5 Ways to Unplug this Summer

We are the technology generation. We are more connected, informed, and accessible than ever before. Having said this, our constant screen time can have some seriously negative effects on our health. Increased use of technology has been linked to decreased attention spans, poor sleep habits, diminished social skills, anxiety and depression. However, we're not all doomed. With tiny habitual changes, we can reduce our screen time exponentially. The summer is the perfect time to start the process of unplugging! Less screen time means more time to gaze at beautiful sunsets, eat relish food, spend time with friends and appreciate the best season of the year. Here are 5 easy ways you can start to ditch the screens:

Photo: Sara Glick (Tulane '18)

Photo: Sara Glick (Tulane '18)

Phone calls

There are some things we just really don’t need to text about. If you’re making lunch plans with a friend, instead of texting back and forth for 40 minutes, call them! It sounds simple, but you’ll check your phone way less and more importantly, get food faster...

Delete irrelevant apps

We all have those apps on our phone that send us daily notifications that we repeatedly delete. We don't need to know the cupcake flavor of the day and it’s bothersome to be reminded daily that we haven’t created a music video in over two weeks. Either delete these apps, or remove them from your Notification Center.

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Photo: Gabrielle Levitt (Vanderbilt '18)

Unsubscribe to spam

Websites are sneaky with this one. You hastily order a bathing suit for a last minute trip and before you know it, you have seven emails in your inbox every day about new sales, two-for-one deals and membership points. Make it stop!! Scroll to the bottom and hit “unsubscribe” on every email that you mindlessly delete. In the future, be careful when making online orders. Or, if you’re like my mom, use somebody else’s email (I recently figured out why I was getting daily emails from Pompanoosuc Mills).

Capture a couple great photos

The ability to instantly take photos of every beautiful sight we see throughout the day is debatably the best aspect of this technological tidal wave. Oftentimes we spend so much time trying to get that great shot that we actually miss the experience happening in front of us. In the future, take four or five money shots, then put the phone away and just take it all in. You’ll remember the experience more and still come away with a couple of Insta-worthy pics.

Take a break

We’re not telling you to go cold turkey...that would be nearly impossible. But, your next weekend away with friends or family, leave your phone at home when you go to the beach or out to dinner. You’ll be more attentive to the feeling of the sand between your toes, how delicious your lobster tastes and all the wonderful people around you.