cook a national dish from that country, put up the country’s flag, and play music and watch a movie from that country.

28. Have a treasure hunt (if you need help planning one, you can use this guide: The Treasure Hunt Book).

29. Put together a jigsaw puzzle. Better yet, get several jig saw puzzles that are all the same and have a contest to see who can finish putting together their puzzle first.

30. Listen to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

31. Get a night mask, mist Lavender Pillow Mist spray into the air and/or directly onto your pillow, turn on some white noise, and get a really good night’s sleep.

32. Cuddle up with a loved one in bed.

33. Go out and buy a pair of jeans that fits you perfectly.

34. Slip into your favorite sweat pants and t-shirt.

35. Get some bubble wrap and pop every last bubble.

36. Bake a cake and lick the batter off the beaters of the cake mixer.

37. Put a $10.00 bill in the pocket of a jacket you don’t wear often and forget about it. When you wear the jacket again a few weeks later you can enjoy “finding” the money.

38. Blow dandelion seeds from a seed-puff and watch to see how far they go.

39. Have a lollipop or a tootsie roll.

40.Have an “old TV series” marathon and watch your favorite old TV show (Classic TV), such as “The Andy Griffith Show”, “I Love Lucy”, “The Twilight Zone”, or “Bonanza”.

41. Get a mug and fill it with a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. Open a brand new notebook and start a journal. (You can use the journal prompts here for inspiration.)

42. Whistle your favorite song.

43. Get a running start and slide across the tile floor in your socks. Re-enact the scene from “Risky Business” in which Tom Cruise’s character slides across the floor in his socks playing air guitar as “Old Time Rock N’ Roll” plays on the stereo.

44. Make a decorative memo board: display photos, favorite quotes, leaves you find along your walks, fun to-do lists, and so on.

45. Check out a great novel from the library, find a quiet corner, and spend the afternoon reading.

46. Take out your old mixed-tapes and sing along with your favorite songs of yesteryear.

47. Look for a falling star and make a wish.

48. Get a Pez dispenser in a shape you love and fill it with cherry-flavored Pez (then watch Seinfeld and the Pez Dispenser).

49. Have your favorite breakfast in bed. Make sure to add a rose in a vase, just because.

50. Get a recording of a rooster crowing and use it as your wake-up alarm.

51. Enjoy the smell and feel of clean sheets.

52. Wrap yourself in a towel that you just took out of the dryer.

53. Dig your fingers deep into the soft earth.

54. Take 10 slow, deep breaths every hour on the hour.

55. Hang up a wind chime; place it where it will pick up the breeze. Sit back and enjoy its gentle melody.

56. Re-read your favorite children’s book (mine is “Charlotte’s Web”).

57. Change your passwords on all of your online accounts to words that make you smile.

58. Hang a dart board and practice your aim.

59. Go for a hike in the woods.

60. Run a mile.

61. Spend the afternoon lying in a hammock.

62. Hang up a tire swing. Swing to your heart’s content.

63. Run through your garden sprinkler.

64. Walk barefoot in the grass.

65. Bounce up and down on a trampoline.

66. Pick some wildflowers for your table.

 

67. Get a hot rock massage.

68. Take a long bubble bath. Better yet, make it an aromatherapy bath.

69. Spend the day at a spa.

70. Have bagels, cream cheese, and lox on Sunday morning.

71 Have waffles covered with strawberries and syrup; consider adding Nutella (hazelnut spread).

72. Make a list of everything in your house that needs to be fixed and hire someone to fix it.

73. Take a nap in the middle of the afternoon.

74. Wear a pair of warm, fuzzy slippers.

75. Have a Mimosa (chilled orange juice and champagne) with your Sunday brunch. Make sure to drink it in a Champagne Flute and garnish with raspberries.

Courtesy of http://daringtolivefully.com/simple-pleasures

 

Enjoy the simple pleasures now…because life’s too short for regrets.

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