Let’s not kid ourselves, we count on tech for a lot these days. Whether we’re ordering pizza online or emailing each other lecture notes. We use the internet for everything from staying in touch to binge-watching series. It’s hard to believe how different our lives would be if we were born a decade earlier. Tech is great. The internet is great. Having a world of information available at the touch of a button is great. But sometimes you need to take a break. Here’s why. You don’t notice the world around you How often have you found yourself sending a Whatsapp message while you walk? Besides being dangerous (especially if you’re crossing a road) it also stops you from taking in your surroundings. You don’t notice the flowers, enjoy the fresh air or see your friend waving at you from down the street. You simply disconnect from everything around you the moment you look down at a screen. Whether you’re out with friends or visiting your family in Pretoria West, this is not ideal. You run out of things to say There are few things more fun than catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee after not seeing them for a while. But when you follow their every move on social media or chat to them via messenger every day, there won’t be much to catch up on. You already know everything about each other and may end up having very little to say. They went on holiday? You’ve read their blog and seen the pics on Instagram. You’ve got a new partner? They saw your relationship status update and have already stalked him/her.   You lose touch with your imagination Why daydream while you’re waiting for class to start when you can update your Facebook status? Why make up stories in your head when you can check what people are saying on Twitter? Why form your own opinion when you can read arguments on the topic online? Having constant access to the internet stops us from using our minds. No, it doesn’t make us stupid and it’s not always a bad thing. But it does prevent us from learning to entertain ourselves. The trick is to know when to turn your data off and disconnect. Scrolling through social media is great when you’re standing around waiting for auto electricians but it shouldn’t be distracting you when you’re hanging out with loved ones or trying to enjoy a movie. Image: Pexels

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