Is it Time to Unplug?

Take time out to unplug and nurture your face-to-face relationships.

The convenience and entertainment provided by smartphones and other modern communication technology can be a good thing — in moderation. But compulsive use of these devices has been linked with depression and anxiety, and it can distract you from more important things. Here are a few reasons why you should consider dialing back on your use of electronics:

Technology can suck up your time and energy. An American Psychological Association study found that 43% of Americans are “constant checkers” — meaning that they continually look to their computers and phones for new information and messages. This degree of fixation could cause stress and anxiety — and distract from important daily tasks.

Face-to-face relationships are important. Technology, particularly social media, can be a great way of staying connected with friends and loved ones who are far away. But it’s important not to let your use of technology distract you from the people you care about who are nearby. Be sure to take some time away from online interactions to work on your in-person ones.

Electronic devices can get between parent and child. An especially important relationship that can be negatively affected by excessive screen time is that between parent and child. According to UNICEF, fully a third of internet users worldwide are under the age of 18. Meanwhile, pediatricians warn that parents can get distracted from their young children’s needs because of gaming, texting and other aspects of their own digital lives, depriving these kids of necessary attention and quality time at a pivotal developmental period. Unplugging now and then to focus on family bonding is great for both parents and children.


American Psychological Association. Treating the misuse of digital devices. Accessed November 6, 2020.
Mayo Clinic. Stress management. Accessed November 6, 2020.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Help parents unplug so they can spend quality time with their kids. Accessed November 6, 2020.

Last Updated November 16, 2020

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