Too much of anything is bad for you. The same can be said about the amount of screen time most people spend on their digital devices. Although digital devices have helped many people to stay socially connected even if they are physically miles apart, they can also distract people from focusing on real-life social interactions.
In addition, constant connectivity contributes to daily stress. This is why some people consider undergoing a digital detox. It is when they refrain from using devices like smartphones, televisions, computers, and tablets. A digital detox also involves staying away from social media sites or similar online platforms for a period of time. If you are thinking about having a digital detox, you may want to explore the potential benefits and techniques to make it successfully work for you.
Since your devices are a big part of your life, you are also exposed to the constant presence of digital connections. Each time you feel your phone vibrate or hear a notification bell, you may feel the pressure to immediately check or respond to your emails, text messages, and social media notifications. If you start a digital detox, you may be able to proceed with your regular activities without feeling the need to take any digital actions.
In addition, spending less time on social media apps may decrease your stress and improve your mood. Often, social media users would show updates about their lives on their profiles. When you constantly check them, you may find yourself comparing your life to those of your friends, relatives, strangers, and celebrities and think that everyone else is having a fuller and more exciting life based on their curated posts. This may prevent you from appreciating the good things in your life. When you detox from your digital connections, you can focus on enjoying your own experiences.
Improve Mental Health
One of the widely used devices is the smartphone. With adults and the majority of adolescents in the United States using their phones to access the internet and engage in social media, their daily technology use also rises. This habit has been associated with increasing the risks for mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Also, social media connections can potentially make people feel isolated due to online disagreements. By minimizing technology use to 30 minutes per day, you may improve your well-being and decrease symptoms of depression and loneliness.
Promote Better Sleep
Staying away from your digital devices when preparing for bed may help improve sleep quality and quantity. Like most people, you may have developed a routine of checking your smartphone while in bed. Oftentimes, people scroll through social media just before getting some shut-eye. Although you may believe this nightly activity helps tire your eyes so you can fall asleep, the effect is actually the opposite. The blue light emitted by your smartphones, laptops, and tablets may disrupt your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm. This internal clock signals your mind and body when it is time to wake up and sleep. By getting exposed to the blue light, it may trick your body into thinking it is still daytime.
Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Many people benefit from being able to constantly communicate with people even if they’re on the other side of the world. However, constant connectivity may also have an opposite effect when you want to have a more balanced work and home life. You may find it more challenging to create a boundary separating your personal and professional connections. For example, you may find it hard to resist checking your email or replying to a text from a coworker when you are at home with your family. This may also prevent you from enjoying your vacation or when you need to focus on personal matters, like when entering a Tampa drug rehab facility and similar treatment centers. When you do a digital detox, you may find it easier to establish a healthier work-life balance.
Choosing the Best Form of Digital Detox
Some people may get the idea that a digital detox requires complete abstinence from all types of digital devices and social media connections. You have other options. Although detaching from your gadgets may benefit your mental well-being, you don’t need to take away the benefits of your online connections. Instead, you can manage your technology use by trying any of the following:
Limited Digital Device Usage
While there are benefits to complete digital detox, you may want to start with restricting the time you connect digitally. For example, you may want to avoid using your mobile devices before you go to sleep or when having meals with your loved ones. This way, you can be more mindful of what is happening around you.
You may also want to turn off the push notifications on your mobile devices to begin your digital detox. Many social media apps and news websites alert you when you get a new message or post. Instead of checking your phone each time you receive a notification, you may want to set aside a time each day when you check all messages and catch up on responding online.
Complete Digital Fast
This means giving up all digital devices for a short period of time like a day or two.
Recurring Digital Abstinence
You may pick a day in a week when you will completely be free of any device and make this a habit every week.
If you feel that one digital app, website, or game is taking up a bulk of your time, you may choose to focus on limiting your use for that certain item.
Social Media Detox
This is when you restrict or eliminate your social media use for a specific time and rely on other forms of communication like calling to connect with other people. For some people, they even deactivate their social media accounts for a time or delete the apps on their mobile devices altogether.
Tips On Digital Detox
If you find being away from your digital devices more challenging, you may want to take note of these tips to ensure you have a successful digital detox:
If you want to give digital detox a try, do it when you know there are no big events or important work obligations you need to be online for. You may do it while you are on vacation or when you want to enjoy a long weekend.
You don’t want your abrupt absence online to raise concerns among friends and family, especially when you are known to be social media presence. Make sure to let your loved ones know you are going to be offline for some time. You may also want to prepare a backup communication line, just in case you need to be informed of an emergency.
You may want to use this time to hang out with your friends or get busy with your hobbies. Maximize the benefits of a digital detox by being present in your activities while being offline, instead of wondering about what’s happening in the digital world.
Spending too much time on your electronic gadgets is not a healthy habit and constant connectivity can have a negative effect on your life. Although you don’t need to completely be separated from your devices and digital connections, you can create a healthy space between your technology use and real-life experiences. There is no denying that technology use and online social interactions have become part of your daily life, but you still need to be able to distinguish when you need to prioritize having healthy relationships with yourself and meaningful experiences with other people rather than being active online.
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