Table of Contents
- What is Digital Detox?
- Signs That You Need a Digital Detox
- How Can They Help You?
- How to Do a Digital Detox?
- One Final Thought
“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” ― Gertrude Stein, renowned novelist, and poet.
Do you find yourself glued to your phone while time slips away? Or do you grab your phone to check the time and end up jumping from one social media app to another before you even know it? Well, you’re not alone.
A recent study confirmed that 61% of people are addicted to their smartphones and social media… And you are likely one of them.
Another study states that 50% of teens feel that they are addicted to their mobile devices, and a whopping 78% of the respondents said that they check their digital devices hourly.
But what can we do to limit our usage and bid phone addiction goodbye?
That’s where the digital detox comes in!
Without any further adieu, let’s delve into the concept of digital detox, its necessity in our present times, and how to do a detox to cleanse our minds.
What is a digital detox?
Just as the term suggests — digital detox means detoxing our minds from the digital world. It means to refrain from using digital devices, social media apps–and any form of technical devices for that matter — to connect with our environment better.
It can be for a day, week, or month.
“More connections to more devices means more vulnerabilities.” — says Marc Goodman.
And it’s true. Many experts and scientists believe that tech and device overuse represents an authentic behavioral addiction that can lead to physical, psychological, and social problems.
Moreover, it affects our productivity, reasoning and causes sleep disorders.
And digital detox is the answer to the problem.
Signs that you need a digital detox
Let’s face the fact that not everyone can refrain from using devices — all thanks to digitalization and work from home strategies. Devices are a part of our lives — office work, connecting with family members and friends, or online classes — our devices have become the best friends we cannot live without.
But if it affects your physical and mental wellbeing, it would be best if you cut it off immediately.
Here are some of the signs you might need a digital detox:
- You feel overwhelmed all the time
- You feel you are not beautiful/enough/worthy
- You develop body image problems
- You scroll your Instagram/Facebook feed mindlessly
- You don’t have a healthy sleep routine
- You feel anxious and depressed
- You mismanage your time
- You don’t have a healthy work-life balance
How can digital detox help you?
Let’s move on towards understanding how digital detox works and its benefits.
Here’s what happens to your body when you do digital detox…
You Sleep Better
Numerous studies have stated that excessive digital device usage can disrupt your sleep. Many of us begin scrolling through social media immediately after we wake up, and often repeat the same ritual before going to sleep. And that has a tremendous effect on our body energy and productivity.
The digital devices give off blue light that stimulates our brain to cease the production of melatonin–the hormone associated with sleep. And as a result, we have unhealthy sleeping habits.
Refraining from using our devices will help us get a better night’s sleep to keep us energetic throughout the day.
You get a better posture
I bet you’re reading this article while lying on your bed or sofa. We love scrolling through feeds while being hunched or slouched, and we forget that it affects our posture.
Nowadays, 16-35-year-olds complain of back and neck pain–commonly known as tech-neck–because of excessive device usage. Additional studies have found that excessive phone addiction and device usage can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that requires surgery.
A digital detox can help you improve your posture and avoid any aches in your body from the tech-neck affliction.
Improved attention span
A poll conducted by Common Sense Media states that the majority of the people in the United States didn’t remember the last time they did not have their cell phones within arms reach.
This statistic clearly states that we welcome distraction our way, and continually end up falling into the loop of the virtual world. The constant juggle from one app to another makes it hard for us to concentrate on one single task because so many things are going on at one time. It kills productivity.
A digital detox retrains your brain to concentrate on a single task again, ultimately making you more focused and productive in your daily life.
It helps you let go of stress
Do you feel negatively affected by the success stories on LinkedIn? What about the beautiful lifestyles people flaunt on Instagram? If so, this surely means social media is affecting your mental health.
Browsing through social media and having the constant urge to connect with new people have all been linked to the production of cortisol, the hormone that makes you feel stressed.
By cutting down on your social media usage, and spending quality time offline, you can cause a reduction in your stress levels, and that is a very good thing.
It helps you feel better about yourself
Social media apps plant thoughts of inferiority in your brain, which can lead to questioning your self-worth and self-esteem. Taking time off from social media can make you content with yourself and boost your self-confidence.
How to do a digital detox?
Wonder if you’d actually be able to cut off social media? Well, it’s time to decide…
We understand that it might not be possible for everyone to refrain from using your devices for months… But, taking baby steps and limiting phone usage little by little, every day, can help you reach your goals.
Here are a few tips that can help you do a successful digital detox:
1. Be true to yourself
Everyone has different privileges and obligations. If you have college or work-related obligations, your routine might look different than someone else.
While a complete detox might work for some people, you can start with a day off of your device over the weekend, or perhaps a “no device during the night” rule.
It all boils down to how you work towards achieving your goals. However, the main aim is to keep taking steps forward and being consistent.
2. Start by setting limits
Start setting boundaries and stick to them.
Research suggests that limiting your social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day can significantly improve wellbeing, decreasing symptoms of loneliness and depression.
If you are obsessed with scrolling through your phone, setting unrealistic goals won’t work. So, start small, like turning your phone on airplane mode while working to avoid distractions. Avoid using your phone while eating. Or don’t scroll in bed before going to sleep can help you break the shackles of phone addiction. These small steps you’re taking now can lead to great strides in the future.
If you find yourself becoming antsy, read a book or go back to the long-lost hobby that you loved before screens took over your life.
3. Turn off notifications on your phone
Do you get distracted by the ‘ding’ notification from your social media apps? Do you feel the urge to check your WhatsApp immediately after you get a message?
It’s high time you turn off your social media notifications!
Instead, set aside a specific time to scroll through them or respond to messages. This will allow you to feed your curiosity without hampering your daily life activity.
4. Use productivity or time management apps
Productivity boosting apps, like the Forest app, can help you cut down your social media use. The Forest app grows trees every time you set the timer. The plant grows into a tree when the timer ends, and eventually, a beautiful forest is grown.
Similarly, there are other apps too that can boost your productivity and help you limit your use of social media.
One Last Thing…
It’s easier to say than done. You might get frustrated during your digital detox. You might grow uncomfortable or bored or lonely, but the result is rewarding.
A digital detox will improve the quality of your life and help you be a better version of yourself.
Stick through the process and see the results.
Until next time!
Suhana Siddika, Clinical Nutritionist
Health Trends Alert