November 12th, 2019

How to Unplug at Home in the Age of Smart Technology

With the continued increase of technology in our lives, sometimes it’s hard to go home, relax, and truly unplug. We have started to rely on technology for entertainment and leisure, for home security, and for simple daily tasks like adjusting the thermostat. While these upgrades have made our lives easier in most aspects, there has also emerged a basic need to digitally detox from the world of technology and escape from these digital distractions.


Design experts expect us to start focusing on certain places or rooms in your house that can be tech-free in 2020. We previously wrote about making your bedroom more sleep-friendly, which includes the effort to avoid electronics in rooms designated as safe havens from tech. Digital clocks, cell phones, televisions, and computers can light up your bedroom and interrupt your sleep. The possibility of these disruptions can make your bedroom less sleep-friendly. We naturally wake throughout the night and sometimes a slight glimpse of digital distractions can be enough to pull you out of sleep.


Be mindful of your device settings in technology throughout the home so that you’re not surprised by a light, ring, or voice where you’re not expecting it. Ironically, some apps and devices have begun incorporating digital wellbeing features into their own software, proving that humans do need this sense of disconnect. Understanding these features will help you create a better balance between human life and technology.


For example, Google has introduced features that connect with your home’s smart technology to get a better night’s sleep, spend less time on your phone, get distraction-free study time in, and more through the Digital Wellness category in their Google Home app. There are options for winding down from screen time and getting ready for an undisrupted night of sleep using features like Do Not Disturb during what should be your resting hours.


Experts also suggest simply turning off notifications on certain devices so that you aren’t reminded of those frequent alerts and messages. Some apps have notification settings that allow users to choose the frequency of their alerts. Begin by making a list of notifications that you can live without and slim those down first.


Another suggestion is using the one-screen rule. For instance, if you are home watching TV, leave your smartphone in another room or turn it off and just focus on one gadget at a time. Your tech dependency might surprise you as most people are used to having several screens on simultaneously at all times.


Interior design trends in 2020 will center around wellbeing, comfort, and sustainability. With more and more modern technologies, smart home devices, and touchscreens, we are beginning to look for ways to unplug from the digital world in parts of our lives. Smart homes are undoubtedly the wave of the future and are beneficial to our everyday lives, but remember that your brain needs rest from those distractions. While embracing the benefits that technology gives us, it’s important to unplug and ease the tech overexposure that we sometimes feel in the modern age.