The older I get, the more I start to understand why parents would push us off technology when we were kids. (I won’t get on a tangent of how more of our parents are addicted to technology than we are now…)
Don’t get me wrong – I love technology. I run my entire business through the internet and it’s been a lifesaver for so many of us.
On the flip side, few people seem to be discussing the problems that come with this incessant stream of information.
Listen, if you don’t have any issues with technology and feel invigorated by spending all your time in front of a screen, this article is not for you. That’s great that you get your source of joy from looking at screens all day.
For a lot of us, though, it’s doing more harm than good. These sites were designed to keep our attention and keep us scrolling for as long as possible. (I work in marketing, so I have intimate knowledge of this phenomenon.)
The more I talk to people, the more I hear about people with anxiety, sleep issues, constantly on edge, wasting time arguing with strangers online… The internet is such a fine line between being the greatest invention and also wildly destructive when not checked.
As someone who spends 10-14 hours a day in front of a screen to run my business, it’s hard to step back. Sometimes I’ll game to relieve stress, and while that helps a little bit, it’s often hard to find relaxation behind even MORE screens. The same goes for scrolling social media, watching movies, or streaming Netflix. It just doesn’t seem to have the same “fill the bucket” feeling as getting outdoors.
Spending time outdoors should be as mandatory as any other health checkups we do in our lives. It’s a way to renew your spirit and change up your routine. At the minimum, an outdoor experience should be a monthly experience in your life.
Built to explore
When you explore your area, you’re finally free from your daily schedule. No Google Calendar to send you a notice of all the things you have to do. As humans, we were built to explore. We were made for climbing mountains and swimming in oceans.
This is why open-world video games do so well. It lets us scratch that itch without actually going outside. Sure, I love Breath of the Wild as much as the next person, but going to explore real wilderness instead of fake wilderness fills my spirit in a different kind of way.
The memories you will always carry from outdoor exploration will far outweigh simulated memories.
You can climb rocks and jump in rivers without your boss breathing down your neck. Instead of only hearing computer-generated sounds and modern living around you, you instead hear the sounds of nature, free from the consumer-driven world.
Our bodies were meant to move and be challenged. Not go from sitting in an office chair all day to sitting in a chair to watch Netflix all night. No wonder we’re all exhausted and drinking caffeine like it holds the secret to life’s energy. We were not built for this.
If you want energy in your life, you must create it through movement. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s how it works. A sedentary life will never bring you the energy you seek.
Focus on what matters
When you’re in the great outdoors, you finally have a chance to get away from your problems at home.
When you’re constantly neck-deep in your problems, it’s incredibly hard to get perspective on them. Often, they can feel like they’re suffocating you.
Recently, after two incredibly stressful weeks, I headed out to a waterfall here in Colorado to get a breather. It wasn’t far, but I didn’t get cell service and although there were a ton of tourists around, it renewed my sprit in a way I couldn’t find in my modern city life back home.
My problems had new perspectives. My brain felt clear for the first time. I slept much easier that night than I had in a long time.
A good book, a small pocket notebook, and some fresh air can put a lot of your problems into a better frame than they did before.