One of my favorite authors recently tweeted about celebrating his birthday in the mountains, with NO INTERNET ACCESS.
Among the hundreds of birthday wish comments, there were also people who “wished” to do the same for themselves and simply disconnect for some time. This simple wish raises an important question:
Why should our existence become questionable at the prospect of not having any connectivity?
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find solitude in an always-connected world, where our minds pay more attention to outside noise as opposed to reflecting on ourselves. This has given birth to a new phobia named Nomophobia – NOMObilePhobia, or a fear of being without cellphones. It may sound trivial, but this has resulted in unwanted consequences on our lifestyles. I know you are secretly agreeing to having this problem or know somebody who is facing this, which is why it is important to understand the implications of this addiction:
1. MENTAL CLEANSE
Unplug, power down, go off the grid – call it anything you want, but this simple act is your way to cleanse your mind. 33% of people have admitted to feeling dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook. There are countless reasons for feelings of envy, anxiety, loneliness or depression that are a by product of social media, and unplugging for some time can provide the necessary mental cleanse our constant mind chattering requires. Here’s a starting point : Don’t carry your phone to your yoga class!
2. LIFE IS HERE AND NOW
Picture yourself at the top of the Eiffel Tower and not having a cell phone or internet to update your location status. Did Paris disappear or your world come crashing down? The constant urge to publicize trivial details of our lives followed by unending anticipation for validation has obscured life’s reality. Disconnect in order to cherish the beauty life has to offer, only seeking validation in the form of moments that take your breath away!
3. NOMO(re) FOMO
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out is an emerging psychological disorder where a person has a constant feeling of being left out. With ceaseless notifications from social media, from friends vacationing to parties to family gatherings, the uneasiness emerging from our online presence has successfully infused our brains with more fear. It’s time to recognize the negative impact and find contentment in our present space.
Quit aspiring to live someone else’s life and start your journey to make your life more fulfilling!
4. REMEMBER YOUR REAL FRIENDS?
Remember how you would shout your lungs out to call your friends to play your favorite game? Now even before you answer a call from one of your friends, you have a hundred questions about the reasons for the call. The caller ID allows you to question the conversation before even having one! When did those endless conversations turn to short text messages, leaving no room for sharing true emotions or feelings?
It’s time you quit having those deep conversations in your head and pick up the phone and call your real friend. No, don’t text before you make the call asking for permission. JUST CALL!
5. SAY GOODBYE TO CONSUMERISM
Most often when you are online, you are essentially consuming something – whether you are watching a video, playing a game, reading the news or even shopping online. While this has become the primary mode of entertainment and acquiring information, we find ourselves to be consuming more as opposed to creating. Less number of hours are spent in order to offer solutions to problems and having a strict disconnection regime can provide valuable time towards creating real solutions.
Am I saying you need to delete all your accounts and go ninja with your digital footprint? No way! We live in the age of technology and its important to accept it as a part of our lives. However, we are certainly losing the ability to draw a line between our real and virtual lives, while our virtual lives slowly and creepily take over our existence.
Like Paulo Coelho, let’s learn to Celebrate the reality of Life through Disconnection once in a while. Not just on birthdays, maybe once every week, but take a pledge to cherish your life for what it really is.
I hope this post touched upon an issue we tend to ignore. In one of my previous posts – A Mind in Chains – Preventing Social Media Addiction, I have also talked about various ways to avoid this addiction. If you have some great ideas or stories worth sharing, please share them in your comments. I look forward to hearing from you all!