Digital detox refers to “detoxing” from digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, and TVs. Focusing on real life is the aim of refraining from using such devices.
You can easily lose sight of what’s happening around you when you’re more engaged in something that is posted online. The purpose of a digital detox is to reduce mental stress and the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).
The Importance of a Digital Detox
The average individual spends 4 to 7 hours a day consuming digital media through smartphones, laptops, and other devices.
Overconsumption of the wrong online/social media content can lead to negative feelings, foster fears, and frustrations. It may also lead to an unnecessary comparison between your life and that of others, which can raise insecurities.
Detoxing from social and other digital media can be beneficial to your mental well-being. It can reduce stress, improve sleep, promote a better work-life balance, and allow for some much-needed “me time”.
The Negative Impact of Overusing Smart Devices, Social Platforms, etc.
Among the many negative impacts of overusing digital devices, the most common are reducing levels of life satisfaction and increasing levels of depression and anxiety. These effects are more commonly observed in teens and young adults since they’re always connected.
The more time people use digital devices and social media, the less time they have to enjoy outdoor activities and meet people in real life.
The lack of human social connections can lead to social isolation. In addition to these issues, excess use of technology also disrupts sleep cycles and work-life balance.
You might end up spending all your time with your devices and on social media, and not enough time with your family and friends.
Overconsumption of the wrong online and social media content can lead to negative feelings, foster fears, and frustrations.
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The Positive Impacts of a Digital Detox on Your Physical and Mental Health
A digital detox can help you ease all the concerns mentioned above. The simplest benefit it can offer is more time for yourself without the distraction of phone calls, emails, and other notifications. But it also offers more extensive benefits such as:
- Improved sleep cycles
Without the blue light from technology to disturb you, you’re likely to fall asleep faster and the quality of your sleep will be better.
- Healthier social life
You can connect with people in real life to build solid social support for yourself.
- Increased body movement
You’re more likely to engage in physical activities that involve moving instead of sitting in one place without a device holding you back.
- Positive thinking
Removing the stress that social and other digital media adds to your mind can help you relax and think more positively.
Tips for Doing a Digital Detox the Right Way
If cutting off all digital devices and connections is something you can do, then go for it. However, most individuals need at least a minimal amount of connection to the outside world. If that’s you, then your goal is to reduce digital and social media use and set appropriate boundaries and limit your time.
Here are five ways you can successfully detox from the digital world:
- Have realistic goals
As mentioned above, ditching all devices may not necessarily be something you’re comfortable with. You must set realistic goals for how much time you want to spend with your technology and how much you’re able to cut back.
- Set up healthy boundaries
Enforce limits on the amount of time you can use your smartphone or computer and stick to them. Schedule hours in your day when you don’t use technology at all. Try keeping your devices in another room if you have difficulty staying away from them.
- Be purposeful about using technology
Check with yourself why you’re tempted to look at your phone so often. Is it because you’re avoiding another activity? If yes, look for better ways to deal with that situation than using your phone as a distraction.
- Plan family or social activities without technology
You can set up game nights and bring out the board games or find a physical activity that will keep everyone moving. Something simple that will keep devices face down.
- Turn off your notifications
Only keep the notifications on for apps you need for work and one or two apps that keep you connected to your loved ones. Turn off all the social media notifications that interrupt your focus.
A digital detox can be your key to healthier body and mind. It might seem impossible to detox from digital technology, but you can follow the tips given above to make it easier.
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About the writer
Director of Creative Strategy
Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.