The fear of being without a mobile phone, or beyond mobile phone contact
We wish we were making up that term, but it’s real. A growing number of studies suggest that two-thirds of us experience increased stress when our phone is out of reach. Here are three reasons why it’s important to power down laptops, turn off tablets, leave the phone behind and unplug every once in a while.
1. Feel happier. A study from Humboldt University of Berlin shows that one in three people feel worse about themselves after trolling websites like Facebook and Twitter (cue the envy over your friend’s tropical vacation photos while you’re stuck behind a desk). Avoid feelings of jealousy or loneliness by disconnecting from the devices that keep you constantly connected to social media.
2. Make memories in real life. Media mogul Arianna Huffington disconnected for a week over the holidays and shared her experience in a blog on The Huffington Post. “Unplugging meant rediscovering and savoring the moment for its own sake,” she wrote. “Taking in a view without tweeting it. Eating a meal without Instagramming it. Hearing my daughters say something hilarious and very shareable without sharing it.”
3. Create, don’t consume. With information constantly at our fingertips, it’s easy to consume everything within reach. But that’s not always healthy. Simply thinking about an unread email sitting in an inbox can decrease your effective IQ by 10 points, according to research by London’s Gresham College. By disconnecting from your devices long enough to get over the initial lack of contact, your brain has a chance to take a breather, ideally helping you bring a fresh perspective to your projects.