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Between smartphones, laptops, tablets and apps, technology influences almost every aspect of our lives. We live in a world where we forget an off switch exists.

We get anxious when we leave our personal devices at home, constantly refresh our emails and social media feeds, and don’t realize how much we end up staring at screens for the majority of the day. Powering down these gadgets and calling it quits is easier said than done.

But it turns out you could lose more than just time while plugged into the virtual world. Using these devices too much can take a toll on our well-being.

Use summer vacation to kick this habit to the curb. Here are five reasons why temporarily cutting the cord and disconnecting from the digital world every now and then is a good idea this summer.

 

1. You’ll give your brain a much-needed break.

Putting technology to rest means giving your brain a rest.

Juggling a million emails and phone calls throughout the day can turn out to be not only an interruption, but also an exhausting full-time job. Pew Research Center found that 67% of cellphone owners check their phones, even when it isn’t buzzing.

Break this habit by shutting off your devices and calling it a night after work. Your brain will thank you for it.

2. You’ll be a better employee.

In today’s competitive job market, people continue to work after hours due to job security and salary worries. Our communication devices make working after hours easier than ever, leading us to respond to job-related emails around the clock.

According to a Center for Creative Leadership survey, 60% of professionals who carry smartphones interacted with work for 13.5 hours per weekday, and then spent another 4.5 hours with their work email each weekend. In total, that’s 72 hours of thinking about work. While your boss may appreciate that, your brain doesn’t.

Distancing yourself from work after clocking out is important for employee recovery and health, according to a study published in The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Remember, it’s important to have a life outside of work, so you can step into the office the next day feeling rejuvenated and recharged.

Loosen up after work this summer. You deserve it.

3. You’ll feel less stressed.

Are you stressed out? Your smartphone could be the cause.

A study by British researchers found that smartphones can boost stress levels. Smartphones can create a need to immediately see and respond to messages, alerts or bings, the study says.

Restricting the use of your smartphone may be a good way to relieve stress, and it’ll get rid of the feeling that you’re “on call” 24/7.

Treat yourself to some peace and quiet.

4. You’ll have time to build relationships face-to-face.

Cellphones might as well be just another utensil at the dinner table.

We’ve all been guilty of this at one point or another — texting, checking work emails or Instagramming your latest meal at a restaurant. In a Good Technology survey, 38% of respondents confessed to routinely checking work emails while at the dinner table.

But what’s the point of setting time aside to spend a quality evening with family and friends when the only thing you’ll remember from it is the photo or check-in you posted? When you show more interest in your phone, it could take away from interaction and hurt relationships.

Unplugging this summer means spending time with those who mean the most to you and engaging in first-person conversations. Even certain businesses are starting to agree, now offering discounts to customers who turn in their phones to the hostess before being seated.

5. You’ll be able to experience summer to its fullest.

Treat yourself to a much-needed gadget break and enjoy the summer sunshine. When you go gadget-free, you can fully unwind and take advantage of what summertime has to offer. Why stay attached to electronics when there are a ton of opportunities to go outside and connect to nature?

Schedule an outdoor activity for you and your friends. Ride a bike, relax at the beach or visit an amusement park. When you’re busy soaking up the sun, your gadgets are safer and better off sitting at home.

Don’t miss out on summertime because you were too busy staring at a screen.