A digital detox is where you take a period of time away from technology such as televisions, smartphones, computers, tablets, and social media platforms. Having a detox from these areas is often a way to enable yourself to focus on real-life social interactions without being distracted. The pandemic has increased our use of technology for work and pleasure.
Many people feel as though they are immersed in the digital world every day, and want to have a break. It can sometimes have a toll on your mental health to be so involved in technology and lead you to forget about what matters.
Technology Can Be Stressful
Some people feel like they can’t picture their life with no technology devices, and research suggests that tech can contribute to stress. So, we are all adding to our daily stress without even thinking about it. Having an ever-present connection to devices leads to people constantly checking emails, feeling as though they need to reply to every person, or as though they need to deal with every notification as they happen. This can lead to a stressful day, increase anxiety and depression, so a digital detox can be a healthy way to refresh your way of dealing with your devices.
They Can Disrupt Your Sleep
Evidence also points to heavy technology usage, especially near bedtime, interfere with the quality of sleep that people get. Studies have shown that people who use technology near bedtime have decreased sleep, worse sleep, and can also have an increased BMI.
Heavy Usage Can Be Linked To Mental Health Problems
There have been studies that show that heavy device use during the day can be linked to mental health issues, especially in adolescents. More time spent using digital devices can lead to symptoms of things such as ADHD.
Constant Connection Seriously Affects Your Work/Life Balance
The feeling of being connected can be great, but it can also make it hard to create boundaries between your work and home life. Even when you are on annual leave or home, it can be difficult to resist the temptation you get to check your work emails, respond to that quick message from a colleague, or check on your social media. This can lead to burnout very quickly, therefore, a digital detox can help to prevent this, next time you start to feel pressured and stressed out it may be time to take some time away from all things digital.
Clear Signs You Could Benefit From A Digital Detox
- You feel stressed or anxious when you can’t find your phone
- You need to check your phone every few minutes
- You feel anxious, depressed, or angry when you spend time on social media
- You’re preoccupied with comments, likes, or the number of followers you have on social media.
- You are worried you will miss something if you don’t check on your tech
- You stay up later or get up early to go on your phone
- You have trouble concentrating on things unless you check your phone
When You Should Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is the best place to start, you may even want to reduce your digital time rather than cut it out completely. Some of the things you may want to consider include:
- Avoiding technology when you are eating, especially if it is with other people
- Don’t use your tech when you are going to bed or waking up
- Don’t use it when you are working on a hobby or project
- Try hiding comments to help your mental health using these tips https://macpaw.com/how-to/edit-hide-delete-instagram-comments.
- Avoid technology when you are spending time with family or friends
- Stop using your tech before you sleep at night.
- Remove any distractions, so turn off push notifications especially the ones you get from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- Mute conversations so you can reply when you want to or set some time to, instead of feeling like you need to reply straight away. Remember to give people your emergency contact number just in case.
- Rather than checking apps constantly, set some time each day for checking notifications and limit to around 30 minutes, and put the tech back down again.
Going technology-free can be a little uncomfortable and slightly stressful. You may feel agitated, annoyed and anxious, or maybe even bored but if you can learn to fill this time with other hobbies and activities you will soon get rid of those feelings. Do you have any other tips that could help you have a successful digital detox? Please share some of them in the comments below.