Health Tip #1: Turn Your Electronic Devices Off

Did you know that 1 in 10 Americans use their smart phones during sex? How about that 55% of Americans text when they drive, 19% use their phones at their place of worship, and 12% even check their phones while they’re in the shower?1

We are obsessed with our devices and unfortunately it extends beyond our cell phones. We are always connected to something and it’s time to put our electronics down!

Health Tip #1: Turn Your Electronic Devices Off

phone-690091_640I promise, the moment still happened even if your cell phone didn’t capture it and you didn’t share it on social media. Try turning your electronic devices off and simply soaking in the moment.

In the words of Marshall McLuhan, we really do live in a “global village.” For the most part, our technology supports our lives and makes tasks easier. Research is at the click of a button, we can take photographs on our phones, it’s easier to stay in touch with friends and family, and we can meet people from all around the world through the internet.

However, there is a price to pay for always being connected. Many of our workplaces want us to work 24/7 because technology makes it possible, friends expect us to be available (and to answer their requests) instantly, and sometimes our interpersonal relationships suffer because we’re too into our devices. How many times have I been out with a friend who keeps her nose in her phone?

Constantly being available and online causes us mental stress because we never get peace and quiet. At the risk of dating myself, remember the days when someone would call your house phone and if you weren’t available, they would leave a message and you’d get back to them at your convenience? Now if I don’t answer my phone, you can bet I’m getting a text message seconds later asking me where I am.

How do I combat this unnecessary mental stress? I simply turn my devices off. Being connected takes away from actually being present, enjoying and experiencing the moment, and fully decompressing. A vacation is not a vacation if people can reach me and, in fact, I insist on “off time” every day and not just when I’m away. I still answer messages and calls at my convenience and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Do you ever turn your devices off and just completely disconnect?

1 Mashable.com

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53 thoughts on “Health Tip #1: Turn Your Electronic Devices Off

    1. Exactly! I feel like we have forgotten how to relax and we don’t know what to do with ourselves when we aren’t connected. I know people who actually sleep with their phones. I don’t believe in TVs or cell phones in the bedroom!

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  1. I am so glad to see your post today. More and more I have come to the conclusion that I would love to disconnect. It is amazing the amount of constant stress that something as simple as a phone can create. Whether it is continuously going off or the opposite resulting in anxiously awaiting updates or messages. Turning off electronic sounds like a great idea when it can be afforded especially when you are “off-the clock,” not only will your mental health thank you but I am sure friends and family will as well! I can’t stand when I look around the living room and we are “watching a movie.” No one is watching the movie because they are distracted and on all of their devices. Or better yet when you are socializing with friends but they are busy socializing with friends that aren’t right in front of them. Our electronics have made us all very rude and caused us to fail to focus on what is really important.

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    1. I think it has also caused us to “forget” how to interact in person. I remember back in my online dating days, I would be having great text message conversations with someone who ended up being a total dud in person and didn’t know how to carry on a real time conversation.

      In a lot of ways, technology does help us but it also limits us. My friends and I are all busy (everyone is busy) so when we make time to connect, I appreciate actually having their attention. If I’m being ignored for a cell phone, then I will cut the meeting short and suggest that they go connect with the person they are texting instead! Emergencies happen and I get that, but I don’t think everyone with their nose buried in an electronic is dealing with an emergency.

      Thank you for reading!

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  2. That many people use phones during sex?! I’m shocked! If my woman ever whipped out her phone during sex I’d be offended and vice versa. That’s crazy

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      1. It shouldn’t work but some people never fail to amaze me. She may either be bored or not feel a thing if she’s able to mess around with her phone. Same goes for a dude. I’d definitely find a new partner if that ever happened to me because that would turn me the heck off.

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  3. ALL THE TIME! Electronics are best used to ENHANCE, not CONSUME our lives. In many cases it becomes another distraction interfering with the quality of our lives.
    You bring up a very important point. I hope people do more than simply read your words; I hope they take them to heart and use them to introspect and see if electronics have created an unhealthy imbalance in their own lives.

