Power off. When it comes to technology, these are two words many of us don't often see. It's hardly surprising we don't give our gadgets much downtime when they have become such an important part of our lives. We use our tablets, mobiles, laptops, games consoles, and TVs - to communicate, work, play, share, socialise, and learn. Technology has transformed our lives and no doubt for the better.
So why bother turning it all off? As the saying goes, sometimes we can have too much of a good thing. Various studies have shown the impact technology is having on our lives. From the UK, researchers have shown us we spend more time logged on than we do asleep, and more time with our smartphone than with our partners. Closer to home, an Australian study revealed we're spending an incredible 10 hours each day on electronic devices.
All that screen time does mean one thing: less time with the people in your life that matter more than any new gadget.
Chances are if you’re spending long hours on your laptop or tuned in to your favourite TV show you’re not being as physically active as you should be. It probably also means less time appreciating the great outdoors.
Going cold turkey from your tech probably isn't going to be feasible for most, but finding a little extra time away from your electronic devices could bring some healthy rewards for your mind, body, friendships and relationships. Spending time with your family, without the disruptions of technology, can improve your wellbeing and health. When you are taking your annual family holiday organise some quality time with your family without the technology.
Heidi Horne, who runs yoga retreats at Peppers Guest House, Hunter Valley, says that guests are able to make the most of their weekend when they unplug from technology. “By unplugging guests can make the most of rebooting from their everyday hectic and stressful lives, and feel recharged and revitalised from the weekend,” she says. “Many people often come on the retreats with a family member or good friends and by unplugging from technology it allows them to re-connect and talk face-to-face.”
There are plenty of great reasons to turn off the digital devices and spend more time interacting with your natural surroundings. Beautiful locations such as York Cove in Tasmania, Lake Tekapo in New Zealand or Kingscliff in New South Wales are easy to access and full of outdoor, family activities.
Book in regular time with your family to ‘go screen free’ and provide that much-needed respite to your hectic and technology-driven lifestyle.