Recent studies have found that Americans check their phone, on average, about 47 times a day. For people between the ages of 18 and 24, that number is closer to 82. Half of us check our phones in the middle of the night (and again, that number is higher for younger adults). We spend about four hours a day gazing at our screens.
Now, let’s think about our relationships with our phones as if they were, well, relationships. Would we tolerate a new love interest who insisted we wake up in the middle of the night to check on them, or a friend who needed us to call them 47 times a day? It’s probably safe to say we’d think twice about continuing a relationship like that.
Even the most social and extroverted among us need quiet once in a while. We need time to sleep and to reflect, to unplug and reconnect with ourselves. Sometimes that means simply doing nothing and being present in the moment instead of interacting, reading, playing, or watching — just being. Other times we might go for a walk, meet a friend for coffee, or spend time in nature. If you’ve been thinking about taking some time to unplug, you’re not alone. Here are 12 quotes on the power of disconnecting from our devices.
I think it’s important to try and be present with whatever it is that you’re doing. And if you can’t be present, take a break.
— Emily Giffin
We do well to unplug regularly. Quiet time restores focus and composure.
— Daniel Goleman
Doing nothing means unplugging from the compulsion to always keep ourselves busy, the habit of shielding ourselves from certain feelings, the tension of trying to manipulate our experience before we even fully acknowledge what that experience is.
— Sharon Salzberg
When it comes to social media, there are just times I turn off the world. Sometimes you have to give yourself space to be quiet, which means you’ve got to set those phones down.
— Michelle Obama
The problem is that technology has become an extra limb for some of us. It’s important to utilize technology, but at the same time it’s important to know when to take a break from it.
— Alex Broches
Go for a walk outdoors. Reconnect with the feeling of the wind blowing through your hair. Listen to the birds that live in a tree in your yard. Watch the sunset. Take time to smell the flowers that bloom in the park during the summer. The natural world is just as natural as it ever was, except there's less of it than there was 25 years ago — and most of us don't make a point of enjoying it often enough.
― Skye Alexander
Work is important, but you also need to disconnect, to unplug at times, in order to be even more concentrated when you do work.
— Massimiliano Allegri
Especially when you have a lot going on, you must find a way to unplug and focus on yourself.
— Mandy Ingber
I try to make a point in my life to leave the cellphone in the car sometimes, to try to unplug as much as possible.
— Tom Green
It is difficult to think clearly in rooms filled with other people. It’s difficult to understand yourself if you are never by yourself… Sometimes you have to disconnect in order to better connect with yourself and with the people you serve and love.
— Ryan Holiday
Unplugging helps you refocus on yourself instead of being pulled in a zillion different directions. Those directions may all be important, but you are just as important.
― Arin Murphy-Hiscock
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.
— Anne Lamott
Photo credit: Ben Kolde/ Unsplash