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We spend an incredible amount of time interacting with technology on a daily basis. From computers to phones and tablets to smart TVs, technology has a huge role in our everyday lives (Can you believe that the average American spends 24 hours a week online?). We rely on our phones, computers, and gadgets for everything from driving directions to banking, often integrating these functions so seamlessly within our routines that it’s easy to forget how tightly we’re tethered to tech. While it’s not always possible to enjoy a full digital detox, there are small substitutions we can make to live a more present existence IRL (in real life).
Here are 3 screen-free equivalents that will help restore digital balance in your life.
If you’re like us, you probably spend a lot of time scrolling through social media feeds and online articles. Picking up a print newspaper or book is a great way to reset your reality with intentional information consumption. Your body will thank you for it too — after all, you won’t be straining your eyes as you read from a glowing screen.
Bonus: You know those annoying videos that auto-play on your favorite news site, and the banner ads and popups that follow you around the internet? They don’t really exist offline (unless you’re talking about the opinionated person sellin’ you the newspaper at the corner bodega).
Netflix has changed the way we watch TV and so many of us spend entire evenings binge watching our favorite series. Streaming media is entertaining, but lacks some of the human interaction, excitement, and unexpected quirks that you’ll enjoy at a live performance. Whether you’re into music, drama, comedy, or something else, seeing a performance IRL will stimulate the senses and re-connect you with the world around you. Check out Ticketmaster for interesting live performances near you, or if you’re feeling fancy, grab some cheap broadway tickets and live it up in the Big Apple.
Console and phone games are designed to be addictive, so addictive that it’s easy to lose track of time when enjoying all of those pretty colors and fun sounds. While some games on the market are designed to help build neural connections (with contested effectiveness), dusting off an old board game is your best bet when it comes to exercising your brain, giving your eyes a break, and strengthening real human connections. In-fact, board games have made a bit of a resurgence in the last few years and there are so many great options for classic and newly created games that it’s unlikely you’ll run out of games to enjoy any time soon.
Bonus: Want to create your own game? We’ve been using The Game Crafter to make our ‘Missions’ game, and it’s pretty easy to get started prototyping your own cool idea. That’s what we call next level gaming.
Do you do something else to replace digital experiences with experiences IRL? Tell us about it in the comments.