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NEWSLETTER

4 reasons to do a digital detox

Taking a break from technology not only saves time but also improves one's mental health. Find out how to accomplish it in the best manner possible.

4 reasons to do a digital detox


Being connected has become a way of life for many people. Your smartphone alarm, if you're like most people, wakes you up in the morning. You get ready while watching the news on television and then check your text messages. You check email, communicate with pals, and look through Facebook and Instagram throughout the day. You spend your evenings online buying and checking social media while watching your favourite TV series. You also utilize smartphone apps for meditation or white noise before going to bed.



For many folks, that is just a usual day. In fact, the average American spends four hours watching television and seven and a half hours on digital gadgets. Many of us are stressed out as a result of our excessive screen time, which is unsurprising.


A digital detox may be the answer, as it can relieve the stress of being constantly connected to electronic devices. According to studies, a digital detox can help you sleep better, have better relationships, and feel better. Are you ready to give it a shot? Kia-Rai Prewitt, PhD, a psychologist, explains the benefits and how to go about doing a digital detox.


What is the definition of a digital detox?

A digital detox is defined as a period of time in which you refrain from utilizing electronic devices or specific media for a length of time ranging from a few days to many months. However, the specifics vary from person to person. The following are examples of things to avoid during a digital detox:


I'm checking my email.

Playing computer games.

I'm scrolling through social media.

Text messaging

Using mobile devices such as cellphones or tablets.

Watching the news or other television shows.

Detoxing from social media

The most common type of digital detox is taking a vacation from watching or engaging in social media. "Social media allows us to engage with others in a variety of ways," Prewitt explains. "However, it has the potential to have a negative impact on people." Negative social media experiences can lead to anxiety and despair, as well as a decrease in self-esteem. This includes the following:


Being enraged or offended by the stuff that has been posted.

Bullying on the internet (online verbal bullying).

Fear of being left out (FOMO).

Isolation feelings.

Comparisons between people.

The advantages of taking a technology break

A digital detox is an excellent method to see if technology is preventing you from living your best life. Unplugging can have a variety of benefits, ranging from increased productivity at work to improved connections with family and friends. The following are some of the advantages of taking a technology break:



Enhanced focus

According to Prewitt, it's simple to become distracted from what's happening around you due to frequent beeps and pop-up messages on technology. You may realize that you notice more in your immediate surroundings while on a digital detox. Your brain will be able to focus on your duties much better.


Stress is reduced.

Too much knowledge might be distressing for some people. Prewitt says, "I've worked with several patients who were pretty disturbed from watching hours of news." "They felt calmer once they cut back on their news consumption and started doing something different."


Improvements in social interactions

By removing digital distractions, you'll have more time to focus on those around you. For example, when there is no electronics present during dinner, you are more likely to communicate and connect with your family. In the checkout line, if your nose isn't buried in your smartphone, you may have the opportunity to meet someone new. If you can't text, you're more likely to pick up the phone and talk to a friend.


You have more control over your time.

Have you ever felt compelled to check your phone or go on social media? You're not the only one who feels this way. Americans check their smartphones 96 times every day on average and spend almost two hours on social media. Checking their phone or social media anytime they have a few spare minutes is a reflex response for many people. Breaking up with digital devices or media might help you overcome compulsive use.


"When I was studying for my licensure exam, I took a break from Facebook for a while. Because I wasn't responding to alarms, it was incredibly liberating," Prewitt says. "Even though I've returned to Facebook, I don't use it as frequently as I used to." I still log out every day so that alerts don't bother me. I check it whenever I feel like it. It's a comfort since I'm not as preoccupied with the situation."


Signs that you should put your devices down

Do you think you may benefit from a digital detox? If you're having any of the following problems as a result of consuming electronic media, it's time to disconnect:


A depressed state of mind.

Irritability, frustration, or rage have increased.

Feeling uneasy.

Sleep deprivation or sleep disruption.

Feeling compelled to eat, respond, react, or check-in.

You should also consider how your use of digital media affects other aspects of your life. "Consider a digital detox if you're ignoring obligations at home or at work because of the amount of time you spend online," Prewitt says. "Another warning indicator is if you've lost interest in socializing in person and prefer to connect with people online."


How to do a digital detox 

If you're ready to start a digital detox, Prewitt recommends the following steps:


1: Choose a behaviour that you want to modify.

Determine the problem first. Are you constantly glued to your smartphone? Do you become anxious when you hear the news? Is it possible that you're wasting too much time on social media? Determine which activities you wish to cut back on or eliminate entirely.


2: Set objectives

Make a goal for yourself based on whether you want to limit or eliminate the use of a particular gadget or type of media. Make it unique. Will it take place throughout the day or only at certain times? For example, you may limit your social media time to 15 minutes per day, keep your phone in a different room at night, or declare Sundays a tech-free day.


3: Make a commitment to yourself in terms of time.

Breaking strong digital habits takes time. Make a two-week commitment at the very least. You want to reach a point where you no longer feel like you're in the habit.


4: Seek out help

It's helpful to have someone to encourage you and hold you accountable, such as a partner, family member, or close friend. Share your objectives with those who will help you achieve them. You might also ask them for suggestions on how to stop the conduct that is bothering you.


5: Evaluate your development.

Check-in with yourself a few days after you've started your digital detox to see how it's going. Make sure you're not substituting one digital habit for another. If you're spending more time on Instagram now that you're no longer on Facebook, for example, you might want to consider ditching social media altogether.


6: Think about long-term changes

Take note of the advantages and disadvantages you encountered throughout your digital detox. What happened when you went three hours without watching the news? When you weren't on Facebook or Instagram, how did you feel? Was it easier or more difficult than you anticipated? Then determine whether or not you want to continue with any component of the alteration. Making it a family rule that no one uses digital media at family dinners, for example. Alternatively, now that you've accomplished your first digital detox, you can focus on modifying more digital habits.


Taking control of how you spend your time and energy, as well as what you pay attention to, is the goal of a digital detox. It assists you in identifying what you want more of and less of so that you can break bad habits and form new, more significant ones.

Disclaimer:

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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