Unplug with Camping
Written by Bryce Smith
At least once a year I believe it is incredibly important to get away from the day to day grind and become one with nature. Escape to a place far away from television and internet with no street lights, no speeding cars, and only the noise of the wind whispering between the mountains, and the streams and rivers flowing. Unplugging from the world can be one of the best things you do for your health and wellbeing.
Disconnecting from our obsession with iPhones and social media can do all kinds of wonderful things for our real world connections with family, friends and loved ones. It can also do wonders to actually be in the moment rather than allowing our mind to travel one-hundred miles a minute from topic to topic. Becoming one with nature grounds us to the world around us. It allows our minds to slow down and evaluate our life’s purpose and decide if we like the direction our life is headed. It allows for meditation and reflection about our why and the true message in our hearts. We now live in a world where our lives are louder than a football stadium in the fall in the South Eastern Conference. With all the noise coming from the rapid avenues of social media, it has become very easy to get lost in the shuffle and chase the mighty dollar while overlooking the truly important things in life.
As humans, we have become incredibly dependent on our devices that could have negative effects on our health. Let’s explore some of the areas in which devices can be detrimental to our health:
– Poor posture leading to poor biomechanics during movement
– Not living in the moment but instead in a social fantasy land
– Losing the ability to connect with people
– Life may be passing you by if your head is constantly in your phone
– Many people are constantly checking their phones and could not go a day without their phone
– Most cell phone users even use their phone as a second screen while watching television
– Most cell phone users sleep with their phones next to them in fear of missing an important call or message
– People spend on average around six days a month watching television
Let’s take a look at some great reasons to disconnect from technology. Social media has its perks, but also can cause unhappiness including feelings of resentment, loneliness and jealousy. Seeing posts about family, relationships, career, body image, vacations, to even the number of likes on a photo can manipulate one’s feelings and cause envy. Unplugging for a little while can help to reset one’s appreciation for the good that is in their life. Our social media streams are constantly updated with what is going on around us and can cause a feeling of missing out. Let’s be honest, we cannot be everywhere at once and when we learn how to live in the present space, we will in turn enhance our contentment and fulfillment in life. “Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you. These experiences will never repeat themselves. These conversations are unfiltered and authentic (1).”
When you look at the nature of the internet, you see a lot of wasted time. People use the internet to consume time by browsing, playing games, listening to music, watching movies and connecting on Facebook and Instagram. We live in a consumerist society. Let me get your head spinning a bit. What if we lived in a creative society that used their passion and inner drive to create something special? Unplug every once in a while and see if meditation and connecting with nature can help stimulate the creative juices.
There is something to be said about direct interaction with people. The ability to feel one’s energy, read body language, and engage in eye contact is a much different experience than having the filter of a computer or phone. Seeing video, or photos of the great outdoors and all that it has to offer is one thing, but to experience actually being there is another experience in and of it self. To be able to see bears and deer in their natural habitant interacting with their species is so special. Feeling your lungs have to work a bit harder while hiking on the side of a massive cliff due to the changes in altitude and wondering how people traveled through such treacherous terrain many years ago is mind boggling. Jumping in to a lake of glacier runoff and freshly melted snow is absolutely breathtaking. Even with the miracle of technology, it cannot provide what real human experience has to offer.
I have a challenge for you. Henry Ward Beecher once said that the first hour is the rudder of the day. How you spend that first hour sets the tone for the day, so spend it wisely. My challenge to you is to stay away from technology for your first waking hour. Have a cup of coffee, spend time with loved ones, take the dog on a walk, read a book, or meditate. There is a laundry list of things you can do, but strive to spend the first waking hour away from email, texts, social media, etc. Joshua Becker said it best, the world ran just fine without you while you slept for the last seven to eight hours, so one more hour won’t hurt. Using that initial hour to get your mind right with help you to appropriately mold the other twenty three hours of the day (1).
1) Becker, Joshua Becker. “7 Important Reasons to Unplug and Find Space.” Becoming Minimalist. N.p., 31 Aug. 2013. Web. 05 Sept. 2016.