Hello everyone! A very good afternoon to all the guests and the toastmasters over here.

The title begs the question, disconnect “with what” or rather “from what”? So, my topic for today is about disconnecting from technology; from the devices and reconnecting with people. Let’s take a count of hands. How many of us spend at least an hour a day without being connected to any gadgets? Honestly speaking, I expected may be 2 or 3 out of 10 hands to raise.

Let me share a personal story about how I realized that I was spending more time with devices than with people. I went home for the festival of Pongal very recently. After coming back, initially, I thought that everything went well. I thought that I spent some quality time with my parents. However, when I asked my self to remember what all I did over there, I remember that I worked on learning some technology. I remember having some phone calls about some work. I also remember the time spent with my parents. However, the first things that I remembered were about the time spent with gadgets but not with my parents. This told me that I had to re-think.

To venture more into the topic, let me answer three different questions which will in turn explain this.

Why should we disconnect from the technology?

What should be done to achieve this?

How to do it?

The technology is supposed to make us better. Make us more efficient. So, isn’t it illogical to not use it? Yes, as important as it is, to use any devices to be more productive, it is also important to build self-control. We should use the device and not the other way around :) In order to achieve this self-control, we should make it a habit to disconnect from devices at least for an hour. The only way to do it would be forcefully shutdown the gadgets and spend time with people you like, you love and you live with.

We look at screens all day long. From our phones to computers and to the TV, we stare at screens for work and entertainment. We’ve trained our brains to wait for and expect notifications to pop up. But that constant stimulation overwhelms and stresses the brain. It is also notoriously known to lead to bad sleep. How do we avoid this? We can time the previously said one hour of self-control to be before we go for sleep. In this way, we can reduce the contact with devices to minimal right before we sleep.

Without TV, Candy Crush, Facebook, Twitter and email, some people may not know what do with themselves. Suddenly, there’s a lot more of free time that they have to fill. Use this time to get back to things that matter most. We can have a family dinner, relax outside, read a book or invite friends over. Apart from the above points, we might also see that we will get enough time to actually contemplate what’s happening in our life. There is a word for this and it is called self-retrospect. This activity will particularly improve our mental health and give a chance to understand ourselves more.

As Albert Einstein once said,

The human spirit must prevail over technology

Let’s get our life back from the clutches of technology and let our humane part “live”.