Digital Detox: Unplugging While on Vacation
(KTLA) We’ve never been more connected, and even on vacation it can sometimes feel like we’re still working. So how does the modern employee have a great vacation while keeping their job?
It started with laptops, continued with Blackberries and now iPad’s keep us connected even when we’re halfway around the world. On summer vacation you really want to get away from it all, but these days there really is no such thing as a 9-5 job. As long as you have a signal, your work is with you.
“These days when people send you an e-mail or a text or leave you a voicemail, they expect a reply pretty quickly,” said Johnny Jet, travel expert.
So how do you truly disconnect, without feeling like you’re missing something back home? Mental health expert Dr. Gregory Jantz, author of Hooked, a book about the dark-side of social media and technology, shared his insight.
“Sixty-eight percent of people say they feel disconnected if they can’t get to their device in like an hour,” Jantz said. “It’s that device that’s got an umbilical cord, always connected, tethered to you. We do see a certain percentage of folks who develop a true anxiety disorder and addiction to their devices.”
Even if we’re not diagnosed, many of us already have the signs. Checking Facebook right when we wake up and instantly checking our phone whenever we hear that notification sound.
“Research has shown that we can create a brain that craves stimulation that sets us up for later addiction,” Jantz said.
He recommends having someone back at work sort through your messages and contact you only if it’s urgent. If that’s not possible keep your phone in your hotel room.
“Make a policy,” Jantz said. “I’m going to check it once a day and it’s a 15 minute period of time where I need to do what I need to do and then I’m putting it away. Discipline yourself and you’ll have a better vacation.”
Don’t just tech detox on vacation. Jantz said to try and set aside a day a week where you limit what you do on those gadgets. However, that is often easier said than done.