Friday 14 July 2017

Why it's Good to go Offline in an Online World

Ever pick up your phone to check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, then put your phone down only to, seconds later, check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all over again?
It's almost like you're on auto pilot isn't it?

We live in a world where we are all glued to our phones and laptops, we are all guilty of it. After downloading an app called 'Moment' which tracks how many hours you spend on your phone each day, I was absolutely appalled. It was hours. Hours that could be spent doing something productive, working towards a goal or spending time with people I love. Not mindlessly scrolling through posts I had already seen four times that day.

When these photos were taken, I'd spent 5 happy days offline. (Alright, not completely offline, I allowed myself Instagram because I enjoy it and I take a lot of photos that I love to share.) But for everything else, for 7 days straight, I was m.i.a. I was on holiday and I wanted some real time away from the moans of Facebook, the drama of Twitter and the ding of emails. I was away over the election, which confirmed for me that this would be a good idea as I personally think social media is not the place for arguments about politics and as I was on holiday it wasn't something I wanted playing on my mind. Before I went away there had been so many heartbreaking events and news stories that I just wanted to be away from it all and I felt like a week in a different country would be the right time to give it a go.

It was bliss. 
And more importantly? I didn't miss it.

Of course, there were times I thought to myself I'd like to see what was going on on the Love Island hashtag with my newly developed addiction... but those thoughts flickered into my mind and went away as quickly as they came.  I was able to embrace things that I maybe wouldn't have even noticed had I been on my phone. I looked up, I took in my surroundings, I took time to read my book and flick through magazines instead. It's mad to think how much more I'd of noticed had I banned my phone completely.

Now, I'm not encouraging everyone to ditch their phones, delete their online profiles and start communicating by a cup and string... obviously. All I am saying is that there is a really sense of serenity in taking a break from social media and you'll realise just how much you feel the need to check it. Although my email notifications had to come back on, Twitter and Facebook notifications have been off for over a year now, which had made a massive difference to how often I check them, and they have stayed in the folder on the back page of my phone. Out of sight, out of mind.

It's tricky when you live, work and play in an online world, but I'm going to set myself at least one day a month, where I stay off social media entirely. Noticing how much more work I'll get done, how focused and productive I'll feel and how much better I'll sleep that night will be a reminder for the rest of that month to give the phone a break every now and then.

And lastly, a little side note on my outfit. If the red dress lady emoji came to life, I feel it would look a little something like this. I picked up this beautiful dress from Primark for only £13 and it was perfect for a hot holiday evening sipping on giant Pina Colada's!
 It's sassy and sexy, especially if you don't mind showing a little more skin when you're on holiday.

So, let's put the phones down, let's genuinely listen to what our loved ones are saying, let's actually watch a TV show, let's turn those notifications off and let's embrace looking up a little more often. 

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