3 Science-Backed Reasons to Put Down Your Phone
Subscribe to Outside+ now to get unique access to all of our content, including sequences, instructor tips, video lessons, and much more. The practice of yoga is all about being in the present moment, which might be difficult to do if you can’t put your phone down for more than five minutes at a time. In addition, digital FOMO may be detrimental to your health: excessive use of the Internet and mobile devices such as smartphones has been related to anxiety and depression in various studies, among other things.
See also Amy Ippoliti’s 4 Tips for a Digital Detox for more information.
1. Excessive tech use is linked to anxiety and depression.
Become a member of Outside+ now to have unique access to all of our articles, as well as sequences, instructor tips, video lessons, and more. If you can’t put your phone down for more than five minutes, yoga is all about being in the present moment. But that’s difficult to accomplish when you’re addicted to your phone. In addition, digital FOMO may be detrimental to your health: excessive use of the Internet and mobile devices such as smartphones has been related to anxiety and depression in multiple studies, among other consequences.
Visit Amy Ippoliti’s 4 Tips for a Digital Detox for further information.
2. Facebook “surveillance” can lead to envy.
On Facebook, have you ever gone back to look up former acquaintances merely to see how their lives have turned out in comparison to yours? (Come on, you’re well aware that you’ve done it.) Researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that this form of “surveillance usage” of Facebook can result in feelings of despair in another study of college students published last year in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Journalism said in a press release that Facebook can be a “fun and healthy activity” if people use it to stay in touch with family and old friends and to share interesting and important aspects of their lives.
See also Tiffany Cruikshank’s “A Midday Meditation for Efficiency” for more information.
3. You could be guilty of “phubbing.”
On Facebook, have you ever gone back to look up former acquaintances merely to check how their lives have progressed in comparison to your own? (Don’t lie, you’re well aware that you’ve committed the crime.) Researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that this form of “surveillance usage” of Facebook can result in feelings of despair in another survey of college students published last year in Computers in Human Behavior. MU School of Journalism professor and chair of strategic communication Margaret Duffy said in a press release that Facebook can be a fun and healthy activity if users use it to stay connected with family and old friends and to share interesting and important aspects of their lives.
The usage of Facebook, on the other hand, if it is used to check how well an acquaintance is doing financially or how happy an old buddy is in his relationship — things that inspire jealousy among users — might result in feelings of despair.
However, when Facebook envy is taken into consideration, the study concluded that using Facebook really helps people feel better. Likewise, Tiffany Cruikshank teaches a Midday Meditation for Efficiency.
The Benefits of Doing a Digital Detox
A digital detox is a period of time during which a person abstains from using technological gadgets such as cellphones, TVs, computers, tablets, and social networking websites. “Detoxing” from digital gadgets is frequently viewed as a technique to better concentrate on real-life social interactions without being distracted by technology. People may relieve themselves of the tension that comes with being always connected by putting their digital gadgets away, even only for a short period of time.
Reasons for a Digital Detox
The fact that many individuals are linked to the internet and engaged in the digital world is just a normal part of their daily lives. According to data conducted by the Nielsen Company, the average adult in the United States spends around 11 hours each day listening to, watching, reading, or otherwise interacting with media. There are a variety of reasons why you might desire to temporarily give up your cell phone and other electronic gadgets. You might want to spend some quality time alone, away from the distractions that your phone and other electronic gadgets cause.
In extreme cases, you may even come to believe that you are hooked to your electronic gadgets.
The nonprofit Common Sense Media ran a poll in which 50 percent of kids stated that they were hooked to their mobile devices, and the results were published online.
What the Research Says
Despite the fact that many individuals believe they couldn’t live without their technological devices, research and surveys have revealed that technology use might actually increase stress levels. One-fifth of individuals in the United States (about 18 percent) said that technology was a significant source of stress in their lives, according to the American Psychological Association’s annual Stress in America study. The ever-present digital connection and the incessant impulse to check emails, messages, and social media accounts for the bulk of this technological stress, according to many.
Digital Devices Can Disrupt Sleep
Evidence also shows that excessive gadget usage, particularly just before night, might have a negative impact on both the quality and amount of sleep. According to one study, youngsters who use digital devices before bedtime have much poorer sleep and have less energy. According to the findings of the study, there is a link between nocturnal technology use and higher body mass index. Researchers have also discovered that using electronic social media while lying in bed has negative impacts on sleep and mood.
According to the findings, utilizing social media while in bed at night increases the probability of experiencing anxiety, insomnia, and sleep duration that is shorter than usual.
