Lifestyle

Tech-Free Ways to Spend Your Time

Photo Credit: Ana Garza, The Mike Illustrator

A how-to on escaping the hold of technology

Bhakti Bansal, The Mike Contributor

Technology is inescapable in our world today. Almost all our time is spent on Instagram and Netflix, on Facebook and the Xbox, and on laptops and tablets. Yet, this lifestyle is a relatively new development. Before the last 10 to 15 years, a “tech-free” world, far from unthinkable, was the norm. So, if you are looking for a break from studying, your life, or just technology, here are some of the alternate ways you can spend your time. 

Disclaimer: I often read “meditate” or “practice mindfulness” on such lists but have decided to omit those from this one. Personally, I am a very restless person, and I have found meditation to be difficult and easy to get distracted from. However, if meditation appeals to you, please don’t let my restlessness stop you. 

1. Reading 

As the oldest trick in the book, reading is on top of this list. Find the latest book by an author you love and curl up with a cup of hot chocolate. Perhaps you could re-read a past favourite and re-discover your love for it, or you could opt for a magazine. Either way, reading is a solid and safe way to spend your time away from technology. 

2. Explore the city 

Toronto has many popular and hidden gems that one can look for. Seek out your next favourite spot in the city, alone or with a friend. There are endless cafés, hidden restaurants, vintage bookstores, museums, and shops that need to be discovered in the city. Take advantage of living in the hub of one of the most diverse and interesting cities on the planet!

3. Board games 

Delve into the recesses of your childhood and reach for the Monopoly game that you once enjoyed so much, oh-not-so-long ago. Playing board games is a great option for homebodies who love staying in. Choose a board game and you will find that you can spend hours without reaching for your phone. It’s also a great way to reconnect with old friends — or make new ones.

4.  Sudoku 

This is an unconventional — and an oddly specific — pastime. However, after much thought, I have come to the conclusion that Sudoku is a great way to divert your attention from technology. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Sudoku is a nine-by-nine number puzzle whose premise is simple yet surprisingly challenging. Though you can find Sudoku games and apps on your phone, I request you seek Sudoku in its paper form and enjoy the puzzle in its original, pen-slashing glory.

5. Talk to a friend 

Finally, I encourage you to sit with a friend and talk. While this may seem obvious, you may be surprised by how long it has been since you’ve really talked to your friend. You could even take a walk and have a chat, if the weather is kind to you, of course. If not productive, at the very least, time spent in such a manner is bound to be therapeutic. 

Hopefully, at least one of the things in this list has appealed to you enough to put down your phone (if you are reading this online) and follow through with my advice! If not, keep looking, and I’m sure you’ll discover that life beyond technology is very much possible and not just a myth.