Addicted To Technology? 15 Women Reveal How They Unplug And Relax
Trying to steal a moment away and unplug from social media, the web, and all the other digital temptations that surround us can be extremely difficult. Between our addictions to Twitter and Instagram, our fixation on updating Facebook, and our inability to part with our smartphones, taking a break can require some hardcore discipline. But no matter how hard it may seem to cut ourselves off from the constant flow of updates, information and entertainment, it's worth learning how to put the brakes on your addiction to technology — both for your sanity and your health.
The benefits of unplugging from our smartphones range far beyond just making us more engaged and charming dinner companions. Studies have found that using social media can cause anxiety and contribute to lower self-esteem; computers can impact our sleep patterns if we use them late at night; and of course, sitting at your computer isn't keeping you physically fit (except for your fingers, of course).
Bustle asked 15 of our readers to tell us how they "unplug" from the internet and social media after a long day. Of course, everyone defines unplugging differently, as you'll see below — for some, it means using no electronics at all; for others, it involves jumping off social media and doing a deep dive into Netflix. But for our purposes, we're defining "unplugging" as getting off the web and social media. Because really, if you're not staring at your phone, updating your Facebook status or scouring the Internet for more useless information, I think it's safe to say that you're definitely more unplugged than 90% of the population.
1. Leah, 25
"I always leave my phone in my bag whenever the boy and I are on a 'date night.' We don't go out often (because we're in our 20s, poor, and living in NYC), so when we do, I treat it as a special occasion. I put all my focus on him and ignore the outside world."
2. Colleen, 30
"I don't get to do it often enough, but I enjoy playing Skyrim, taking long naps, and drinking wine while watching shows I've already seen a million times on Netflix."
3. Hayli, 21
"I love to read! I'm trying to get in the habit of ignoring my phone and shutting my laptop at a certain time at night and reading myself to sleep. I realized I was spending far too much time leaning in. And I've noticed my own writing improves the more I read."
4. Kathy, 35
"I recently started running again, and have always loved doing work on my old bungalow, and more recently the yard. Given that I work in high tech and work from home, I have to either get out of the house or dive into something unrelated... add loud music and I'm a happy camper."
5. Gabrielle, 32
"I leave my phone at home while I go work out or meet up with friends. I have sadly discovered that it's the only method that actually works for me."
6. Becky, 29
"Yoga on days that I can swing it, hiking in the summer, reading, taking beercations out of town, and for nights I get home from work tired & just want to shut my brain off: Netflix. So much Netflix."
7. Heather, 36
"Reading, a nice hot bath, reality TV (even after a bad day, things look pretty good comparatively), gardening, a nap (in the rare event I can make that happen!)."
8. Amber, 25
"I turn off my phone, masturbate for about an hour, then watch Friends for a couple hours before bed."
9. Nicole, 33
"Bath. After the kids go to bed. Lush bath bomb. Glass of wine or a beer. Happy happy."
10. Jen, 35
"Masturbation... followed by wine and Netflix."
11. Ali, 23
"Dinner or drinks with friends after work is my favorite way to unplug. We even have a rule that we’re not allowed to check our phones while we’re together. It’s great."
12. Maddie, 31
"Watching Frasier over and over!"
13. Mieko, 35
"Reading or smoking pot or watching Netflix... or the combination of all three of those."
14. Natalie, 24
"Sex. That’s how I unplug best. If my partner’s not around, then masturbation. Then wine."
15. Rachel, 30
"Reading... getting lost in a book while enjoying a nice hot bubble bath with music in the background."