20 Ways To Not Let Technology Take Over Your Life

12/6/13 12:38PM EST

20 Ways To Not Let Technology Take Over Your Life 20 Ways To Not Let Technology Take Over Your Life

Image via Shutterstock

If envelopes connote only the Gmail icon and your idea of reading a magazine is clicking the arrow to page two, you might be in need of the following tips…

1. Turn Off Your Phone Sometimes

I know—hard to imagine. You will inevitably turn it back on to find thirty-six text messages and fifty-eight emails, but giving your phone a rest will help you recharge, as well.

2. Refrain From Stocking Up On Too Many Apps

Once you have to make time for not only your emails but also your snap chats, vines, and instagram, you will notice very little left in the day for…looking at trees and feeding your pets.

3. Call Instead Of Text

Though calling still counts as using technology, it’s far less time consuming to have one conversation that can cover many points rather than prolonging it through fifteen different texts. Still use texts for the single-point conversations, of course.

4. Ask People For Directions

If you can’t find the restaurant where your friends told you to meet them for dinner, either ask them how to get there, or even flag down someone on the street and see if they know before you turn to Google maps. Hard to believe, but sometimes this method can be more efficient than looking it up on the Internet.

5. Use The Library For Research

Finding information in books and encyclopedias? Now who ever thought of such a thing?! You can even take notes…using a pen and paper!!

6. Read Books

Your eyes will thank you for staring at something for a prolonged period of time that doesn’t constantly flicker beneath your notice.

7. On That Note, Subscribe To A Physical Newspaper/Magazine Instead Of The Online Version

C’mon, they’re all going out of business, help them out! I get the tree-killing argument, but it’s not like the process of making computers, etc., is beneficial to the environment, either.

8. Limit Your Time On Facebook

Allot yourself a certain amount of time that you can stalk your friends and semi-acquaintances online. It’s easy to get lost in the endless “friend” loop, so if you notice you’ve been doing it for over fifteen minutes, you should realize that you’ve got better things to do.

9. Don’t Let Dating Websites Substitute Dating

If you find that you’ve had long, online conversations with fifteen people on Match.com in the past three weeks but have yet to make plans to meet any of them in person, try and change that.

10. If You Have The Means, Travel

If You Have The Means Travel 20 Ways To Not Let Technology Take Over Your Life

via giphy

Getting bored enough of your physical surroundings that the only new frontier seems to be via technology? Going somewhere you’ve never been will force you away from that by giving you new, non-virtual spaces to explore.

11. Avoid Answering Your Emails First Thing In The A.M.

Do you roll over in bed, turn off the alarm (that exists within your cell phone, of course), and immediately open your laptop? I, for one, am often guilty of waking up to my virtual mail and online news. Perhaps opening my eyes before I type in my password would give me a better perspective on the day to come.

12. Make Mealtimes Technology-Free

You’ve got to eat, and you’ve got to use your hands to do it. When they’re clasping a fork and knife, they cannot possibly maneuver a touchscreen. Don’t let them try.

13. Maintain At Least One Regular Hobby That Doesn’t Involve Technology

If you love to design using Photoshop, try and work with scissors and modge podge instead. I know it sounds juvenile, but sometimes doing things with your hands that you usually do with a keyboard will help improve your technique.

14. Have A Correspondent To Whom You Write By Hand

Snail mail has not died yet! Neither has the art of cursive. Maybe you can stay in touch with one long distance friend by hand-writing letters (in cursive) rather than using email or messages on Facebook or, worse yet, Twitter.

15. On That Note, Avoid Twitter As Much As Possible

Nothing will enslave you to technology more than the habit of paring your thoughts down to twenty words or less. Using a wide vocabulary to express yourself is not necessarily a bad thing.

16. Go On Lots Of Walks

Get outside, where technology comes second to nature, man.

17. Communicate With Things That Can’t Use Technology

Like animals. And very young children. (Just not in a creepy way.)

18. Don’t Get Cable

Is that too much to ask? Probably.

19. Spend Time In Your Kitchen, Or Garden, If You’ve Got One

Cooking and baking and planting will bring you back to earth when you’re spending so much of your time with intangible things.

20. Drink

No easier way to forget what’s waiting in your inbox than to distract yourself with a couple of cocktails…