Constant Connectivity: When Should You Unplug

Remember downtime? That was when you could take your dog on a walk without needing to answer your mobile phone. It was when you’d watch your child’s little league baseball game without also checking your e-mail messages on your smartphone. And it was when you’d enjoy a film at home without also working on your expense report on your tablet computer. In this era of interconnectivity, downtime seems to be a thing of the past. The important question? Is this healthy?

Our gadgets have definitely made our lives easier. We can get directions at the touch of a button. Find the closest restaurant in minutes and Google the answer to something with ease and speed.

However, all this connectivity does come with a price. We rarely have time to be alone with our ideas. Some social experts have wondered if our continual connectivity and the increased pressure to always be working—or playing—will cause the end of deep, philosophical thinking among humans.

That isn’t a question we’ll examine here, but it’s something to think about. A more pressing question is, what is being continually plugged in doing to our health?

It’s not healthy to always be working. It’s just as unhealthy to always be in search of the next bit of entertainment, gossip, or tweet from a associate. The bottomline is, the human body needs time to rest, to reflect, to think. If you find that you can not go a few minutes without checking your e-mail, sending a text, or Tweeting a friend, it might be time to unplug.

Relationships can be impacted as well by being too plugged in. When spending time with family and friends it could be beneficial to unplug and just enjoy the art of conversation. In today’s world it is simpler to communicate on Facebook or via text rather than face to face.

If you find that you’re rarely without an electronic gadget in your hand, consider unplugging, at least for a short while. You will probably find that working less makes you more productive and less stressed.

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