A digital detox is, simply said, a period of time when a one refrains from using any sort of technological devices such as smartphones, tv, pc, tablets and all of its apps and social media sites.
This way or this detox can help people to focus on their real life, family, work and projects, without any distractions. It helps to focus on what is now and what we can affect, rather then the tsunami of advertisement, body shaming, bad news and all the what ifs and block the stress that stems from constant connectivity.
Being connected and immersed in the digital world is just a part of everyday life. Research has been done, that says, that the average U.S. adult spends around 11 hours each day listening to, watching, reading, or interacting with media. 11 hours a day!
Technology can be stressful it is the ever-present digital connection and constant need to keep checking emails, texts, and social media that accounted for the majority of this tech stress. Digital devices can disrupt sleep and heavy usage may be linked to mental health issues.
How to perform digital detox?
Some may suggest to simply stop using devices for a day or longer, but let be honest, if you use it daily for several purposes, even an hour now can be a torcher for you.
Start with baby steps:
1. unsubscribe from emails you do not read regularly. You remember the shoes you bought two years ago and you are still getting their newsletters you immediately delete? Unsubscribe as it might be a small distraction that adds on to the other ones and we immediately have a digital avalanche, that your brain has to absorb each day.
2. uninstall apps you do not need. You might still be getting notifications from them, or they just take space on your phone AND people, when bored, happen to be opening and closing and scrolling mindlessly through their phones instead of reading a book for example
3. switch off the sounds. People have their notification sounds on even during the night and their body cannot really rest as brain keeps receiving these sound notifications (even though you do not know about it)
4. give yourself an hour. An hour each day after waking up and an hour before you go to sleep. Refrain from watching tv, listening to news, scrolling through social media or writing emails and so on. Give yourself an hour to calm your mind or to focus on what is to come.
5. set limits. For example no phone when eating, socializing with family or friends, working on a project ... create yourself a rule like no technology until 9am or after 9pm or no phone during the weekend and so on.
6. turn off the notifications. Yes you do not need to lift the phone or open the email as soon as a notification comes up. These can be so distracting even from your own thoughts or as simple thing as washing dishes. Very few people can hear notifications and ignore them. Simply switch it off and look at them all at once, when you CAN according to your limits, that you have just set for yourself.
It may be hard from the beginning, but it for sure is rewarding experience that will help you better understand your relationship with your devices and will allow you to be more present and mindful in other activities and life in general.
What is your current relationship with technology and social media, do you think you can spend less time online to have more quality time offline?