Why 80% of Americans Struggle to Unplug on Fourth of July?

fourth july fieworks imageThe average smartphone user checks their device 150 times a day, according to The Meeker Report, so it’s no surprise that 80% of Americans say they struggle to unplug and completely switch off during weekends and vacations.

But it’s not just the appeal of Instagramming firework displays, or tagging Facebook friends in quirky pool party pics that will keep Americans plugged in during this 4th July holiday weekend.

We have our biochemistry to blame for the driving desire to dip-in to our digital devices.

Research shows that when the brain receives a new piece of information the part of the brain that relates to pleasure releases a burst of the neurotransmitter Dopamine. Activities that increase the level of Dopamine in the brain are addictive because they generate a feeling of enjoyment.

That’s why it’s so hard to unplug.

Yet the benefits of taking time out from technology have been well documented, resulting in; increased ability to concentrate, lower stress levels, stronger immune system and a feeling of being more connected to self, family and society.

If we want to recharge and reconnect, we need to use this 4th July holiday weekend to declare independence from our screens and digital devices!

Remember it’s a holiday. The word originates from holy day. It’s supposed to be sacred. So don’t disturb the sense of peace you deserve by dragging your digital devices around with you. Take time out to unplug, connect with family and really recharge your batteries.

Here are 10 steps that will help you to unplug and make the declaration of independence from your screens and digital devices easier for this 4th July holiday weekend:

#1. Start with small steps. Don’t try to go the full 72 hours without text, Facebook or email, begin by committing to one tech-free day.

#2. Delete all social media apps from your smartphone. Then you won’t be tempted to Tweet about or Instagram that stray hotdog that landed on Aunt Wilma’s lap.

#3. Announce your declaration. Let everyone know that you’ll be taking time to unplug from tech by sharing the news on Facebook or Twitter.

#4. Leave your devices at home for the day. Make firm plans with your family and friends. If you still get lost at the party, just enjoy the unpredictability. You might meet a tall, dark, handsome stranger!

#5. Listen to the law. This is a federal holiday. So even if your boss is email happy and tries to lure you back to your devices over the weekend, make sure you power down for at least 24 hours.

#6. Host a device free party. Rather than suffering solo, if you’re the host of this year’s 4th July party request that your guests leave their devices at home too.

#7. Participate. Don’t watch the parades on a screen. Get outside and join in the fun.

#8. Call them. Everyone loves to hear your voice, even if it’s left as a message. Call relatives and friends to wish them a happy 4th by phone instead of sending texts or emails.

#9. Use a real camera. Rather than applying an instant gratification filter on Instagram wait to edit your pictures back home. Or, submit the film for processing and enjoy the excitement of waiting to see what you’ve captured.

#10. Ask for his/her phone number. When the BBQ’s burnt to ashes and the fireworks have set the mood, go ask the ‘hottie’ for their phone number and write it on a napkin. It’s way more romantic than asking to ‘bump’ smartphones!

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