I am, hands down, a complete mobile addict. I’m pretty much surgically attached to my phone. I don’t go a day without checking Facebook and Instagram and could waste hours scrolling through Twitter lol’ing at gifs and getting sucked in by hashtags. I’m Emma and I’m addicted to being online.
My job certainly doesn’t help (I work in digital marketing for those of you who don’t know) and gives me the best excuse to be constantly switched on all of the time.
I used to love it; I used to love being on social media and marvelling at the latest trends, following the hottest bloggers and stalking my favourite celebs. But recently, it’s become a bit of a bane. There’s plenty of research out there that argues how “unhealthy” being online all day every day is and plenty of damning evidence that social media can, in fact, fact you more unhappy than it does happy.
I genuinely find it difficult to switch off; again, you could partly blame my career for that. But I really do struggle to put my phone down and “power down” sometimes. If I can’t sleep, I automatically reach for my phone or if I have a spare 5 minutes I’ll jump straight onto Snapchat. It’s not something I’m proud of.
On my recent trip-of-a-lifetime to Switzerland (read about my adventures here), I decided to be a bit more “offline”. I’ll admit, it wasn’t totally a conscious decision; we were up in the Swiss alps with hardly any signal and not the best WiFi and were spending hours (literally) hiking up and down snowy mountains so being acquainted with my beloved Instagram and Facebook wasn’t as easy.
And dya know what? I loved it. I loved not checking emails and refreshing Twitter. I loved not having that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) feeling. I found myself thinking a lot more about more important stuff. About my future and my life decisions and my relationships. Toby and I talked more about menial things and things that truly matter. Sure, once we were safely back in our hotel room with a bit of down time, I went on social media and updated my profile and caught up with the world. But I didn’t miss it. I didn’t really care that I went almost a whole week with no Snapchat and no checking of my work emails (the latter is a real achievement for me). Nothing drastic happened. Life carries on.
Switching off is so important; it’s important for your mental health, for your relationships, for your energy levels. It’s amazing the things you can do when you’re not focused on being online all of the time. You can read more, talk more, think more, see more. You can worry less, stress less, compare less and fret less.
Whilst I can’t honestly sit here and say I’ll make “switching off” a bigger part of my life quite yet, I am determined to make more of an effort at weekends and in the evenings to not be as attached to my phone and the online world. If I can’t sleep, I’ll grab a book or if I have a spare 10 minutes whilst my dinner is cooking, I’ll try my best to practice some yoga or phone a friend for a catch up. We should all try and switch off a bit more and appreciate the “real” things that surround us. It’s much more inspiring.