Do you find yourself constantly doom-scrolling as chunks of time slip away? You’re not alone. Research shows that about 60% of people admit they’re addicted to the internet and digital screens. And why wouldn’t we be? The internet has a million different ways to engage, and we’re a sucker for it all.
However, while diving into this online world, we unknowingly haul around a serious amount of digital baggage that wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies. If you’re feeling the weight of this baggage, it may be time to consider a digital detox. In this blog post, we’ll cover what a digital detox is and how to do a digital detox effectively. So, let’s forget about the likes, tweets, and trends and ditch that digital baggage.
What is a Digital Detox?
A digital detox is a way to recharge and refresh your default settings. It’s about closing the laptop, tossing the phone and reconnecting with the real world.
It’s hard to imagine life without our technology; it’s our lifeline, keeping us connected and updated with everything happening around us. But when the lines blur between the real and digital worlds, and suddenly, you know more about the Kardashians than your own friends, problems creep in, and it might be time to consider taking a break.
A digital detox doesn’t mean you have to fall off the face of the earth, communicating exclusively through smoke signals and messenger pigeons. It’s all about taking control of your device usage and finding a balance that works for you.
Dangers of the Digital World
When your mum told you to stop watching so much TV or your eyes would go square, she may have been on to something. While your eyes aren’t going to go square, too much device usage can lead to plenty of physical health problems, such as eye strain, sleep disruption, and weight problems.
The mental health issues from device overuse aren’t any more promising either. Constant scrolling through Instagram posts of the rich and famous will inevitably lead to unwarranted and unhelpful comparisons; it’s basically self-esteem suicide. In fact, The American Psychological Association has recently recognised a new form of stress known as “technostress”. Symptoms can range from Feeling tired and cranky to even struggling with anxiety and depression.
Benefits of a Digital Detox
Given these concerns, it shouldn’t surprise you that digital detox has recently become a bit of a buzzword. And right so! Unplugging yourself from your devices can drastically improve your day-to-day in several ways.
Improved Mental Health
Social media, at times, is like a welcome mat for that green-eyed monster. Between your mate’s photos from their OE and some super athlete’s latest workout video, it’s hard not to feel inadequate. But there’s a simple solution: stop looking at it! It’s one of the few times burying your head in the sand is helpful!
A study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that reducing social media usage, even for a week, can lead to massive improvements in mental health, especially for self-worth. Without the constant comparisons to others, it’s much easier to feel comfortable in your own skin.
Better Physical Health
One of the first things people notice during a digital detox is the time they now have on their hands. Those 30-second TikTok videos can mount up when you’re watching hundreds of them a day. And idle minds tend to lead to active feet. Many find themselves out and about far more once they put their devices down because what else will you do, stare at the ceiling?
Be more productive
Liking, scrolling or browsing the web can be a sinkhole for seconds, minutes, and even hours daily. Your device usage can leach time away from your actual responsibilities. Setting your phone aside will help keep you focused on what needs doing. When you aren’t getting bombarded by constant notifications and emails, staying focused on the task is far easier.
Tips for Ditching Digital
If you know a little too much about Taylor’s relationship with Travis Kelce, you might consider a digital detox. But it’s easier said than done when you’re that entrenched in online celebrity gossip. So here are some tips on how to digital detox.
With any sort of addiction, going cold turkey is always the hardest road. While some can cope, many can’t and will slip back into bad habits almost immediately. If you’ve got a severe dose of digital dependency, start off small. Carve out a small portion of your day and make it tech-free. As you conquer these periods, increase the time. Stick with it, and before you know it, you won’t even be able to remember the lock code for your phone.
One Device at a time
Don’t ditch all your gadgets at once. When changing technology habits, focus on one at a time and stick to it for at least a week before moving on to tackle another.
Give Yourself an Allowance
Just like a cheat day on a diet, giving yourself a little reward for hitting certain goals might make your digital detox a little more palatable. However, be honest and realistic with these goals. Too achievable and you won’t make any progress, too hard and you’ll quickly lose faith.
Make Your Bedroom a Device-free Zone
Keeping devices on your bedside table is like leaving treats where the dogs can get them. Move your device out of your room and make it a tech-free space; this will help you avoid those late-night TikTok sessions.
Tell Everyone That Will Listen
Be obnoxious! Tell anyone and everyone that will listen that you’re doing a digital detox. Make them sick to death of hearing about it. Because the more people you tell, the more you make a big deal out of it, the less you’ll want to fail.
De-Digitize Your Life
In our hyper-connected world, a digital detox offers a much-needed break. We aren’t recommending you throw yourself back into the stone by completely removing technology from your life, but rather, use it mindfully and reflect on your relationship with your devices.
Check out more of our wellness blogs for more tips on becoming the best version of yourself.