Heavy Device Use May Be Linked to Mental Health Concerns
Among teenagers, extensive daily technology usage, according to a research published in the journalChild Development, was connected with an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Greater symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder, as well as worse self-regulation, have been associated to increased time spent using digital technology. Recent research conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania is the first experimental study to link the use of social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to a drop in overall well-being.
Constant Connectivity Affects Work/Life Balance
Because of the constant sense of being linked, it might be difficult to establish clear boundaries between your personal and professional lives. If you are at home or on vacation, it is difficult to resist the urge to check your email, answer to a text from a colleague, or log into your social media accounts to keep up with the world. In a study published in the journalApplied Research in Quality of Life, researchers discovered that the usage of technology has an impact on an individual’s ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
It is possible that engaging in a digital detox can assist you in achieving a healthier and less stressful work-life balance.
Social Comparison Makes It Hard to Be Content
If you spend any time on social media, it is likely that you have found yourself comparing your own life to the lives of your friends, family, complete strangers, and famous people. Based on the brief, edited glimpses you see on other people’s Instagram or Facebook postings, you can come to believe that everyone else is living a better, richer, or more fascinating life than you are. It is true that comparison may be a thief of joy, as the proverb states. Making a conscious decision to disconnect from your social networks might help you focus on what is essential in your own life rather than comparing yourself to others.
Digital Connectivity Can Make You Feel Like You’re Missing Out
The fear of missing out (also known as FOMO) is the concern that you are missing out on the experiences that everyone else is enjoying at the same time as you. The constant availability of information might exacerbate this worry. You can get the impression that your life is less intriguing than theirs every time you see a curated image or post about someone else’s life. You could find yourself overcommitting to social activities out of a dread of being left out in the cold. Additionally, FOMO might cause you to continually check your smartphone for any essential texts, DMs, or posts out of concern that you will miss something vital.
Doing a digital detox is one method of establishing boundaries and reducing your anxiety of missing out on important events. To do it in a way that does not make you feel disconnected from what is going on in your digital environment is critical.
Signs You Might Need a Digital Detox
- Whenever you cannot locate your phone, you become concerned or stressed out. You are driven to check your phone every few minutes
- You are addicted to it. After spending time on social media, you may have feelings of depression, anxiety, or rage. You are fascinated with the number of likes, comments, and reshares that your social media postings receive
- You’re worried that if you don’t continuously checking your smartphone, you’ll miss something important. If you’re like most people, you find yourself playing games on your phone late at night or early in the morning. You have difficulty concentrating on one subject without checking your phone
- You are easily distracted.
How to Do a Digital Detox
It is possible to think of a genuine digital detox as a specified period of abstinence from all digital devices and social media contacts, but it is necessary to tailor your device usage to your own needs and circumstances. Digital detoxification can be beneficial to your mental health, but it does not have to include full disconnection from your phone and other technological connections in order to be effective. Most of the time, the process is more about creating boundaries and making sure that you are using your gadgets in a way that is beneficial to your mental and physical health rather than harmful to it.
If you are able to commit to a total digital detox for a certain period of time, it may be something you want to consider. Some individuals find it freeing and rejuvenating to be fully detached from the outside world. There are many people for whom fully foregoing all types of digital contact may not be an option, particularly if you are obligated to remain in touch for job, education, or other commitments. This does not rule out the possibility of reaping the advantages of a digital detox; the trick is to find a way to make unplugging something that works for your schedule and your lifestyle.
Choose a time when you want to switch off your electronic devices and then concentrate on spending an evening absolutely free of things like social media, texting, online videos, and other technological distractions like music and movies.
While it is not always feasible or even desired to entirely disengage from the internet, establishing boundaries around when these digital connections are permitted to encroach on your time may be beneficial to your mental health. Using your phone to play your Spotify or Apple Music playlist while you are working out, for example, will ensure that you are not distracted by phone calls, texts, other messages, or app alerts while you are working out by putting your phone in airplane mode before starting.
Other situations in which you may want to restrict your use of digital devices include:
- When you are eating meals, especially when you are dining with other people, you should: When you first wake up in the morning or when you first go to bed in the evening
- When you are engaged in a project or a recreational activity
- You are with friends or family while you are having a good time. Every night, just before you go to sleep
You should pay attention when you are eating meals, especially when you are dining with others. When you first wake up in the morning or when you first go to bed in the evening. You are engaged in a project or a recreational activity while You are with friends or family while you are having a good time Each night, just before you go to bed;
Using your phone to turn off push notifications is another good method to get started on your digital detox. Many social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and news websites, give you notifications every time you get a message, are mentioned, or see a new post on their platform. Instead of checking certain apps or websites every time a new article or post is published, schedule a specific time each day when you will check your messages or mentions on social media platforms.
You could find it beneficial to leave your phone at home for a short period of time, if not longer.
