The Benefits of Turning Off Your Phone and Computer for One Day

Over the summer, I made a decision that, one day a week, I would abstain from using my phone and computer. Now, why on earth would a person want to do that? Wouldn’t it keep you out of the loop with your friends? Wouldn’t it be inconvenient if someone were trying to reach you and you just didn’t know? What if something big just happened on campus or in the world, and at that moment in time you were completely unaware until 24 hours later? The thought of not having your phone and computer on you probably makes some people anxious, but for me it has added so much more to my life. There are many things you can gain from distancing yourself from your electronics. So, without further ado, here are a few:

1. You’re more aware of your surroundings.

Not being on your phone or computer really helps you soak up everything around you. You can focus in on tiny details that you would never otherwise think about. For example, on most days you may not notice how beautiful the trees are in the fall or how wide your friends’ eyes get when you tell them something interesting. When you’re more aware of your surroundings, life feels richer and makes you feel happier.

2. You have better conversations.

It’s really true. Your conversations with your friends are always much richer and more meaningful when a text message notification doesn’t interrupt you or when your friend isn’t scrolling through her Instagram feed. If you’re getting dinner with a friend, try to at least keep your phone in your pocket or on silent, facedown on the table for the entire meal, and see what happens!

3. Your personal confidence will be based on real life interactions as opposed to a certain number of “likes” or “favorites.”

I read an article recently that said that more and more people are becoming dependent on “likes” and “favorites” on social media sites in order to ensure their confidence. When you disconnect from your phone for a day, the self-confidence you feel will be genuine and based on your actions and other people’s true thoughts, as opposed to a “like” that someone didn't even put much thought into.

4. It forces you to “do” instead of “watch.”

I also recently read that our generation’s lives are being dominated more and more by electronic applications (e.g., Netflix). As much as we all love Netflix, it prevents us from getting out in the world and packing as much action into the day as possible. It also unintentionally makes us a little more anti-social; honestly, how much are you really getting to know the person you’re “Netflix-and-Chilling” with? Separating from your phone and computer really helps you do as much as you can—and I promise, it will make you feel more satisfied with your day.

5. You’re not always worried about what time it is.

You know the expression, “time flies when you’re having fun”? I truly feel like the less you check your phone for the time, the more fun you have. Checking your phone in the middle of a party, dinner, or other outing can be a major buzzkill, so committing to not use your phone for some amount of time can help you prevent that from happening!

6. Most importantly, you can better appreciate life.

It makes sense that you better appreciate of the life you have when you’re more aware of your surroundings, hold stellar conversations, have genuine self-confidence, are out and about doing things, and are unconcerned about the time. For most people, myself included, I sometimes feel like my life relates to a quote from Ellis Grey from Grey’s Anatomy: “The carousel never stops turning," in which life is the carousel. Although you can't stop the carousel, you can always control its speed. It always seems that when life is moving by sweet and slow, that’s when you can enjoy and appreciate it the most.

With that, I hope I’ve convinced you to separate from your phone for a day, or if not a day then an hour, or if not an hour then even a minute. I promise there is so much to gain.