Ditch the device

About technology, loved ones and sea monsters: learning to unplug from the digital world for the good of all

What is the first thing you do every morning when you open your eyes?

Is it looking at your smartphone, iPhone or iSomething? If it is, you might want to read on.

A few years ago, when Oli, our son, was eight years old, he had a dream. In his dream, Oli was swimming in the ocean and was chased by a shark who turned into a crocodile who then morphed into a monster.

As he was swimming as fast as he could to get away from the monster, he finally reached the shore where my wife, Angel, and I were both sitting and working on our computers.

Oli was screaming at the top of his lungs for us to help him and save his life, but we were so absorbed in our laptops that we couldn't hear him at all and didn't even notice he was there. He woke up sweating and heaving just a second before the monster gobbled him up.

What do you think? What is the message? Too much technology in our life?

A few times we have decided to turn off our computers and iPhones every day at 4pm when our children return home from school. We mostly stuck to it. A hard decision in a world when everyone expects you to be available 24 hours a day and answer your emails, texts and Facebook messages on the spot.

We see so many couples and families less engaged with each other and more with their beautiful faces turned down into a little screen.

So, let's try to consciously be more present with our loved ones before they are eaten by a sea monster! Maybe it can save our relationship and our family.

There is a beautiful world around us, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets to see, not through a screen though, but side by side, with someone we love.

With the spare time we have, without our phones and computers, we have more time to play and more time to be engaged with our children; our bond grows and it shows in our children in therms of their self-confidence and behaviour.

Unplugging can also work wonders in any relationship: more time for talking, cuddling and lovemaking!

I like watching movies with a futuristic theme of the world being taken over by machines, but I am not a real believer of this vision. Technology definitely has its benefits, but not all the time. There is a time and a place for everything; staring at screens should not replace gazing into each other’s eyes, and touch screens will never substitute human touch.

Screens are addictive, so it takes a bit of going against the current to break free of them — and those pesky sea monsters. Are you up for the challenge?

Gopala Amir Yaffa

Connecting people through yoga and making the world a better place!