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Unplugging from Digital Distractions
As our world continues to develop new technologies, we become more and more plugged into a digital life than the one we are truly living. In a society where you can live an entire life on the internet, it can be hard to disengage and return to the real world. However, even as technology advances and people begin to use it more, it is still important to make the conscious effort to pull away from the fascination of the internet and return to things that you need to focus on. Even though you access American National University all online from the comfort of your own home, ANU knows that students have lives behind the screen of their classrooms. ANU recognizes the importance of taking the time to unplug from your devices to reengage with the world around you.
Reasons to Unplug:
- Mental Health – Much of the advancement of technology has come to new phenomenon’s with how it affects consumers mental health. With the media today, you have access to every email and text message, every horrifying news story, or every thought of any person who can work a keyboard. Social media and the rise of influencers has affected many people – from loneliness and envy through the fear of missing out (FOMO), to stress and anxiety when life doesn’t match what others post. Not only that, but if you have access to every work or school email, every text message or missed call, or even every news story in every corner of the world, you can become overwhelmed and fatigued with an on-going stream of information. This can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety because of the never-ending amount you must consume in order to keep up. However, you do not need to know what your Facebook friend is eating for dinner, and it’s okay if you don’t know every criminal act committed in a city across the country, much less across the globe. To learn more about how to evaluate and resources for mental health awareness, click here to read out article.
- Physical Health – Much of today’s technology has brought a physical toll, even if it is meant to improve our world. Staring at a screen constantly, be it a mobile device or computer, can create eye strain. This can be recognized in blurred vision and/or dry eyes, and many of our screens, their brightness, or how close we sit to our devices can be the likely cause to this strain. Along with this, your posture can be affected. With many mobile devices, people are hunched over to text or interact with their screens. And many times, when working with computers, you can get locked in the same position for several hours. Too much of anything in this world can be bad, so taking the time to disconnect from your devices to stretch, walk around, and give your eyes a break can give your body a chance to recover.
- Better Sleep – Electronics have been a hinderance to sleep for a while, but having a mobile device next to your pillow as you sleep can be the reason why your sleep has gotten worse. The blue light from your phone, television, or computer can interrupt your natural sleep progression and melatonin production. This can be an easy fix – leave your cell phone in another room, leave the television off, and sleep in a dark room so that you can sleep better. For more tips and information on the importance of sleep, click here to read our article!
- Increased Productivity – Having just our phones on our person or near us greatly reduces our attention to what we’re meant to focus on. Duke et al shows that using our phones while learning new things “reduces comprehension and impairs academic performance.” When cell phones were in the other room as opposed to in the same room and in a purse or on a visible desk, learning was increased, as well as the focus of the participants. Our cell phones and devices allow us to become distracted and lose the mental acuity we need to completely fulfill our tasks. The more we can step away from them and no longer allow them to be distractions, the more our productivity will increase.
With the increasing number of devices in our lives, the more likely we are to step into a digital society rather than being present in our real world. We can easily miss out on things that unfold before our eyes because our focus was on our technology. As ANU operates online to provide education to students all over the globe, we also know the importance of engaging in your life outside of your devices. Our flexible class sessions are arranged so that you can find balance and unplug from the devices in your life. To learn more about our online education and how we can help you earn your education without sacrificing your time, go to an.edu/elearning.
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