Make It Work for You
Using your phone to turn off push notifications is another good method to get started with your digital detox. Many social networking applications, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and news websites, give you notifications every time you get a message, are mentioned, or see a new post on their platforms. Instead than checking certain apps or websites every time a new article or post is published, schedule a specific time each day when you will check your messages or mentions on social media.
Leaving your phone behind, even for a little period of time, may prove to be beneficial for you.
So the next time you’re out to dinner with a bunch of pals, consider leaving your phone at home to avoid being distracted.
- A digital fast: For a short amount of time, such as a day or up to a week, try giving up all digital gadgets. Digital abstinence on a regular basis: Choose one day of the week to be device-free
- A targeted detox: If a certain app, website, game, or digital tool is taking up an excessive amount of your time, concentrate on limiting your usage of that problematic item
- Focus on limiting or even totally eliminating your usage of social media for a specified amount of time as part of your social media detoxification plan.
Digital Detox Tips
Some individuals find it very simple to give up their electronic devices. Others will find it considerably more difficult, and at times even anxiety-inducing, to complete the task. There are certain things that you can do to make your digital detox more successful, including the following:
- Inform your friends and family members that you are embarking on a digital detox and want their assistance and support
- Find strategies to keep yourself distracted and other tasks close at hand
- To prevent temptation and quick access to social media, delete social media applications from your phone. When you find yourself tempted to use your gadget, go out of the home and do something fun like go to dinner with friends or take a stroll. Keep a notebook to keep track of your progress and to jot down your thoughts on your journey
A Word From Verywell
Going without a smartphone may be an uncomfortable and frustrating experience at times. You can feel irritated, nervous, and even bored if you don’t have access to your cell phone and other technological tools. It may be a challenging but rewarding experience that will help you better understand your connection with your gadgets as well as be more present and conscious throughout your other activities and experiences.
5 Science-Backed Benefits to a Digital Detox
To find a moment of serenity in today’s digital world, it might seem hard to find a minute to disconnect from applications, emails, and messages and simply be present in the moment. The demand to always be “on” or check an ever-increasing number of applications and platforms, which are intended to make our lives simpler but invariably wind up making things more complicated, is greater now than ever before. Consequently, many individuals engage in frequent digital detoxes in order to disconnect from the outside world, relax and reconnect with their own inner thoughts and feelings.
The Health Benefits of a Digital Detox
Your mental health and overall well-being can be significantly improved by engaging in a digital detoxification program. Several studies have found that taking frequent breaks from our phones and computers makes us all considerably happier in the long run. But don’t take our word for it; see for yourself. Here are five scientifically proven advantages of doing a digital detox:
1. Improved Performance
Taking a vacation from your smartphone has been found to have a favorable influence on your job performance by increasing your productivity, according to research.
While at work, if employees spend less time on their phones or looking through social media, they are more likely to concentrate on the task at hand and feel more driven to do it.
2. Decreased Stress
A break from social media and the internet may also be beneficial to your overall stress level reduction. According to certain research, those who spend less time on social media have more opportunities to live in the present now, spend quality time with friends and family, and, in general, have higher levels of mental wellness and relaxation overall.
3. Better Sleep
Another disadvantage of living in the digital era is the detrimental effect that excessive screen time has on our sleep patterns. In fact, light-emitting gadgets have been proven to decrease the generation of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates sleep patterns. Not only that, but they also interfere with circadian rhythms and cause REM sleep to be delayed. It is possible that cutting back on your screen time by participating in a digital detox can help you catch up on lost sleep. READ MORE:4 easy techniques to get a better night’s sleep and improve your overall health.
4. A Clear Mind
Take a vacation from your smartphone to feel lighter and clearer. In addition to increasing your productivity, lowering your cognitive load may make your mind feel lighter and clearer. Unwinding by scrolling through your smartphone may be more mentally draining than we realize, according to a 2019 research. If you’re looking to give your mind a break between job duties, you’re better off ditching the smartphone.
5. Increased Feelings of Happiness and Connectivity
In spite of the common misconception that continual smartphone usage makes us feel more connected to others, research have found that it can have the opposite impact, adding to feelings of loneliness and despair. The University of Arizona discovered that a strong dependence on smartphones is directly associated with depressive symptoms. People, particularly adolescents, should keep their smartphone usage under control and find healthier coping mechanisms when they’re feeling depressed, according to the research.
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Why We All Need a Digital Detox
6 minutes are allotted for reading. The virtual world is always within reach, no matter where we are. With cellphones, computers, tablets, and wireless Internet, we have the ability to stay connected at all times. The concept of a digital detoxification is becoming increasingly popular as a result of this. For people of all ages, it is critical to schedule frequent technological detoxes and to have the necessary space and time to do so. Digital detoxification, on the other hand, may be particularly crucial for children and teenagers.
