Many proponents of digital detoxing would tell us that there are several benefits to switching off our phones and our laptops for a time to take a break. Unplugging can definitely give us the breathing space we need to recollect ourselves, to pause and reflect on the information overload we receive online.
Whatever your tech-related problem, someone will tell you that the solution is to simply unplug. In this respect, the off-switch resembles nothing so much as the humble leech, long used as a go-to treatment for a mind-boggling assortment of maladies.
But a general or blanket unplugging may not bear as much results. Rather it would be best to ask yourself why you should unplug and what you will gain from it instead of simply doing it without thinking about the effects it will have on you no matter how short or long a time you spend offline.
But we’re well within our rights to ask for a more precise diagnosis before submitting to the surgical removal of our devices, particularly since the relationship between digital causes and human effects is still so murky.
While we’re still trying to figure out which of society’s problems can be attributed to technology use, we can at least get clear on which of our personal or professional problems we’re trying to address by unplugging.
Inevitably, in a world that is increasingly getting hyper-connected and digital, one way or another we need to adapt to the changing social, economic, and cultural landscape.
And as the majority consumes and is consumed within the system, perhaps there are better ways of dealing with our issues directly associated with the technoscape, instead of just doing away with the internet altogether. These four questions will help us navigate living in this reality of increased online presence and its ubiquity in our daily lives.
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