The Life Impacts of Constant Connectivity

Do you remember a time when you took your dog for a walk without texting, or watched a game with your friends without checking your email? It was called downtime and it was healthy for you. In this age of connectivity it seems like that may be a thing of the past. Nowadays having our devices with us at all times is not uncommon, but is it healthy?

It’s extremely hard to argue that our gadgets—our smartphones, tablets and laptops—haven’t made our lives simpler. We can make dining reservations as we drive down the highway. If we’re lost, we can easily get directions on our smartphones. If we need tips on how to address our child’s fever, we can find medical advice by tapping the screen on our iPad.

But have you ever realized how seldom we are alone with only our thoughts these days? Some social commentators have wondered if this rise in communication will negatively impact the philosophical side of our species. Without the time and space to sit and ponder will we cease to do so?

That isn’t a question we will explore here, but it’s something to consider. A more pressing question is, what is being constantly plugged in doing to our health?

It’s not healthy to constantly be working. It’s every bit as unhealthy to always be searching for the next piece of entertainment, gossip, or tweet from a associate. To put it simply, the human body needs time to rest, to reflect, to think. If you find that you can’t go five minutes without checking your e-mail, sending a text, or Tweeting a friend, perhaps it’s time to unplug.

While being connected helps grow relationships online it can harm ones offline. When you’re out withyour friends and family members it may be good practice to unplug. It’s just too easy to text and check your email, forgetting to give the ones around you the attention they deserve.

If you find that you’re seldom without an electronic gadget in your hand, think about unplugging, at least for a short while. You might find that working less makes you more productive and less stressed.

Posted on: 04.11.12