So they are at greater risk of suffering from the detrimental impacts of technology on the body and neurological system.
It is also altering our minds.” — Heather Senior Monroe, LCSW, is the Director of Program Development at YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.
What Is a Digital Detox?
A digital detox is defined as a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices that are linked to the Internet, such as smartphones and laptops, for whatever reason. Furthermore, a digital detox provides a chance to reduce stress while focusing more on interpersonal engagement. Additionally, it can aid in the prevention of tech gadget addiction. In addition, a digital detox gives you the opportunity to spend time in nature, do some physical activity, and practice mindfulness.
Unplugging on a frequent basis allows us to maintain a good balance between our IRL (“in real life”) activities and our digital lives, which is beneficial. In the end, a digital detox is a method of disconnecting in order to reconnect.
Why Do a Digital Detox?
When someone engages in a digital detox, they abstain from using electronic devices that are linked to the Internet, such as smartphones and laptops, for a period of time. An added bonus is that going on a digital detox will allow you to minimize stress and concentrate more on social connection. Furthermore, it can aid in the prevention of technological addiction. Apart from that, a digital detox gives you the opportunity to walk outside and enjoy nature, engage in physical activity, and practice mindfulness and meditation.
In the end, a digital detox is a method of disconnecting in order to reconnect with one’s surroundings.
Tech Addiction Is Linked to Depression and Anxiety
During a digital detox, a person abstains from using electronic devices that are linked to the Internet, such as smartphones and laptops. Furthermore, a digital detox provides an opportunity to reduce stress and devote more time to interpersonal engagement. Additionally, it can aid in the prevention of technological addiction. In addition, a digital detox allows you to spend more time in nature, do some physical activity, and practice mindfulness. Unplugging on a regular basis helps us maintain a healthy balance between our IRL (“in real life”) activities and our digital lives.
Gaming Disorder Is Now a Mental Health Condition
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized gaming disorder as a mental health problem this year, marking the first time it has happened. As a result, it was included in the 11th edition of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases Manual. It is comparable to other addictions such as gambling addiction or substance misuse in that it is characterized by excessive gaming. It has been suggested by the American Psychiatric Association that specific pathways in video gamers’ brains react in the same manner as certain substances cause the brains of drug addicts to react in the same way.
The World Health Organization’s judgment highlights the addictive nature of digital media in general, and video games in particular, according to the organization.
A period of time away from the continual stimulation supplied by the digital world offers the nervous system a chance to “power down” and regain its equilibrium.
The ADHD-Technology Link
Gambling problem has been recognized as a mental health illness by the World Health Organization (WHO) this year. As a result, it was included in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases Manual, 11th edition. It is comparable to other addictions such as gambling addiction or substance abuse in that it is characterized by repetitive behavior. Certain circuits in the brains of video gamers react in a similar way to the way the brain of a drug addict reacts to a certain substance, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
It is clear from the WHO’s conclusion that digital media in general, and video games in particular, have an addictive quality to them.
Also highlighted is the significance of digital detoxing as a means of avoiding addiction to electronic devices. Allowing the nervous system to “power down” and rebalance after being exposed to the continual stimulation supplied by the digital world is a good idea.
More Digital Media = Less Exercise and Less Time Outdoors
Sedentary behavior is associated with excessive use of digital media in addition to the harmful impacts of digital media itself. We wind up spending a lot of time in front of a screen or gazing at our smartphones for extended periods of time. According to a Harvard research, kids who spend several hours a day on their cellphones, tablets, or laptops are more likely to grow fat. In addition, screen time takes the place of other, more beneficial activities. As a result, there are less hours in the day for activities such as exercise, yoga and meditation, or simply wandering in nature.
Because exercising one’s imagination is a crucial element of one’s identity formation and brain development, this is a significant disadvantage for children and teenagers.
Strategies for Doing a Digital Detox
It goes without saying that limiting our screen time is vital for our health and well-being. The burden of protecting their children and teenagers against digital overload falls on the shoulders of parents. As a result, parents must establish clear limits around their children’s technology use and then enforce those boundaries with suitable consequences. While adults may find internal incentive to engage in a digital detox, children are less likely to be motivated to disconnect. They want to be able to keep connected to friends, entertainment, and diversion through the use of electronic devices.
Here are some ideas for building extra unplugged time into your day.
Take a digital detox retreat.
For families, digital detox getaways might be very beneficial to them. Thus, the entire family embarks on a journey to a new and fascinating location. And everyone makes a commitment to staying off the grid for the most of the time. It might be for a single day, a few days, a week, or even longer. Phones put us a step or two away from having a firsthand experience of what is going on in our surroundings. As a consequence, disconnecting provides more opportunities for family and friends to spend quality time together.
