For a lot of people, digital media is practically a way of life. Not only are there people who rely on the Internet to maintain their relationships and careers, but there is an entire generation who will never know a time when they weren’t plugged into social media. In fact, a recent study by the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) asked college students to go without digital media for 24 hours, and the results show that many young people are all but unable to function without smartphones and computers that keep them “plugged in” at all times.
And yet, there seems to be a trend among various bloggers and Internet experts of unplugging from the Internet and going without it for periods of time. Some of these people suggest devoting at least an hour of every day to going without their wifi connections, while others say that everyone should take an extended vacation from the Internet every once in a while.
As trendy as “unplugging” may be in certain circles, there are benefits to taking breaks from the Internet. For starters, it alleviates a lot of stress. The Internet may allow people to work from anywhere and be available at all times, but that also means that they won’t get a break from work as long as they are connected. Going on vacation should mean not having to worry about your job for a few days, and disconnecting from the Internet will allow you to do exactly that. You also won’t have to worry about multitasking, something that society says is an admirable ability but is actually mentally draining.
Unplugging from the Internet can also allow you to essentially “reboot” your brain and clear your head. You don’t even have to shut off your wifi connection for a weekend for this. Simply shutting off your computer and going for a walk without your smartphone for just an hour can help you relax and think about the world around you. If you must get back online when you get back home, you’ll at least do so with a clear head.
As difficult as it may seem for some people, we could all benefit from unplugging from the Internet and technology once in a while. There is a whole world around us that has nothing to do with Facebook and smartphones, and we all need to take some time to experience it.