The importance of a digital detox

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Shutterstock.com/ YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV

The average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone which eventually amounts up to a full 23 days a year staring at one’s phone. This doesn’t include the amount of time people also spend on their computers and time spent watching television. The total time spent with digital devices puts much into perspective. Nothing is wrong with electronics or digital entertainment. However, too much of anything is not healthy. Almost anything can be done through the Internet. You can buy clothes online, order meals, date, surf the web, and much more.

As convenient as the digitized life may be, it can negatively affect how we communicate with others in our interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, it is not that simple to communicate through emojis and gifs when speaking face to face with another person. Spending too much time on these devices can begin to tarnish the way you express yourself. Also, it goes without saying that social media is another means of entertainment for many. It can be easy to get caught up in social media drama and gossip. Also, people find themselves comparing themselves to other people’s lifestyles when looking at their social media pages.

Over indulging in digital devices and social media can contribute to things like anxiety and depression. We see how happy others appear on their pages and often desire to have what they have. The realization that we may not have the big house or “perfect relationship” creates a sense of lacking which can make us feel like something’s missing. In reality, no one knows if those people are actually happy behind the scenes. Before the weight of the digitized world becomes too heavy, you should aim to do a digital detox every once in a while to get away from such external stimuli.

What is a digital detox?

A digital detox is a period of time where a person goes without using any digital devices like cellphones, televisions, radio, tablets, computers, or social media platforms. It is a voluntary decision a person makes to unplug from all digital devices and the internet. You will receive a mental detox once you disconnect from these things. This provides you with the opportunity to live a less sedentary lifestyle and be more socially active.

How do you do a digital detox?

Set a period of time to go without your electronic devices. A digital detox can be for as long as several months to a couple of hours.
Put all of your electronic devices away. If you can, put all of your digital devices in a safe and give it to a friend. Having it close might tempt you and make the detoxification process harder.
Turn off notifications. You don’t have to get rid of your electronics in order to detox.
Put your phone away during meals. Spend your dinner time communicating with your loved ones instead of constantly checking your phone.
Take up a hobby. Find something else to spend your time on that doesn’t require the use of electronic devices. This can be learning to play a new instrument, taking dance classes, etc.

Benefits of a digital detox:

  • Better interpersonal connections
  • Improvements in overall communication
  • Increased focus
  • Improved sleep schedule and deeper sleep
  • Decrease distractions