Can Quitting Online Activities be The Key to Millennial Happiness?
The jury’s out. Being in the late 20s can be frustrating. Even though you will see a Millennial actively touting the picture live on social media, scrolling through Facebook notifications lighting up on the phone, and checking on Twitter while on the commute – things aren’t always so rosy on the other side of the screen.
Although the same charm of staying connected to the high-speed internet may persist throughout the day too: studies report that 1 in 5 millennials suffer from depression. The cause is generally said to be life changes. But is there more to this than simply a challenging phase of life and struggle? If Millennials are really that unhappy then what’s causing the turmoil?
We’re not the only ones observing this – you must’ve read numerous thought pieces by online bloggers about the importance of unplugging from the web-connected-world. Yet, taking a break from the dial-up internet connection (gasp!) raises questions as well: is technology changing the very perspective of living? Or is it just a tech trend?
let’s walk through two main points: what force Millennials to stay connected and how to breakthrough this force:
Staying Connected to the Internet 24/7: Good or Bad?
Millennials’ drug of choice as per various researchers is; social media. Though it may not be a technical addiction, an excessive online connection is becoming problematic. Back in 2010, a study was conducted at the University of Maryland where most students described online activities and presence as their addiction.
The students complained that they felt bored, uncomfortable, anxious, and disconnected without their phones and fluctuating internet connection speed.q
Speaking medically, the symptoms suggest that there should be some strong benefits of staying “plugged in” at all times. Right?
To most people, this allure of staying connected online, 24/7, is being able to keep up with family, friends, and the latest world happenings. Compared to calling a friend over the phone, reading about their latest updates, liking and commenting on their posts seems to do the job easily.
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Connection through the Go-Go-Gadgets
Whether for good or bad, your smartphone and their connection to a good internet connection speed are making things easy. A single tap of the fingertip can make you see the world while keeping your brain and body engaged in other tasks.
And in other cases, the downside of keeping the computers and phones switched throughout could outweigh the benefits. And multitasking that these youngsters love – the Great White Whale of this generation – doesn’t boost productivity. But it does become a reason of distraction from all that’s important and also impedes memory.
Checking on social media sites, emails, and texts on a constant basis may seem like a development step of connectivity, but the truth is quite opposite. Numerous studies depict how constant connectivity to the internet and other such mediums can harm relationships, mental health, and interpersonal communications.
Staying Plugged – in at Work
Staying connected constantly hasn’t just changed how we socialize, but also how we bring the bacon home. Internet connection has changed the whole new interpretation of the traditional “workaholic” trope. We don’t see busy professionals anymore, rather young workers emailing and brunching. The more and more work goes online than in cubicles or meeting rooms, the more feasible it becomes to never stop working.
But is that how it should be?
The general and over-all agreement to this matter is simply “no”. There are studies that support the weekend’s comfort and nights off more than the connection and stress of work. Constant connectivity to emails, systems, and other means prevent people from distancing from work and the environment – hence making it impossible to keep stress in check.
How Unplugging Will Help – The Solution!
Remember the days when work remained only at work – the moment you switched off, you were off from work. But internet connection, its speed, smartphones, social media, and so much more – just about staying connected and being available is making office, home, and relations mix up.
This entire mix up cause’s lack of productivity, impacts on relationships, increases stress. Abstaining from this and use of technology reverses the consequences.
However, a regular schedule of “rest time” or disconnection helps. While shutting off completely may not be the solution and it may be crucial, a little time to optimize the newly learned stuff is essential. Luckily, a great number of people are participating in this and are validating the importance of downtime.
There’s even a holiday created by The Sabbath Manifesto that gives a day in smelling the roses: The National Day of Unplugging, once a year on March 9-10.
Various bloggers and leaders, such as The Minimalists website suggestion canceling the home internet access to make the home computer look less appealing. Others have also embarked on the same journey with different suggestions.
For the ones who cannot resist the internet at all, there are special getaway experiences that offer real-life activities and bonding experiences that distract former tech fiends from the withdrawal process.
It is feasible to take a step back from our always-on lifestyles. With a little bit of effort, it’s entirely possible to stop living through our phones and computer screens, re-connect with other human beings, reduce stress, and enhance creativity.