You know that sound. It’s the sound of a push notification. Someone on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instant Messaging, Tumblr, Instagram, email, podcasts, an app, RSS feed, or your favorite message board has posted something, tagged you, liked a post, or forwarded someone else’s message.
If you’re like most people, you check your phone an average of 120 times a day. Some of that might actually be for work, but the vast majority is for social media. It’s gotten so bad, that “phantom phone buzz” is a real thing, like amputees who experience pain in missing limbs.
We need a break.
March 1 is the National Day of Unplugging. It’s a day to deliberately get away from your computers, phones, and tablets. To take a break from the continuous clamor of all of the networks we’ve invited into our lives. Here’s a list of things you can do instead:
Go to another city, state, or country. Yes, you’ll probably use a mapping or translation app, and you’ll definitely want to share your pictures and stories, but unplugging means getting out of the everyday routine, and travelling is an excellent way to do that.
2. Read a Book
This one can be tricky, since so many people have gone to e-readers. Either get a physical book, or turn off all notifications on your device. Concentrating on a good story increases your mental acuity and your attention span.
I have a couple of friends who also work from home, and we go camping several times a year. The main reason is to connect and converse without distractions. Any outdoor activity is a good way to ignore social media for a time. You’re not going to stop steering your kayak through rapids because a new Pinterest post just popped up.
4. Create Something
I enjoy sewing and cooking. While I do get recipes and patterns from blogs, and watch online videos to learn new skills, when I’m actively working on something, I don’t use the computer. A hobby is great “me” time.
5. Be Social for Real
It’s nice to have dozens of contacts, 300 friends, or 10,000 followers online, but you need some face-to-face time with real people in real places. Hit a restaurant, theater, or bar with your pals. And turn off your notifications while you’re out.
These are just a few ways you can take a break from social media and reclaim some time for yourself. Didn’t see your favorite on the list? You can browse through our entire stock here.