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    1. That’s exactly it, we have become obsessed and electronics no longer serve merely as tools but as key parts of our lives that we can’t live without. I’ve been asked if I could give up my cell phone and my answer is always, “yes, and I’d be happy to!”

      P.S. I’m going to be a hypocrite and remind you about your electronic devices…I sent you an email! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny thing is, I just sent out a request to my friend’s to start, what I call, an “unplugged” challenge. Beginning Friday, fast from all electronics until Sunday morning to still the mind. There was actually a study done that was released a few days ago that concluded cellphones are truly an addiction, a psychological one! It will be hard for me ro fully unplug as my husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan (Air Force), so I will email him those days. But as for the phone, it will stay put. Your post served as confirmation :-).

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    1. I think what you described is necessary communication (with your husband) versus unnecessary obsession just for the sake of it. He’s away and it’s one of the points of contact to keep your marriage strong, so that’s completely understandable. But communicating on your phone when you have company? Just using electronics for the sake of it at the expense of real life? No way!

      I hope you win the challenge 😉 Thank you for reading.

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  5. Preach! I actually downloaded an app on my old phone to log in the amount of time I spent using my phone or checking my phone… and in 24 hours I think I checked it for about 6 hours. Looking at the number 6 doesn’t seem like enough, but if you factor in the fact that I was probably just checking my phone when I took it out of my bag to check the time, if I was waiting for someone, if I was taking the train in the city to and from work, and when I get home, and all the times when I’m texting or calling someone, it’s pretty scary how attached I am to my phone…

    I’m trying to work on this in the new year and embrace taking in my surroundings and spending less time in front of a screen. Thanks for posting this!! 🙂

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    1. That is a quarter of your day on your phone! I am glad that you are going to try and disconnect this year. It’s a great and liberating feeling.

      It’s funny that you mention paying attention to your surroundings because I have seen countless people walking and texting and they have crashed right into poles, trees, curbs…I can’t feel bad for people who can’t even look up from their phones to take a walk!

      Thank you for reading 🙂

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  6. Awesome post! I have been trying little by little to ease off of media. Vacation in Bermuda is my favorite because I use my phone as a camera and nothing else and it’s so liberating to only communicate to people in person (or walkie talkie)

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    1. I’ve been trying too. I would love to get rid of my phone altogether but it seems to be a necessary evil in my life right now. I use it as infrequently as possible.

      Don’t make me jealous about Bermuda vacations!

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    1. I see a lot of people texting and driving where I live, but luckily I have not experienced texting while sexing…hey, that gives a whole new meaning to the word sexting! Okay, enough being corny 😀

      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I personally do not ever shut my phone off…but I dont always have it on me either. When I am spending time with my daughter, most of the weekends (when I’m not working)etc I leave my phone in my bed room and spend time with my family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I still have a BlackBerry and it takes FOREVER to re-load. I don’t always turn it physically off, but I do turn it on silent and forget about it. Time spent in person is much more precious…plus I sit enough at work all day, I don’t want to sit around at home texting.

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  8. I completely agree with you. But it seems giving yourself space from your electronic devices is a difficult achievement. The best thing to do is to turn your phone/tablet etc. to silent so you don’t hear all the rings and beeping. But still it calls to you and you wonder what you are missing on the phone/tablet. There are days I want to not to touch it but I feel cut off from the world if I do. But maybe someday soon I will just ignore it and leave it all day and simply talk to my friends face to face without our phones between us.

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    1. I will check my phone before bed, but my evenings are dedicated to my family, so I don’t interrupt our time together (we don’t get a whole lot with working full time!). I don’t miss it AT ALL but maybe I’m weird, lol.

      You should try…just for a day! 🙂

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  9. I agree 100% (as I read this from my phone!) it’s so hard though as we have also become so dependent on these devices. My phone is my life. It has my brain wrapped up inside it in a neat little package. Phone numbers, appointments, reminders, my fitness and workout goals, etc, etc.. It never leaves my side and I’d be lost without it. All those glorious apps that I use daily.

    That being said it frustrates me when trying to have a conversation with someone who won’t get off their phone. I don’t agree with being on your phone with company or at dinner tables, etc. It’s a rule in our house. I need to find other ways to reduce my time on my phone though.

