We live in a time when using technology has become mandatory. Sometimes there is no other way to do things but to go online. In a world where being busy is a new religion, technology aids our schedules a lot.
At the same time, we become less focused, less productive, less involved and easily irritated. We don’t appreciate things that take time because we have been desensitized by the fast culture. Our lives seem to be more comfortable but it doesn’t make us happier. Why is that?
Psychologists and different research groups have started to wonder how digital life is changing us. Yet, this field of research can’t catch up with the impossible tempo of the tech industry. We still don’t fully realize if what we do to ourselves is going to have a serious negative impact or not.
Digital detoxing is becoming more popular. And it is not just a new trend, it is something that we really need. As a dog owner, I can’t help but notice other dog owners who walk their dogs while glued to the smartphone screens. It makes me worried but I feel surrounded by zombies hooked on a digital needle, while their dogs are the only living beings present in the moment. Don’t get me wrong, but I thought we want dogs in our lives to share joyful moments together, not to be mentally absent and actively uninvolved.
If you happen to be a dog owner (like me), you can test my self-discovered tips on how to go on a digital detox retreat at home with the help of your pooch. It is a new topic to me and I hope to develop a more comprehensive set of tips to stay offline with a dog.
1. Swap social media and mindless browsing for a traditional journaling session.
When you have time to be with your thoughts and relax, why would you waste it online? Sit down wherever you feel comfortable and put pen to paper. Do you know what to write about? I have a suggestion for you: journal about your dog!
Dogs bring us joy and make us laugh on a daily basis. It is worth putting all these warm and heartfelt memories into a diary. You can even turn them into a pet memoir or a family relic later in life.
I have some fond and happy memories of my first dog, so I decided to write about it. Maybe it will become a book one day. I feel like this is a much better way to spend my time compared to wasting it on looking at other people’s life on social media. My dog is worth more than any celebrity. I hope you feel the same way about your four-pawed friend!
2. Start walking your dog offline.
It is as easy as it sounds. Of course, take your phone with you. Someone important may need your urgent attention or help, you never know. But keep it in your pocket (or bag).
Engage your dog in a silly game, be present, don’t be afraid to look childish. Everyone looks way worse when they ignore their dog or forget to pick up the doo-doo because they are distracted by hashtag-something.
If you want to keep track of time, wear an ordinary wristwatch. Checking the time on your smartphone can become a gateway to checking social media or emails. Or set a timer on your phone. Only take it out when it warns you that the time is out. Try not to walk staring at the screen as it is potentially hazardous.
3. Go for a hike with your dog.
This step is an upgrade of step two. Don’t be afraid to get lost in time and lose track of what’s going on in the world. Enjoy nature, fresh air and your dog’s content panting.
Depending on your climate zone and season, chose a location both you and your pet will enjoy. Prepare accordingly. Create a classic paper list of activities you plan to do and things you need to take.
Also, if you are going to a distant location, don’t be discouraged to use your navigation app or car gadget. When you arrive at the destination, simply go offline.
If you want to take photographs you can use your smartphone. But don’t post or edit anything. Only use it to make a photo itself. Yet if you have one, take a camera with you instead.
I had a joy of going to the top of an Italian mountain with my husband and our dog. There was absolutely no reception and I had plenty of fun taking photographs with my semiprofessional camera. Usually, I keep for indoor photo shoots. But nothing compares to the satisfaction of having a series of high-quality images that evoke memories of a wonderful trip!
Do the above activities on a regular basis. Your dog will be happy and you will feel reconnected with the real you and the true joy of spending time with your dog.
Some people seem to get discouraged by their pets because they don’t look as cool as Instagram pet celebrities. But don’t buy into this, your dog is just as cool or even better. Staying off social media is the new black. No time spent online can ever compare to the beauty of being in the moment with your furry friend.
Stay healthy, stay offline and enjoy technology responsibly!
I hope you have enjoyed this article and if you like to learn more, please, feel free to subscribe to this blog.
Also, if you like the topic of dogs, please check the book ‘Before You Get A Dog’ by Simone Burani. You will find the essential knowledge written in simple language to have a great time with your pet.
Featured Image © Karyna Zaslavska (Mailo The Dog)