ReWilding Your Online Consumption

We use technology to connect with each other, to learn, to play and entertain. We use it to wake up in the morning with alarms, and sometimes to sleep at night with music. Technology is ingrained in our being so much that the process of rekindling our connection to Nature and unearthing a truer, wilder, more holistic way of life may seem unimaginable. 

We find ourselves living in the digital revolution; everything is a touch or a tap away. In 2023, the number of global smartphone users is estimated at 6.8 billion, 86.5% more than the number of smartphone users there were in 2016, just seven years ago. We’re governed by algorithms on our social feeds, we’re fed news through our radios, and we might feel there are never enough hours in the day. Bluelights and street lights disconnect us further from the natural world; playing with our sleep and damaging our natural rhythms. 

ReWild Yourself Instagram Post @rewildyourself

ReWilding our Attention 

We have much shorter attention spans than our ancestors. It’s true, and it’s because of our digital lives. How many times have you picked up your phone out of habit only to realise 20 minutes has passed by? When was the last time you took a train ride, a lunch break or even went to the toilet without your phone? I know – me too.

No, we’re not suggesting you should throw your phone out the window – but we are suggesting a little less time distracted from (and a little more time noticing) the world around us.

The process of rekindling our connection to Nature and unearthing a truer, wilder, more holistic way of life that centers Nature and simple living might seem easy, it may seem impossible – but it’s actually pretty simple. The aim is to be intentional with everything that we do, and as we’re hot on technology – that means in this case, everything we consume online. Basically – we can stop clicking on the stuff big-tech algorithms push at us. 

We’re social animals, so we’re necessarily (and often productively) intrigued by what others are chewing over. But it’s also crucial to follow your own signal — to cultivate the stuff you’re obsessed with, even if few others are. Search for things that make you happy, be intuitive about the way what you’re seeing makes you feel. Maybe next time you’re in a scroll-hole, you could ask yourself these questions: 

– Does this resonate with who I am?

– Does what I’m seeing make me feel good about myself?

– Am I deeply interested in what I’m reading?

– Did I seek this thing out, or click on it because it was presented to me?

– Am I engaged in this content, or scrolling through habit? Can I find peace away from the screen instead?

– What am I interested in? Where can I find that?

– Where can I find inspiring information and imagery that sings to me?

– Could I find this better offline? Maybe in a library?

Or think of alternatives that would benefit you more:

– Is this helping me sleep, could I read instead?

– Is this helping me think, could a walk be better for me?

Am I using technology to distract from my thoughts? How could I face them and let go of them? Maybe meditation?

– I’m on social media because I’m tired and it’s easy. Have I drank enough water today? Have I had some fresh air?

– I’m playing games because it’s fun. Could I play a board game instead with a friend and spend time together?

– I’m researching for school. Could I take a walk in the park and listen to a podcast for this info?

– I’m on a long journey. Maybe I could spend half the journey consciously looking out the window – there’s so much beauty to be seen.

Spending time with ourselves is a beautiful way to rewild. It benefits our imagination, attention, communication and emotional intelligence. Simply being present in the natural world, whether outside or on the go, is a rebellion against tech culture and brings us closer to who we are as people. It helps us connect, understand and have empathy for the abundance of life that surrounds us. It also increases productivity, which might be why you’re online in the first place.

Give it a go; ReWild your attention.

ReWild Yourself
Voice for Nature Foundation

ReWild Yourself is an initiative from the Voice for Nature Foundation, a charity working to reconnect people everywhere with the natural world.

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