5 Science-Backed Reasons To Go Off The Grid

The Challenge: Technology is helpful but addictive.

The Science: Stepping away from your device does a favor for your well-being.

The Solution: Take time away from tech. Go outside instead!

Would you rather go a day without your phone or receive an electric shock? It seems counterintuitive, but studies show that people would take the shocks rather than give up their phones. Electronic devices and people go together like peanut butter and jelly these days. Why? Technology is necessary to keep up with our social and professional lives.  But I’d argue it is just as necessary to take a break from it every once in a while. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Walking Increases Your Creativity

With technology being an integral part of our society, many of us do not try to find time to venture outdoors. Why would we? Everything we need is literally in the palm of our hand. You might think that the internet holds infinite inspiration, but it might actually be more helpful to step away from the computer.

Science shows that when you walk alone outside, away from distractions, you get a big boost in creativity. So, if you’re stuck on that work grind with no new ideas cropping up, go for a walk! Inspiration could be just around the corner!

  1. The Quiet of Nature Helps Your Brain Regenerate

Our phones are constantly buzzing. Push notifications from texts, social media, and even the games on our phones exhaust our attention. Although modern technology never lets us get bored, it is better for our brains if we take a break.

Studies found that getting away from the noise and distractions of electronics can help your neurons regenerate! That science for your brain is literally growing! It gets better. The regions of your brain responsible for memory are actually becoming stronger! Who doesn’t want a better memory?  

  1. Daydreaming Leads to Increased Productivity

By putting down your phone, you allow your mind to wander. It may seem counterproductive to daydream. But it actually can make you more productive: thinking can provide opportunities for constructive planning and rehearsing. So get away from your phone for a few minutes, and take a moment to plan out whatever you need to do—you’ll become faster and more efficient than ever before!

  1. Being “In the Moment” Helps Your Overall Mood

If you’re reading this article in a public space, look around. The people around you are probably on their phones or computers. We are so tied to our electronics that, for many of us, it has become hard not to instinctively scroll through our phones.

Carting your phone around may not be the key to keeping you happy. Studies show that we are happiest when we are completely present in the moment. By looking at our phones constantly, we detach ourselves from the moment at hand. Alternatively, being more engaged with the world around you will make you happier.

  1. Minimize the Negative Effects of Social Media

In a world dominated by social media, it’s difficult to avoid seeing others who portray a perfect life or body. However, research shows that people who have excessive concerns about projecting “perfect images” of themselves online are more likely to have health problems and psychological distress. Take a break from the fake reality of social media and enjoy the true reality of your surroundings in nature. Studies also show that the more connected you feel to nature, the happier you feel. So go off the grid!

Phones and computers are a great and essential part of our lives. They keep us connected, informed, and on time. It can be hard to stay disconnected even for just an hour but try to give yourself some time away from technology. Taking a simple, uninterrupted walk in nature may boost your happiness levels, creativity, memory, and productivity.

Audrey Maguire
I am a senior at Yale who is getting a B.S. in psychology. I've been a research assistant for emotional psychology labs for four years, and I love learning more about "psych hacks" that can improve your life.
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