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    1. I’m old fashioned and I use a day planner. My phone has the capability to keep track of my schedule, but I prefer to put pen to paper. If I ever lost my day planner, I would be totally lost, so it sounds like your phone is just a fancier version of that. It’s like you said though – it’s one thing to use a phone to make your life easier and quite another to obsess over it at the expense of your family and friends who are actually in front of you!

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  10. nope. not for you. never.
    okay that’s a lie, kind of. i just stash it somewhere and then go off to do my thing and get back to whomever, later! however, most people don’t have a home phone now… so a REAL emergency is kind of difficult to determine. i can’t wait for bell to fix my stupid phone line (or maybe i need an electrician to do that–POO!) so that all the outlets actually work in the house. i actually love the house phone and would rather have one of those than a cell phone for when i’m just at home. maybe i’m old fashioned like you…? but then i don’t remember you having a home phone.

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  11. I do actually and I love it. When I go to bed I leave it in another room of the house and when I am working it gets shut off so I won’t be distracted. When I’m driving it goes in the center pocket. It’s a tool not my life.

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  12. About ten years ago, when I was at school, one of my fellow students was obsessed with her phone. She was texting all the time, also during lessons. Back then phones had no internet, no apps and stuff, so she really was only texting. One day I joked that she probably also uses it under the shower and I was shocked when she said yes and was serious about it.
    Last year I talked to my best friend’s brother and his girlfriend who said, they wake up when they get a whatsapp message even in the middle of the night and reply. They also admit that sometimes they have no clue what or with whom they wrote.
    I would never do that. In the night my phone is mute, only emergency calls can reach me. I also have days when I do not need any device, no phone, no iPad, no computer. And it feels good. As much as I love the technology, an overdose is never good. And when I am with my friends, I enjoy spending time with them, and not feeling the urge to take photos all the time and put them on Instagram.

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    1. I can’t imagine someone actually being willing to interrupt their shower (or their sleep!!!) to answer their phone. I wouldn’t want people to think that I am always available and my friends are used to getting responses from me hours (okay, sometimes days) later.

      We recently bought a cottage and I am most looking forward to getting up there and completely escaping my life here. We won’t have an internet connection and we have both vowed to ignore our phones. We will use an actual camera to snap pictures and just enjoy time together (and with nature!).

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

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      1. I don’t understand it either. Sometimes I also go to the grocery store without taking my phone with me. When I was a kid, I had no phone. I met my friends, and was back at home for dinner. For most kids these days, this is impossible. I don’t want to be permanently online. I don’t want to be addicted to a device.
        I like your idea of having a place without Internet connection, best way to relax. People lived without it for so many years. As good as it is, it should never rule someone’s life – at least not mine.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. It has taken me a long time to get to a place where i can leave my phone in the other room for an extended period of time or not worry about it. I didn’t get the phone call when my dad was dying until about 45 minutes later so for a few years i had anxiety if i didnt have my phone on me all the time and check it very regularly but i have started to get over that and it is very peaceful to not have my phone sometimes.

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    1. Oh my gosh! That is terrible and I am so sorry that happened to you. I do worry about true emergencies (versus what my friends think are emergencies) and we will always let my mom know which one of us will keep our phones turned on (they are usually on silent) if we expect to be out of touch for any extended period of time. Then we just have to screen the calls so we only answer her. It’s a delicate balance for sure.

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  14. Such s good post and one we can all relate to. I recently went camping with my family and one place was so remote there was no power. It was heaven being uncontactable, even just for a short time. Times have definitely changed that’s for sure.

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  15. Great post. I was thinking the same thing today when i was at the gym. There was this guy next to me taking selfies while he was working out. Then i looked around and easily 50% of the members had their face glued to their phone. I actually have my notifications on silent and only my ringtone on for phone calls.

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    1. Phones prevent us from being present and enjoying life. We are definitely taking the obsession too far! I can’t imagine anyone in our lives wants to see our breakfast, our commute, our workout, etc. so why we feel the need to make these constant updates on social media is beyond me!

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