The Importance Of Unplugging

By Brandy Miceli on August 22, 2016

As we gradually ease into the fall semester, it’s inevitable to become overwhelmed by the amount of time we’re required to spend at our electronic devices. A simple practice that students can adopt to avoid feeling overworked is unplugging.

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Unplugging is the act of creating space between you and your electronic devices to feel relaxed and clear-minded. It’s hard to comprehend because we are so plugged in to our computers doing loads of assignments, and our phones for organizing projects or posting on social media.

According to Psych Central, the average student spends 8-10 hours per day on her cell phone alone, so factor in computer use and possibly television and we have a student community that is attached to electronics.

Being away from the technological world for a while may feel uncomfortable. For example, feeling naked when you accidentally leave your phone at home. But with intention, it doesn’t have to feel that way. As we realize the importance of unplugging, it becomes much easier and actually enjoyable.

Unplugging comes in many forms. The simplest way to unplug is to leave your cell phone behind, grab a book or something to keep you occupied, and step outside for some time to relax. Whether you take a trip to your favorite park or hang out in your backyard, let the breeze and sounds of nature rejuvenate your being.

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Take it a step further by leaving the book behind and being alone with your thoughts. Take a moment to check in and see where those thoughts are, and if they are negative in any way, allow them to rest and realize nothing is more important than this peaceful, present moment. Your homework, or checking how many likes you got on your latest Instagram selfie can wait.

Unplugging doesn’t have to be done alone. When a group of friends all leave their phones behind for a hike or a bite to eat, some of the best conversations and most memorable experiences can happen because everyone is actually enjoying the moment instead of feeling compelled to Snapchat it.

It makes sense why students are so connected to their electronics. We grew up at the dawn of the internet, and were captured by social media at the perfect age. However, it can be troublesome to our mental health being so plugged in all the time. Don’t let the semester have you in wraps. Take some time out of each day to unplug and notice how relaxed your days can be.

Brandy is a freelance journalist, the print managing editor for Xpress Magazine, an editor at The Borgen Project, an intern at Project Censored, a feminist, a yogi, a cheesemonger, and a free thinker.

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