Reducing Technology

I’ve already discussed the general benefits of getting away when you have chronic illness. Today I want to focus in on one key factor I believe was beneficial to me; reducing my reliance on technology.

In today’s environment there is technology everywhere. This technology can be a good thing as it allows us to connect to others in a way that wasn’t available before.

For example, without technology I wouldn’t be here writing to all of you. People who live all over the world are able to connect in real time via the phone or the internet. Since being ill my connection with a lot of my friends and family has become very connected to the use of technology. Without it I’m sure my relationship with some of them would be a lot less connected or even completely gone. For these reasons along with many others to do with safety and , I do appreciate the importance of technology in our lives.

However, having gone basically technology free (other than a nightly phone call to E each night) while on my girls weekend on Dangar Island I have noticed how much more relaxed and happy I am without that constant connection and constant interruption to my daily life. This has got me rethinking my connection to my various technological items (tv, computer, tablet and phone). I do use these items for activities that are good for my health, such as connecting with friends and family as mentioned above and tracking my symptoms and energy usage, but I believe I am too connected to these items for my mental and emotional health.

To try and decrease stress and anxiety levels and increase feelings of happiness and productivity, I have decided to limit my time on each of these items. On a normal day I am aiming to limit:

  • TV only in the evenings when E is home to ensure I try and do other activities during the day. This will not apply on crash days and really bad days when I can’t do any high level activities.
  • Twitter/Facebook/Email/Blog Comment replies a maximum of three times a day (after first relaxation and exercise in the morning, around lunch time, and in the evening before dinner).
  • Blogging and other online activities a maximum of 2 hours a day.

By reducing these activities I’m hoping to increase my emotional wellbeing by reducing my anxiety and stress related to having to respond to messages as soon as they arrive and increasing the time I spend outside in nature which I find very relaxing and beneficial to my health. I believe it will also increase my mental wellbeing by increasing my creativity and productivity to fill the remaining time in my day.

I am also considering having a regular day or weekend that is a technology free time (even if it’s once a year). I loved my time on Dangar Island and believe I have come back refreshed and reenergised to tackle my problems and dreams for my future.

Have you ever tried having some technology free time?