Unplugging from your devices improves focus



media-20180222.pngIn 2017, the French Parliament enacted a new labor law that allows employees in France a “right to disconnect” from emails, smartphones and other electronic devices once their work day has ended. 

In theory, France’s new concept of disconnecting sounds appealing and in favor of unplugging and work-life balance. The interesting idea here is whether it would be possible to implement a similar law in the U.S. that gives people the right to disconnect—in other words, the right not to respond to work-related emails or text messages over the weekend or after clocking out.

For those of us addicted to our phones, a right to “disconnect” would give us a chance to decompress and evaluate what is most important to us. The freedom and accessibility technology provides for us is great; however, the constant use of devices has obscured the boundaries between work, leisure, relationships and real life. 

This proves a point that perhaps we do not even need to implement a law, rather we should recognize when to “disconnect.” 

If you find yourself stressed out, or overwhelmed by the constant scrolling, refreshing to see updates and texting—there is honestly no better prescription for getting your life together and feeling less overwhelmed than simply disconnecting.

Over time, being plugged in, whether it be social media, emails or Youtube, affects your productivity level. After a certain point, a loss of functional memory sets in and each hour spent on doing pretend work is wasted. 

As college students, we are constantly under pressure to meet deadlines, and when each hour spent on meeting those deadlines has diminishing returns, we begin to freak out.  Studies have confirmed that “disconnecting” can significantly reduce your stress and increase your concentration, helping you unwind from everyday pressure.

One study done by Nottingham Trent University found that constant “connection” to emails or social media sites was linked to both decreased moment-to-moment happiness and lower life satisfaction. The more people stay connected to social media, the greater the chances of them feeling socially isolated. We all play a role in making ourselves look better and create personas online to make ourselves feel better. However, as we scroll through our feed and make judgments, we fall victim to comparing how we measure up. 

Those of us who have developed this unhealthy cycle, where we continually expose ourselves to such content, feel like we are somehow not living our best lives. Part of the reason for this unhealthy cycle is that we get caught in the delusion that it would make us feel better, but honestly, it does quite the opposite. “Unplugging” from the internet from time-to-time helps boost our emotional well being. 

It seems the more advanced and accessible technology becomes, the more we get sucked into the bottomless abyss of cyberspace where less human interaction occurs. We seem to be connected wirelessly by sharing images, texting, emailing and keeping count of how many artificial likes we get, but we forget the most important connection of all: face-to-face interaction. 

Perhaps we should take notes from the French and start valuing real-life relationships and take advantage of those chances we get to sip on wine and eat baguettes. 

Look up from your smartphone and interact with real people. Stop stressing over likes and captions in a virtual world and just be in the real world! 

If you’re feeling brave enough, try taking a breaking from social media and see how it goes. Try to write a book. Go skydiving. Do whatever. Just “disconnect” and live a stress-free, worry-free life.

Najma Siyad is a sophomore philosophy and communication studies major from Eagan Minn.

Leave a Reply

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: