Imagine this: no WiFi, no TV, no laptop or whatever other social media outlet you have around. This might sound a little like the happy, carefree days of your childhood.
I moved into a new apartment in Duluth this May. My backyard has endless forests and trails to explore and my sliding glass door leads to a porch where I sit outside to eat breakfast nearly every morning! The biggest difference, though, is the lack of technology around me. No WiFi, no TV, and no internet to use my laptop. This brought me back to my childhood and when my mom would say “That’s enough TV for the day. Go play outside!”
The lack of technology distractions has made my days much more fulfilling. My free time is spent doing more of the things I loved as a kid. Exploring the forest behind my new home and looking for critters, coloring, painting, drawing, and reading. Heck, I even bought a 500-piece puzzle. Most of all, since I am not soaking up all the artificial conversations of a Netflix series or getting advice from a YouTube channel, I have had more of a draw to be around people for their conversations and advice. I have also made more time in the week to call relatives I need to catch up with.
Since I haven’t had WiFi (first world problems), I have had to schedule the time to bring my work to the library or a coffee shop to get things done. Paying online bills, replying to emails, downloading podcasts I want to listen to, and working on my blog is all scheduled into my day instead of sporadically getting done whenever I’m not fidgeting around my apartment or after just one more episode of Game of Thrones.
My days are a lot more mindful and productive because I am scheduling when I am going to open my mind to the saturation of the internet, instead of it taking up my entire day. I am planning ahead instead of worrying about when I am going to get certain errands done, which in turn helps me be more present in the moment because I know there is a time to work and a time to play.
If you ever have days when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or distant, try turning off all your electronics and get back to really being connected. Bonus points for rekindling an old childhood hobby.