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December 16th, 2023 Holiday Spikeball Hat Tournament in Pacific Beach Benefiting SDSL At-Risk Youth Programs

Our Need to Disconnect

Author: Calvin Hollingsworth

We live in a peculiar time in today’s day and age. Over the past several decades, especially the past two, we have seen a huge surge in technological advances. We have this worldwide network called the internet, phones in our pockets that are thousands of times more powerful than the computers that got us on the moon, and social media where we can connect online and make new friends or reacquaint ourselves with old friends anywhere around the world.

While these technologies aren’t bad at face value, they can cause us to be disconnected from reality if left unchecked. They actually are life-changing for the better in helping us complete day-to-day tasks much more efficiently. But on the flip side, we are so dependent on our phones and social media that it has become an addiction in our society. Mental health in Millennials, Gen Z, and younger generations has plummeted due to an excessive use of these technologies. We get dopamine shots every time we get notifications. We compare ourselves to others and therefore we feel that we are not good enough. It also doesn’t help that people tend to share highlights of their lives and give their followers the facade that their lives are perfect in every way when that’s obviously not true.

There is an ancient saying that I love that says “everything in moderation” that can’t be any more truer today. There is power in disconnecting from technology and enjoying the beauty around us. There are many ways where we can disconnect. Meditation is a great way for us to look inward and focus on self-healing and reflection. One of my favorite places to meditate is to be surrounded by nature, whether it be at the beach, or up in the mountains, and soaking up all of the sights and sounds. It is amazing what a few minutes of meditation and self-discovery can do for your overall well-being and I highly recommend you do the same. 

Reading a novel or an uplifting book works wonders in disconnecting and healing. Reading helps you to slow down mentally and focus your attention on the content you are ingesting. Studies have shown that reading a physical book increases your intelligence, aids in sleep, boosts mental health, and reduces stress to name a few. It can be a wonderful activity to decompress and escape reality for a brief moment. Find a genre that interests you and start reading. Who knows, maybe you will find other people with similar book interests and make some new friends!

Human interaction, especially physical interaction, is the best way for us to disconnect. As much as some people would rather be by themselves, we need to spend as much time as we can around people that love and care about us. Being surrounded by good people will help you navigate your journey through life. Speaking from experience, and as an introvert myself, I feel some of the best times in my life have been when I am surrounded by those who love me and it has worked literal miracles in my personal life. Sure, I need time to myself to recharge my batteries, but if I don’t get some sort of human communication, I go crazy. I know most people are different, but try to pick and choose who you associate with and seek to find people who uplift and inspire you to be a better human being. 

There is no right or wrong way to disconnect. The importance is to make sure you take time out of your life to focus on yourself. Whether that be a few minutes in the morning when you wake up, you’re going on a run, or relaxing at home to a good book, it’s entirely up to you. As long as you devote some time every day to recharge and heal, that’s all that matters. It will make the world of a difference in every aspect of your life.

Balance is crucial for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And this also includes our use of technology. Maintaining balance is brilliant in theory, but is very difficult to master in practice. It is a lifelong pursuit. We live in a time where several things demand much of our time, focus, and energy. We oftentimes are stressed beyond the breaking point and feel like we are trapped, to just accept that our lives are out of our control. This is why it is crucial for us to take some time out of our busy days to focus on ourselves. Work on developing balance by taking one step at a time every day and keep up with that habit. Consistency is key. Over time, you will look back and see how far you’ve come which is highly motivating to keep you moving forward. Remember, “everything in moderation.”