I was catching up on a few episodes of the Freakonomics podcast the other day, and came across an interview with Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Work Week, among other projects.
In the interview, Tim discussed the struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts he had as a student, and he also suggested that part of the reason the rates of anxiety disorders and depression have seemed to skyrocket lately might be tied to the way technology has seemingly interfered with our lives.
Paraphrasing, he suggested taking some time away from all of the notifications we get from our smart phones, and walk in nature with your dog.
Now, I’m not naive enough to think that is the answer to everyone’s mental health issues. Clearly, it is not.
On the other hand, I do find that driving out to the Oregon Coast, for example, with my camera, and wandering around for a bit, paying no attention to my iPhone, does wonders for my attitude and happiness. The constant pinging of my iPhone when I’m working all the time, on the other hand, makes me quite grumpy and difficult to spend time with.
There’s definitely something to be said for being disconnected at times, and it certainly can’t hurt to be mindful of the fact that technology can be a double-edged sword. It’s a great way to stay in touch, but you can’t be so in touch that you lose touch with yourself.