Last week my family went on a trip to Lake Powell.
One of the interesting parts of going to Powell is that there is no cell phone coverage up the lake. You have to totally disconnect from the digital world and just spend a week focusing on face to face relationships and exploring fun in the physical world. We play card games at night, count the stars together, see how far we can swim, and of course nearly get killed being bounced off the tubes behind the boats. It’s a blast!
At first I was a little worried about what I would miss out on, or how many messages I would need to follow up on when I got back, but after the first day, I didn’t even really care anymore. In fact it felt so good to be free of digital anxiety that by the 3rd day, I was dreading having to return.
As we drove the houseboat back on the last day, my phone starting lighting up with notifications and alerts of messages. I literally felt my stomach tighten, and my heart started racing and I realized, I too am a victim of digital anxiety. In fact, that is exactly what phones are designed to do. They were invented to make the world more convenient, but now they are programmed to make us more dependent on the technology. I realized the phrase “there’s an app for that” really means “you’re not smart enough to do that on your own, or you’re too lazy.” We’ve traded interaction and independence for convenience.
Unfortunately digital anxiety affects us all now. Everyone is still trying to figure out how to deal with it, but there is help. Intentionally unplugging and expressing your independence is one way to start. The professionals at Life Launch Centers also teach some amazing tools to overcome anxiety and harmful media. The bottom line is, today you have to choose the harder way. You have to choose to disconnect regularly and reconnect with the people around you. That is the solution to digital anxiety!
I was reminded of this Youtube video by Adeel Khan. He really puts it into perspective.