The Unplugged Challenge
The average person spends about 4 years of their life looking down at their cellphone. The next time you go out to dinner or are waiting at a bus stop, take a look around and see how many people are glued to their phones. How can a device intended to maintain connectivity with our close ones leave us so disconnected from reality? We live in a time where self-worth is measured by how many comments and likes our posts receive. Checking for notifications on Facebook and other social media sites have become habitual for most. For as often as we look at our Facebook, a study by Ethan Kross et al. shows a decline in subjective well-being in young adults. Friends and follower lists spanning to hundreds and even thousands for some users. How many of those connections add worth to your life?
Our culture has trained us that over-stimulation is the norm. We are wired with endless amounts of a feeds from our cellphones, not to mention television and other mediums. People can check their email from their glasses or even their watches now! It is to no surprise that A.D.D. has been on the rise over the last several decades. We are becoming a society that has become so numb to real life from our efforts to stay connected in the technological world. People can’t even drive from one side of town to the other without checking the messages on their phone (which is illegal in several states).
With all of this said, I challenge you to disconnect yourself from your devices for a week. You don’t have to ignore your phone completely, but maybe stay away from social media sites and text messages. Call up a friend or family member and see if they would like to meet up for coffee. I ask you to try out the simple social experiment out for seven days and see how different you feel.
My point is not to label technology and social media sites as evil, but that we as a society might have lost our way somewhere along the way. It might be a breath of fresh air to let go of some of the technological luxuries and see where life leads us. Maybe it’ll give us a chance to appreciate what is in front of us a little more. Maybe you’ll spend a few more moments telling the ones you love that you love them more genuinely. Maybe you’ll realize that you really don’t miss Facebook all that much. Maybe not, but challenge you to give it a shot for one week. You have nothing to lose. Go on and start living!