Nowadays, technology is such a huge part of our lives and our culture that we never really can catch a break. Despite our efforts to keep the balance of technology and reality, these lines do not exist anymore. While many technological advances are great, there are negative consequences to them as well.
One huge consequence is our well-being. The places people look to regain this have one thing in common, bringing the focus back to a more simplistic life resulting in more intimate relationships with nature, one's self, family and friends. By reducing technology consumption, an old-fashioned lifestyle allows one to bring the focus back to a more simplified life.
Reducing the use of technological devices have been found to improve everything from physical health to one's communication skills. This suggestion can be found everywhere from a doctor's visit to gossip magazines. The actual science behind reducing technology falls into a few camps: addiction, blue light affecting one's eyes, technology use prior to sleep and how it can harm sleep quality and the link between mental health and technology.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, "The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm. Reducing melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep."
This lack of sleep over a period of time affects one's day-to-day life. The inability to put down our devices also affects our social life, not only with friends but also with family. There are countless articles on how to reduce technological use and why we should reduce the use of our devices, further proving many of us know it is bad for us and have a goal of reducing technological consumption, yet we seem to have a struggle to do so. As simple as it may seem for us to reduce the use of technology, it is way harder than many of us are willing to admit. Due to this difficulty, implementing other simplistic activities may help one to reduce their technology use over time.
Activities such as reading and gardening provide many benefits to those who pursue them. Reading not only provides entertainment and the ability to explore one's imagination, but it also is a good way for parents to bond with their kids.
According to Brendan Brown with Business Insider, "When we read, not only are we improving memory and empathy, but research has shown that it makes us feel better and more positive too. Science has shown that reading has some amazing health benefits, including helping with depression, cutting stress, and reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer's later in life."
Reading, no matter the genre, not only brings people together, but it radically improves your life.
Another alternative to technology is gardening. Whether you live in a city or the country, gardening is becoming more widely accessible, including in community gardens or in your own backyard. Gardening brings one closer to nature and gives a greater understanding and appreciation of our food, as well as the environment. Gardening can even be a form of exercise.
According to Anne Harding of CNN, "But digging, planting, weeding, and other repetitive tasks that require strength or stretching are excellent forms of low-impact exercise, especially for people who find more vigorous exercise a challenge, such as those who are older, have disabilities, or suffer from chronic pain."
The benefits of gardening do not end there, for it also helps with long term mental health.
According to Heather Hausenblas of U.S. News, "A daily dose of gardening lowers the risk of dementia by 36 percent, even when a range of other health factors are taken into account, according to a study from the Medical Journal of Australia."
Along with all these benefits of gardening, one gets tangible and sometimes edible results of their dedication. Introducing one's self to activities like reading and gardening one can bring focus to the simpler things in life.
Overall, it is much healthier to slow down and live more simplistically. There are so many things we can try in order to get back in touch with the non-virtual world. For me, gardening and reading are the ways I find to best connect me to the surrounding world, but the possible things to do are endless and have the potential to interest anyone. So, try ditching your devices for a weekend or an evening and explore the world.