In the modern world, we’re always glued to screens and connected online. Taking a break from all that is called a “digital detox.” In other words, a digital detox is the act of intentionally stepping away from our phones, computers and other electronics.
In a world that we have created for ourselves that are full of notifications, social media feeds and hyper-connectivity, why is a digital detox important? How can we engage in digital detoxifying? Is it possible to maintain a balance in between?
Let’s find out.
What are the signs that may tell you that you need a digital detox in your life? Here’s a couple of ‘why’s and examples:
- Excessive screen time-Spending way more time on screens than usual, scrolling through social media for a long period of time.
- Increased stress and anxiety– Feeling overwhelmed by notifications and information overload, feeling stressed because of incidents that happen online (hacking/spreading misinformation etc)
- Being unable to focus-Having a tough time concentrating on things without wanting to check your devices, not being able to get stuff done because your phone keeps distracting you.
Then is a digital detox a need or a want?
Even though it might seem like something you just want, paying attention to these signs is crucial. Too much time online can mess with your mind, mess up your sleep patterns, and make it harder to connect with real people. So, it’s not just a want for a break – it’s something you really need for a healthier life.
On the other hand, what are the benefits of engaging in a digital detox?
- Having a happier and healthier mindset
- Can focus better so most of us get more stuff done, and get it done faster and more efficiently
- Building a good sleep schedule and getting solid sleep time
- Ability to enjoy real-life activities and hobbies.
- Developing healthier feelings and building better connections with people around you
- Having more energy without the constant screen time
Now that we’ve established that it’s important and a need, let us discuss how to start a digital detox.
- Set clear goals- Figure out why you want to spend less time on screens and decide how much time you’re comfortable with.
- Understand when and why you use your devices too much. Think about other things you can do instead.
- Choose specific times to be screen-free. Start with short breaks and make them longer over time.
Let’s keep in mind that these suggestions are merely that- suggestions, and your version of a digital detox may look different to this!
How difficult is it to engage in a digital detox, and is it a disciplinary practice?
Starting a digital detox can be challenging at first, especially with the constant pull of digital devices. Breaking habits takes time, but the benefits outweigh the initial difficulty, because at the end of the day it’s all about creating a healthy relationship with the technology you use in your life. And yes, digital detoxifying requires a certain level of discipline. Being disciplined means making choices and sticking to them. Always remember, it’s not about saying no to screens all the time but finding a balance that makes you feel good.
As it always is, there are various challenges you will have to face while attempting a. Digital detox, some of which are-
- Temptation to check your devices-the biggest challenge is feeling the strong urge to grab your phone or computer, especially when you’re used to using them a lot. It’s like your gadgets are calling you, and saying no can be really hard. You might want to check for messages or see what’s happening online.
- FOMO aka Fear Of Missing Out– another tricky part is FOMO, which means feeling like you’re missing out on something exciting happening online. You might worry that your friends are doing fun stuff without you or that you’re not keeping up with the latest news. Overcoming this fear and realizing it’s okay to miss out on some things is a challenge.
- Balancing work/school obligations-if your work involves a lot of screen time, taking a break can be tough. You might worry about falling behind or not meeting deadlines. Finding a way to balance work responsibilities while still giving yourself a break from screens is a common challenge during digital detox.
- Creating a supportive environment- Convincing friends or family to try a digital detox with you can be challenging. They might not see the benefits or find it hard to break their own screen habits. Getting others on board and creating a supportive environment can be a bit tricky but is essential for a successful digital detox journey.
There are several activities you can do to face challenges like this, specially when it comes to the need to check your phone every two minutes! Play some outdoor sports like soccer or basketball, or just go for a run in the park. Hiking, biking, or taking a walk is a good way to move your body and enjoy nature. You can also try activities like yoga or dancing – they’re fun, and they help reduce stress. Reading books or writing stories takes you to new places in your mind. Doing puzzles, whether on paper or with board games, is not just fun but also makes your brain work.
And keep in mind that a digital detox can seamlessly transition into a balanced digital lifestyle. Instead of completely avoiding technology, the idea is to create a healthy and mindful relationship with it. This means setting reasonable limits on screen time, identifying when and why you use digital devices, and incorporating intentional breaks. A balanced digital lifestyle involves using technology purposefully – for work, communication, and entertainment – without letting it dominate every aspect of your life. So, whether we’re taking a break from screens or just being smart about using them, it’s about making sure technology adds to our lives without taking over. It’s like taking a step back from screens to enjoy a more balanced and happier life!