I am old enough to remember life before cell phones and computers. Two objects that have revolutionized our lives but are also deeply embedded in our realities, causing all of us to be obsessed with the black scrying screens. I am as addicted as the next person. You are reading this on a screen. We are all in this system. But sometimes a break is a great idea for a variety of reasons. I go free ranging. I travel out into the world with no electronic device on my person. No phone. No computer. No Apple watch. I enjoy having time away from these devices. You start to notice things. Things you would miss if your attention is on a screen.

I watch the sky filled with white puffy clouds go by. Can I make their shape into something? Then a hummingbird darts across my sight line. My eyes quickly follow her as she drinks nectar from the fuchsia flowers. An orange butterfly leads me to a grasshopper sitting on top of a marigold. We take a moment taking in each other. A green anole lizard scurries by and I haven’t even left my front yard yet!

I enjoy my interactions with people I encounter that day. I give my full attention to everything I am doing and every person that I meet. Eye contact, a smile, this is how we were meant to relate to each other. Not sitting around a table at a restaurant all on phones not looking at or talking to each other. Put the phones down. Live life in the moment, be present. You do not need to document every meal in your life. Just really enjoy that food. The taste, the visual presentation, the aromas, all in the present waiting for you to revel in all of them. Practice the art of conversation. Find out what makes your fellow humans tick. Listen. Share. But listen more. You will learn so much.

The habits we are incurring have a higher price than we might know. Mobile phones and other on-the-go technology emit electromagnetic field radiation (EMF), which can be toxic to your body’s cells. The IARC has classified radiofrequency fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” Use of the screens can also cause migraines and headaches, chronic neck and back pain and vision problems, and some cancers.

There are some precautions you can take to reduce the levels of radiation you absorb from using your devices. Keep your cell phone away from your body as much as possible. I cringe every time I see a person put their phone in their pocket or even worse girls that are keeping them in their bra. Keep laptops off of your lap and away from your body as much as possible. I see far too many children with tablets in their laps. What is that doing to their eggs and testes and their other organs? Do not sleep with devices near your head. Also, it is said that EMF-emitting devices like laptop computers are exceptionally more harmful when plugged in, as opposed to when they are operating on battery alone. Please stop using Bluetooth headsets. These pose serious radiation hazards because they act as mini wireless antennas and blast EMFs directly into your ears and head. Think about how this technology can affect you.

Let’s talk about living your life through the lens of the screens. Is Instagram really representing peoples’ lives or is it all smoke and mirrors to get those likes and followers? Is Facebook really where you want to maintain your friendships? Do you really want to sit in a room by yourself while you game with others and let 9 hours slip by? Does it really matter that your TikTok video got a million views? How does any of this matter in your real life? The metaverse is being set up because there are people who think you will want to live in an augmented reality rather than your current real reality. I can see how seductive this could be especially with realistic graphics. But don’t be seduced by this. When you do things IRL, the outcomes are far greater than anything you can achieve on a screen. (Although, some influencers make take umbrage with me on this point.) Think about where you are being led.

Think about how these devices affect your life physically, emotionally, and socially. Make a part of every day a time without them. Choose real life over a digital life and see what happens. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised by how wonderfully things unfold for you in an unexpected manner. Find balance.

By Stephanie Barnett

Stephanie Barnett is an artist and a conscious creative creator.She delights in gardens, animals, cooking and the endless possibilities of life.You can visit her artwork website at http://thequeenbee.com/