We’ve all seen the memes of young people sitting in a café on their phones, “socialising”. We’ve all glanced around at a bus stop or on the train to see people completely immersed in what’s on the screen of their device. Technology is such an amazing way to stay connected, and yet has the potential to be damaging to social connectedness at the same time.
This week I attended a training course and team offsite, forcing me to disconnect for four consecutive business days. Combined with the evening social events, I was offline for four days and nights straight. The result? I was fully present, I engaged with people, I listened properly in conversation, my mind didn’t wander. I felt different, my mind was more open, I had less racing thoughts, and I felt more positive about myself. I built better relationships with my peers as a result of genuine conversation, I noticed more, I felt more grateful.
Being connected online is a useful tool for both our business and personal lives. But take a keen interest in your behaviour and be aware of becoming a slave to the screen. Question how you use these tools, the amount of time you invest, and how it makes you feel.
I recently heard Carolyn Creswell speak as a thought leader on business. She shared her tip for “digital sunset”, which means turning off devices when the sun goes down. Why not give this is a go? You can switch off at sunset or perhaps 1 hour before bedtime, to allow your mind to really wind down. Or why not go one step further and challenge yourself to choose one time during the day to check your social media, with discipline and self-awareness.
The outcome could just be a better version of the real you.