Start small and build up gradually.
The process of digital detoxification does not have to be as intense as a full-on retreat. It is also possible to engage in mini-digital detoxification sessions throughout the day. Start by setting a timer for 15 minutes and avoiding glancing at your phone during that time. Unplug for 30 minutes the next day, or take many 15-minute breaks throughout the day. When you refrain from using digital media and social media platforms, you may work up to a half-day or a full day every week.
Designate regular unplugged times for everyone during the day.
The importance of this is most noticeable during meals. Because of hectic family schedules, supper is sometimes the only time throughout the day when the entire family can sit down together.
The quality of family communication increases when screens are removed from the equation. Unplugging before going to bed is also important because it allows the nervous system to relax after being exposed to the constant stimulation of screens.
Maintain certain areas of the house where screens are off limits.
In addition to the dining room, the kitchen may be included in this. Furthermore, families can select a space that will be used just for reading and board games, with no television. Furthermore, if technology is prohibited outside, children are more inclined to participate in outside activities. Furthermore, children do not require computers in their beds. It is OK for them to use the family computer for homework or any other screen activities that they are authorized to participate in. This computer is kept in a position where parents can keep track of what their children are doing online and for how long they are doing it.
Plan technology-free family activities.
For smaller children, attend a hands-on children’s museum or enroll in a circus or painting class with your child’s parents. Ropes courses, rafting, skiing, and dancing classes are all options for teenagers. Alternatively, organize a hike or a swim for everyone. Physical activity and nature immersion, in addition to removing children from their electronic devices, provide significant mental and physical health advantages. According to one research published in Mind, 95% of individuals questioned reported that their mood improved after putting their phones down and spending time outside.
Explain to kids how screen time and digital media affect their health and their brain.
Don’t underestimate their capacity to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Because of the powerful pull of technology, knowledge alone may not have an influence on their actions. They will, however, grasp why digital detoxification is so necessary. Rather than being a kind of punishment, it is a technique for protection and prevention.
Teach children and teens healthy ways to self-soothe.
Consider their capacity to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Because of the powerful draw of technology, knowledge alone may not have an influence on their behavior. The need for digital detoxification will be clear to them, as well. An approach that is more protective and preventative in nature rather than punitive in nature is employed.
4 Reasons to Do a Digital Detox
Being connected in has become a common part of modern life. If you’re like the vast majority of people, your smartphone alarm is what gets you out of bed in the morning. You get ready in front of the television while the news is on, and then you check your text messages. Throughout the day, you check your email, talk to friends, and peruse through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In the evening, you relax by watching your favorite television shows while doing some online shopping and keeping up with social media.
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- In reality, Americans spend an average of four hours per day watching television and almost seven and a half hours per day using digital gadgets.
- A digital detox may be the answer, as it may bring relief from the stress of being constantly connected to electronic gadgets and systems that collect data.
According to research, taking a digital detox may even help you sleep better, have better relationships, and be happier. Are you ready to give it a shot? Dr. Kia-Rai Prewitt, PhD, a clinical psychologist, describes the benefits of digital detoxification as well as how to go about it.
What is a digital detox?
A digital detox is defined as taking a break from utilizing electronic devices or particular material for a certain amount of time, which can range from a few days to many months. The details, on the other hand, varies from individual to person. Things to avoid when on a digital detox may include the following:
- Checking email, playing video games, scrolling through social media, text messaging, using smartphones or tablets, watching news or other television shows
Social media detoxes
In terms of digital detox, the most popular method is to take a break from seeing or participating in social media. “Social media allows us to engage with others in a variety of good ways,” Prewitt explains. “However, it can also have a negative impact on people’s health at the same time.” Negative social media experiences can lead to anxiety and despair, as well as a decrease in one’s self-esteem. This includes the following:
- Being enraged or disturbed by the stuff that has been posted
- Social comparisons
- Cyberbullying (online verbal bullying)
- Fear of missing out (FOMO)
- Isolation feelings
- Social comparisons
The benefits of taking a break from technology
The process of going on a digital detox is a terrific approach to determine whether or not technology is preventing you from living your best life. Taking time away from technology may have a wide range of benefits, including increased productivity at work and improved connections with family and friends. The following are some of the advantages of taking a technology break:
According to Prewitt, with regular beeps and pop-up messages on electronic devices, it’s easy to become distracted from what’s going on in your environment. As a result of your digital detox, you may discover that you are more aware of your immediate surroundings. Your brain will be able to concentrate significantly better on your duties.
