When Less Is More: 9 Reasons to Embrace a Lower-Tech Lifestyle

When Less Is More: 9 Reasons to Embrace a Lower-Tech Lifestyle

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Technology keeps us connected and often makes life easier. But when it comes to everyday use, our devices might be doing more harm than good. The reality is that 24/7 connection often leaves us feeling distracted, wired, and unfulfilled.

Fortunately, there are ways to ease the effects of technology use without unplugging altogether. Here are some of the reasons that partially unplugging can be beneficial for you and your loved ones.

Lower-Tech Lifestyle

1. To Keep Your Family Safe

Social media is a great tool for sharing updates on your family. However, this connection can spiral out of control when your whole family is online. Scrolling through social media feeds and surfing the web is not only distracting for children but often dangerous. This is why parents are more mindful when choosing phones for kids and setting up parental restrictions.

Taking a lower-tech approach to mobile device use also helps protect your family’s privacy. Consider tightening privacy settings on your social pages so only close friends and family can see photos of your kids. Taking these steps sets a positive example and keeps your family safe.

2. To Reduce Stress and Anxiety

While researchers are still exploring the link between smartphones and anxiety, you might notice a correlation in your own life. Constant notifications, news alerts, and access to social media might be affecting your mental health more than you realize. You may feel unable to relax when your phone is within reach, especially when it buzzes with an alert.

So, what can you do about these feelings of stress? The good news is that you don’t have to completely give up your tech. Simply setting time limits on apps and spending time away from your phone can help ease your mind. While you might instinctively reach for your device at first, disconnecting will soon become a habit.

3. To Minimize Distractions

Americans unlock their smartphones an average of 150 times per day. While swiping and scrolling might be harmless while you’re relaxing on the couch, this habit can also be distracting. Picking up your device during work can easily toss a half hour of productivity out the window. The same goes for web surfing on your computer.

Over time, you might notice that your tech habits affect your performance. Click-happy users can take a lower-tech approach by putting their smartphones in a drawer. There are also browser plugins that limit distracting websites like social media. You might be surprised by the amount of work you get done without technological temptations.

4. To Get Better Sleep

Research shows that technology use may be harming your sleep patterns. Specifically, studies have found that looking at a bright screen for 1.5 hours or more at night boosts your natural alertness. This can make it more challenging to fall asleep when you want to. While some people experience the effects of screens more than others, everyone will benefit from unplugging before bed.

If you’re struggling to ditch your devices in the evenings, try to swap out screen time for a lower-tech activity. Try reading a book or taking a relaxing bath as your wind-down ritual. Swap your bright tablet for an e-reader if you prefer electronic books. These small changes will help you unplug and get some shut-eye.

5. To Escape The Comparison Trap

Social media helps you stay up-to-date with friends and family. However, these online connections might not always feel positive. It’s easy to compare your life to those on your social feeds. Scrolling through photos of group outings and exciting adventures might make you feel lonely, boring, or inadequate.

Setting boundaries around social media will help you regain a sense of gratitude. By taking social media off your phone or limiting your use, you can escape the comparison trap. You can live your life how you want, rather than seeing yourself through the lens of social media.

6. To Disconnect From Work

A healthy work-life balance is a key to happiness. Unfortunately, many people carry workaround in their pockets. If you have your work email and Slack on your personal devices, it can feel impossible to disconnect. This can lead to extra stress and worry when you’re off the clock.

For many people, embracing a lower-tech life involves keeping work at work. Try to keep your work email off your smartphone and home computer if possible. But if you must stay partially connected, only check your work communications at certain times. Turn off notifications from your company’s project management software when you clock out for the day.

7. To Find Fulfillment Through Hobbies

Free time was once reserved for relaxing activities. But in the age of the smartphone, you may find yourself scrolling on the couch rather than engaging in hobbies. And this time with your tech can leave you anything but relaxed.

Disconnecting from your technology quite literally gives you time back. An hour not spent on Instagram could be the time you need to finish a scrapbook or go for a run. By replacing your time on the net with enjoyable hobbies, you’ll likely feel more fulfilled. This swap starts by becoming aware of how much time you spend on your devices and choosing to spend those hours more mindfully.

8. To Give Your Eyes a Break

As you become aware of the mental effects of technology use, it’s worth paying attention to the physical effects. Staring at a computer all day can lead to eyestrain and dry eyes. This is why it’s helpful to give your eyes rest in your free time.

Try to take breaks from your computer screen throughout the workday — squelching the impulse to reach for your phone. Use your time after work to enjoy low-tech hobbies like walking, reading, or cooking. These stretches of screen-free time will give your eyes a chance to recover.

9. To Enjoy The Present Moment

The near-constant digital connection may be robbing you of true connection. Checking your phone during dinner can interrupt a conversation. Snapping photos for social media might prevent you from being present. Choosing a lower-tech lifestyle helps you drop into the moment and create richer memories.

By tucking away your technology and remaining engaged, you’re setting an example for your family. Unplugging, rather than constant scrolling, might become the norm. You’ll likely find that you’re connecting with your loved ones on a deeper level.

In many ways, technology has transformed our lives for the better. You can connect with long-lost friends, capture memories, and work more efficiently. However, there is a time and place for technology use. Knowing when to unplug is important to fulfillment. And when it comes to your relationship with your devices, you’ll likely find that less is truly more.

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