Time to disconnect? How our techno addictions are interfering with our lives…

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“I’ve left my mobile at home!” my friend screeched, eyes bulging like hard boiled eggs at the prospect of not having access to Facebook, Whats App and Instagram for the mere two hours we’d be walking outdoors.
“It’s not that bad,” I responded hypocritically, glancing up from my mobile for a scant moment after having had my eyes distracted by a funny ‘meme’ involving Ian Beale from the cast of Eastenders.
One thing was for sure, we’d become a nation of techno-maniacs, filled with fear over the prospect of having to endure any outing without our trusty gadgets.
But at some point in recent history, the techno addiction has been taken a step too far. Sucked in by the promise of constant stimulation and living in a fog of text messages, picture sharing and a need to share our lives on social media, it’s no wonder that our energy levels are going rapidly downhill.
So that’s exactly why I’m not in the slightest bit surprised by some of the latest statistics which show Scots between the ages of 30 and 50 have lost the ability to live in the moment and experience the simple pleasures of life.
According to recent research, more than three quarters (76 per cent) of people living in Scotland believe the advent of technology has had a detrimental effect on their day-to-day life. And nearly half (49 per cent) are concerned that the more technology takes off, the less happy they’ll become. Already 87 per cent long for the ‘good old days’ when life was much simpler.
I often try to think back to a time when dinner with the girls didn’t involve us all reaching for our phones within half a second, or taking Snapchat ‘selfies’ which we would later upload to Facebook.
When it comes to online communication, it’s a case of ‘anti-social media’ with more than one fifth (22 per cent) of people in Scotland admitting they no longer talk when in restaurants and pubs, as they are so glued to their phones.
The study I speak of, carried out by camping brand, Camping in the Forest, also revealed that nearly one third (30 per cent) have fallen into the trap of updating what they’re doing on social media rather than actually doing it.
I too have succumbed to the excitable notion of professing goals and much-needed to-do lists on Facebook, yet later realising I’ve been so caught up in Netflix that I actually haven’t done any of them.
Another alarming fact is it seems Scotland’s app-etite for all things techno leaves very little time for family fun, with over half (52 per cent) of Scots admitting they hardly ever spend time with their loved ones without some type of technology, phones, computers or tablets involved. Worse still, nearly one third can only escape the modern mania of life if they go on a day out or when they go on holiday.
This is worrying considering the fact that so many of life’s simple pleasures have been cast aside for technology, which has become an integral part of our lives.
While people used to read a book for pleasure, walk the dog or perhaps meet a friend up for a chat, it’s all too easy to discard these when we don’t have to move from our sofas.
It seems the relentless pressures of work and the lack of escapism due to smart technology are also the main reasons people are switching off from the world.
Nationally, research revealed that although 95 per cent of Brits think it’s important to spend time outdoors connecting with mother nature — two thirds say they don’t have time to spend with nature.
Camping in the Forest asked 1,000 UK men and women what they most yearn to reconnect with, and notably top of the list was walking, followed by spending time in the Great outdoors, reading and enjoying time with wildlife.
Bob Hill, sites director at Camping in the Forest, said: “The results of our survey are really quite shocking. While we all know that the advent of technology has had a big impact on not only our professional but personal lives — the scale of the situation, in the way it has hindered our natural conservational instincts and the way we spend time together, is really quite tragic.
“The reality is that, by our very human nature, we all need time to switch off, unwind and just be among those we love. If we fail to do so, we risk not only losing the art of conversation and building proper relationships, but our overall well-being.
“With this in mind, we can’t stress enough the benefits of taking time out in the Great British outdoors. Not only is it a great way to switch off and unwind, but there’s nothing like communing with nature to rejuvenate the spirit and put one in a better frame of mind.”
With this in mind and having spent far too many evenings wake into the wee hours of the morning on my laptop, smart phone or iPad, I’ve decided it’s time to take a step back from mobile mania and remember what it was like before I became a member of the living half-dead.
The prescence of social media has made the majority of us anti-social. It’s time we stopped forgetting about the importance of nature and human-interactions in favour of wi-fi.
If we do this instead, then perhaps there’ll be less fall-outs over pithy tweets over politics and Eastenders, and far more fun had watching people doing the walk of shame while out on a breezy nature walk on Sunday mornings…

Styletto Mag is a Scottish online magazine that publishes the latest articles on fashion, beauty, travel, food and relationships. The site was founded in August 2011. Styletto Mag is a sleek, easy to access online magazine which features shopping trends, beauty reviews, funny features, and women's lifestyle articles. To contribute or submit articles, send them to editor.styletto@gmail.com.

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