For some people, having an excessive amount of knowledge might be stressful. “I’ve dealt with a number of folks who had been really depressed as a result of watching hours of news,” Prewitt adds. After they lowered their news consumption and began doing something else, they reported feeling more relaxed.
Better social interactions
By removing digital distractions, you will have more opportunity to pay attention to others in your immediate vicinity. For example, when there are no electronics present during dinner, you are more likely to interact with and bond with your family. You may also have the opportunity to meet someone new in the checkout line if your nose is not buried in your smartphone at all times. And if you’re not allowed to text, you’re more likely to pick up the phone and call a buddy to talk about something important.
More control of your time
Have you ever had a strong need to check your smartphone or get onto social networking sites? You are not alone in your feelings. In the United States, people check their cellphones 96 times each day on average and spend more than two hours on social media platforms. For many individuals, checking their phone or social media whenever they have a few spare minutes is a reflex behavior that isn’t motivated by a genuine desire for information. Taking a vacation from digital gadgets or media might help you overcome your obsessive usage of these things.
“It was quite liberating since I wasn’t responding to alarms,” Prewitt explains.
“Even though I have returned to Facebook, I do not use it as frequently as I used to. I still log out of my account every day to avoid being interrupted by alarms. I only check it when I specifically want to check it. The fact that I’m not as preoccupied with what’s going on is a huge relief.”
Signs you need to put down the devices
Are you unsure if you require a digital detox? The following symptoms may indicate that you need to take a break from electronic media:
- Depressed mood
- Increased irritation, annoyance, or rage
- A sense of insecurity
- And Sleep deprivation or interruptions
- The feeling of being forced to consume, respond, react, or check in
You should also be mindful of how your usage of digital media affects your relationships and other aspects of your life. “If you find yourself neglecting tasks at home or at work as a result of the amount of time you spend online, you might consider taking a digital detox,” Prewitt suggests. The fact that you’re losing interest in being social in person because you’d rather interact with people online is another warning indicator.
How to do a digital detox
If you’re ready to begin your digital detox, Prewitt recommends that you take these steps:
1: Decide on a behavior to change
Listed below are the measures to take if you’re ready to begin your digital detox, advises Prewitt:
2: Create goals
Define your goals based on whether you want to minimize or completely eliminate the usage of a certain gadget or form of media, and then stick to them. Make your request specific. Is it going to be all day or only at particular parts of the day? Consider limiting your social media time to 15 minutes a day, putting your phone in a different room at night, or designating Sundays as a tech-free day.
3: Make a time commitment
It takes time to break bad digital habits that have developed over time. Make a commitment to yourself of at least two weeks. To do this, you must reach a point when it appears that you have broken the habit.
4: Gather support
It’s comforting to have a spouse, family member, or close friend who will support you and hold you to your commitments. Discuss your objectives with individuals who are supportive of you. You might even ask them for suggestions on how to stop the behavior that you are trying to change.
5: Assess your progress
You should check in with yourself to see how your digital detox is doing a few days after you start it. Keep an eye out for the temptation to trade one digital habit for another. Suppose you’re spending more time on Instagram now that you’ve stopped using Facebook. You might want to think about deleting social media from your life completely.
6: Consider long-term changes
Take note of the advantages and disadvantages you encountered throughout your digital detox. Is it possible to tell what happened when you didn’t watch the news for three hours straight? What did you think about yourself when you weren’t on Facebook or Instagram? Was it less difficult than you anticipated or more difficult than you anticipated? Then you must determine whether or not you want to maintain any component of the alteration going ahead. In the case of using digital media at family dinners, for example, making it a household rule is a good idea.
Doing a digital detox entails taking control of how you spend your time and energy, as well as what you pay attention to and what you ignore.
Digital Detox: How to Disconnect, and Why It’s So Good for You
- Having a cold sweat at the notion of missing one notification indicates that you could be in need of a digital detox. Overuse of technology is detrimental to your sleep, your relationships, your productivity, and your sense of self-worth. Even a little vacation from technology can aid in the relaxation and recharging of your brain
- You are not have to live in the woods in order to get the benefits of a digital detox. Start small and keep your screen time to a minimum. By eliminating distractions, you’ll be able to increase your concentration and sleep, as well as gain more time than you’d expect.
How long do you think you’ll be able to go without checking your notifications? If the notion of missing out on one “essential” SMS or tweet causes you to break out in a cold sweat, it’s possible that you’re in need of an electronic detox. Tempting as it may be to believe that those who need to unplug are technologically hooked, this is not the case. The truth is that virtually everyone can benefit from taking a break, even if it is only for a day. Recent studies have found that overusing technology is detrimental to your sleep, relationships, productivity, and self-esteem.
