The Effects of Staying Digitally Plugged In

I’ve had a couple of things on my brain lately. One of these things, and hear me out here, is how everything I do from a simple search on Google, to playing my favorite video game has an effect on my brain. Whether it is instant gratification from knowledge being immediately at my fingertips, or frustration at a failure to achieve a goal in a fictional world. There’s no denying that how I feel affects how I think. That’s right, it’s science. Your emotions affect your cognitive connections and especially in the digital world.

We are busy, and digitally plugged into the world around us.

We know what Susan is doing via her last Facebook post as we write emails, all simultaneously. Thanks to our cell phones or desktop notifications. We all feel some type of way when we read a happy, sad or political post. In fact, there have been a number of studies on how social media affects the brain. Even how people are more depressed after spending large amounts of time on it. Some studies show it lowers our impulse control, harms self esteem and leaves us more open to peer pressure. Even as adults.

Related Post – Effects of Music on the Brain

Maybe, the solution for the issues that stem from social media is to unplug for a bit.

We’ve recently, much to my child’s chagrin, instituted a ‘no tech day’ on the weekends. We didn’t turn on a television or cell phone; no Facebook, no Instagram, no SnapChat and no gaming systems. We (tried to) spend the time playing board and card games (I lost horribly at UNO), going on a hike, or cooking a meal without any interruptions. For the sake of full disclosure, I will say that this wasn’t an easy day for either my son or I, but we did have a barrel of laughs (and lost three of monkeys from the barrel of monkeys).

We may have disconnected from the digital world, but we connected as a family . . .

I’m constantly on my phone and he’s fairly attached to his Kindle Fire, and I may have cheated a bit. But I will say I felt more in sync with my son afterwards, I knew every detail of his school week, and we had wonderful, whimsical conversations about how the world works and his favorite ‘what if…’ questionnaire. I know this isn’t something we’ll succeed in doing weekly, but I do believe the goal will be to implement it on a fortnightly basis. We may have disconnected from the digital world, but we connected with each other as a family and that meant the world.

Is this something you do with your family? Does it work for you? Let us know, comment below!

Guest Blogger, Emma Beazley

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