Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

Technology has occupied our lives so much that it has almost started suffocating us. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that people who constantly check their email, text and social media experience a considerably higher amount of stress compared to those who don’t.

A New York-based non-profit organization Reboot has initiated a National Day of Unplugging, which invites people to take a break from technology on the first Friday of every March to unwind, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.

While it’s a good idea to devote a day in a year to unplugging, it’s essential to get rid of our online addiction, just so that we live a more balanced life every day. You can use these 7 tips for getting rid of your addiction. Some of these methods might sound drastic, but trust us, you will thank yourself for giving these a shot.

  1. Control your social media urges

 Come to think of it, social media keeps us engaged for the most of our day. People find it virtually impossible to go absent from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. At times, they check their social media news feeds so frequently that it starts interfering with their jobs as well. The best way to break the connection with social media is by deactivating your accounts. If not permanently, then temporarily deactivating social media accounts gives you a break to re-think your priorities.

  1. Travel to far off places

Traveling is another way to stay away from tech. You can take a long flight without Wi-Fi to a place without Internet connection.

Does this sound like a made up place? You will be surprised to know that there are still many such places across the globe. It’s a foolproof unplugged vacation as you can always tell the world that you couldn’t check that urgent text, email of notification because there was no way you could do so!

  1. Meditate (Use Yoga to Get Rid of Your Technologic Toxins)

Technology and stress pretty much go hand in hand. Including meditation in your daily routine helps take your eyes and mind off technology while also sorting out the mental clutter that our ever-connected world imposes on us. If you are someone whose job requires continuously remaining online, it’s all the more important for you to disconnect and meditate. 10 minutes of meditation during your day is a great start.

While meditation helps your mind rejuvenate, yoga goes a long way in relieving the body from the stiffening impact of stress technology brings with it.

  1. Read a Book

No, not an e-book!

While e-books are more in style in this digital era, get a hard copy. Put aside your digital collection of books for a while and shop for a paperback novel. Hit the couch with a cup of coffee and turn over the pages, and underline your favourite sentences without waiting for that loading circle. You will more than likely find it very therapeutic.

  1. Take a Walk (and Leave Your Phone Behind)

Walking is all about enjoying your surroundings, looking around, and feeling the real world around us. Keeping our eyes on the smartphone during walks surely makes a person deprived of the sights, sounds, and sensations off-screen. When you are out for a walk, leave your phone at home, at least for that brief period. The notifications can certainly wait for a few minutes. 

  1. Look for Engaging Offline Activities

Try to engage yourself in work that doesn’t require technology. Go for real-time shopping or keep yourself busy with a hobby that doesn’t require a screen. Gardening, carpentry, pottery, painting… anything that keeps your mind of technology.

Have a look at your room. Don’t you think that the only item you are paying attention to is your laptop or smart phone? Maybe you could renovate your room with an entirely new décor!

  1. Interact with Friends and Family

You would surely have friends and family with whom you have interacted via social media status. Take your time out, switch off your devices and schedule face-to-face meetings with them. Invite your friends for get-togethers, throw parties and have fun beyond the LED screens. Only this way will you get away from the digital world and avoid the use of technology.

Still, need more inspiration to unplug now? Watching these TED talks might motivate you to take action right away!