“Even if it’s a minor adjustment, your brain will benefit from the relaxation and recharge.” Here’s everything you need to know about the advantages of disconnecting, as well as practical advice on how to eventually unplug – and no, you don’t have to live off the grid for the rest of your life.
When technology isn’t good for you
It’s hard to completely avoid technology, and it’s much less feasible to propose that you shouldn’t use it at all. What’s wrong with this is that excessive use of technology makes it more difficult to live life on your own terms. Here’s an example of what it looks like:
- When you use technology after dark, it helps you stay awake: Because of the blue light emitted by displays, it might interfere with your regular sleep-wake cycle. As a result, you are more likely to develop major illnesses such as obesity, cancer, or diabetes. The usage of social media is related with harmful behaviors: In particular, narcissism, anxiety, despair, and low self-esteem — particularly among adolescents — are concerns.
- You stay awake if you use technology after dark. Because of the blue light emitted by displays, it might disrupt your normal sleep-wake cycle. The risk of major illnesses such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes is also increased as a result. When it comes to hazardous habits, social media is a risk factor. To be specific, narcissism, anxiety, sadness, and low self-esteem — particularly prevalent among adolescents —
- A 2014 research found that using a smartphone for work at night makes you less productive and engaged the following morning, and that using a smartphone for work during the day had the same effect. The effects were more noticeable than with other types of technology, such as tablets and television.
Why you should break up with your phone (even for a little while)
Excessive use of technology makes it more difficult to concentrate on the experiences that actually add worth to your life. Dave Asprey, the creator of Bulletproof, has written a new book titled “Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators, and Thinkers Do to Win at Life.” In the book, Asprey speaks about minimalist Joshua Fields Millburn, who occasionally goes without a mobile phone or the internet. According to Asprey, when Millburn reintroduces those modest indulgences into his life, he “sees how they might enrich his life while being cognizant of the ways in which they are wasting important time and energy.” Take a listen to this edition of the Bulletproof Radio podcast to hear his conversation with Millburn.
- You are not need to bring your cell phone or laptop.
- Yet it’s more rewarding to let your thoughts wander, engage in a meaningful discussion with someone you care about, or simply take a stroll in the fresh air most of the time.
- Instead of allowing you to concentrate your time on things that are important to you, technology is stealing your attention.
- Lisa Strohman (Ph.D., clinical psychologist and founder of Digital Citizen Academy) believes that we all require a digital detox.
- “Are you doing things offline for at least the same number of hours as you spend online?” says the author.
- You’re surrounded by displays and notifications at all hours of the day and evening.
- That equates to 7 hours each week spent huddled in front of your laptop or television (after you’ve already spent 8 hours at your computer for professional purposes).
- How much more could you do in a week, a month, or a year if you had more time?
- “A digital detox allows our minds and bodies to restore their normal cycles,” she adds.
- According to Weniger, there are certain obvious signals that you need to take a vacation from technology.
- Through the day, you check your smartphone on a regular basis (even when it is not essential). You find it difficult to engage in face-to-face talks
- As a result of being constantly preoccupied, you make thoughtless blunders. You’re not getting enough sleep
- You spend a significant amount of time sitting down. (Find out why this is a risky situation.) Because you spend much of your leisure time staring at screens, you don’t get to spend much time outside.
While at work, you check your smartphone on a regular basis (even when it is not essential). If you find it difficult to converse with people face to face, As a result of your constant distraction, you commit thoughtless errors. You’re not getting enough sleep. You spend significant periods of time sitting still. Figure out why this is a bad idea. It’s because you spend much of your leisure time staring at screens that you don’t spend much time outside.
How to do a digital detox
Nobody is requiring you to move into a hut in the woods for a month at this time (althoughspending time in nature is good for you). Identifying two critical factors is a good place to start:
- What you would want to do instead of spending time online
- How much time you spend on the internet.
How much time you spend online
If you have an iPhone, you can view your most frequently used applications as well as your average screen time in the settings of your phone. Select “Screen Time” from the “Settings” menu. The most frequently used applications, how often you pick up your phone and even the number of notifications you receive per app can all be found by tapping on the name of your phone in the list. Then consider how frequently you use screens during the course of your day. Do you check your phone as soon as you wake up in the morning?
- Do you like to watch television as you eat dinner?
- If you want to be ultra-strict and avoid using any screens at all, by all means go for it — but perhaps reserve that objective for the weekend.
- Instead, establish some ground rules based on what you believe is feasible for you.
- Here are a few suggestions:
- For one week, refrain from using your most frequently used social networking app. Turn off all notifications for that particular application. Inform your buddies that they may reach you by phone or text message if they need to. During working hours, turn off all notifications. Keep track of your communications at predetermined intervals throughout the day, such as once every two hours
- After dark, refrain from using electronic devices. Turn off your phone, laptop, and television as soon as the sun goes down. Turn off all gadgets in your bedroom, and cover LED displays with blackout curtains. Remember to pay attention when your body begins to naturally feel drowsy. Change the way you get notifications: Unsubscribe from email newsletters that are filling up your inbox with junk. Turn off the vibrate feature on your phone if it is enabled. Do you get stressed out when you get a red notice alert? You may disable it in your settings and app permissions
- Nevertheless, it is not recommended.
What you want to do instead
Everyone has the same number of hours in a day. What would you want to do instead if you didn’t have to worry about technology taking up all of your leisure time?
- Draw, dance, write, paint, or experiment in the kitchen to express yourself creatively. Creativity is beneficial to your health since it aids in the formation of new connections between neurons and the sharpening of your brain. More information may be found here. Workout Routine: Exercise is beneficial to the brain, the body, and one’s mental state of mind. You don’t have to put forth a lot of effort to receive the advantages. Instead of perusing Twitter, try this 13-minute dumbbell exercise. Spend quality time with the individuals you care about: Get together with a buddy you haven’t seen in a long time for supper. Having a meaningful dialogue with your spouse is important! Invite your friends and neighbors over for a night of board games. Cook a complex dish with your family. It’s a lot of fun. Make moments that you will never be able to recreate with a phone in front of your face. Unwind: If technology is a crucial part of your self-care regimen, be sure you’re substituting something else that will offer you calm for the time you would have spent using it. It’s better for your health to learn how to meditate, participate in a yoga class, spend time in the sun, or relax in the bath at the end of a stressful day than it is to sit in front of the television.
- You may notice that you become fatigued early in the evening once you begin to reduce your screen usage. The natural sleep-wake cycle of your body is asking you to retire for the night. Pay attention to it
Taking a digital detox may seem a little woo-woo, but it’s a very personal activity that should be undertaken. While not enclosing your focus behind a screen, you may find that you have more free time than you first thought. And, in the end, that is the most significant advantage of a digital detox: it allows you to have greater control over your life and your attention, allowing you to devote more time to what truly brings you joy – whatever that may be. So don’t be frightened to turn off your computer.
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By Christian M. Fuersich, LMSWExperts recommend that we switch off and restart our phones, tablets, and laptops at least once a week in order to clear the cache that has accumulated and to make them work quicker and more efficiently. Why don’t we do the same thing for ourselves–go on a digital detox, reset our computers, and refresh our own personal store of information? That time of year when we return to school and it feels like the beginning of a new year has arrived. In order to get the most out of this’school year,’ there is no better time to undertake a little digital detox in order to focus on our own energy, concentration, and overall well-being.
1. Increased Productivity
Yes, it may seem counter-intuitive to believe that shutting off the gadgets that you use to work might increase your overall productivity. However, the research that behind it is conclusive. A half-hour break from their electronic gadgets every day, or even longer, has been shown to enhance levels of productivity and vitality in those who do so.
People who are able to disengage and be present are more likely to be able to concentrate their attention and do more in a shorter period of time.
2. Better relationships
How often do you find yourself at dinner with a spouse or pals, all of whom are glued to their phones or watching television on the couch together? Despite the fact that you are physically together, your minds are someplace else else. At dinner, putting your phone aside is a simple and easy method to boost your connectedness with partners and friends without compromising your connectivity with work or social media. Just be sure you check in before and after supper, and then let yourself be consumed by the company you’re with.
3. Less Stress
Our brains respond to stimuli by secreting adrenaline and cortisol, which enable us to respond to and deal with stress effectively. According to studies, hearing the ding of a new email or text message produces hormones that are identical to those released by receiving a new email or text message. Therefore, we become trapped in the Pavlovian loop of seeking the stimulation and being conditioned to react in the same way every time. It is possible to break this cycle by turning off alerts, even for a short period of time (such as an hour or two), or by setting them to vibrate, which can help relieve tension and restore energy.
4. Better Sleep
Our brains respond to stimuli by secreting adrenaline and cortisol, which prepare us to deal with and react to stress. The ding of a new email or text message, according to studies, triggers the release of hormones in a similar way. Therefore, we become trapped in the Pavlovian loop of wanting the stimulus and being conditioned to react in the same way to the stimulation It is possible to break this cycle by turning off alerts, even for a short period of time (such as an hour or two), or by setting them to vibrate, which can assist to relieve tension and restore energy.
5. And yes…Better use of your online time!
When you take a step back and take the time to assess how you use your digital devices, it becomes much simpler to distinguish between times when you are most productive and times when you are simply killing time with them. Putting your phone down for a moment and acknowledging that being present has its advantages and that nothing bad will happen if you don’t use your phone might help you develop better digital habits.