The use of digital media and technology is a very normal thing in the modern world. Most people wake up to their smartphone, watch tv regularly, scan text messages and emails, use social media, do online shopping and chat with friends through messaging mediums.
Many people don’t even realise just how much they use digital mediums every day. What many people also don’t realise is that this excessive screen use can cause a range of stresses and negative effects.
The solution to this issue may be a digital detox. This type of detox can provide some relief from the pressure of constant use of electronic devices. Research has shown that this type of detox can help to improve sleep, mood, and relationships.
What Is a Digital Detox?
The definition of a digital detox is basically just taking a break from using your electronic devices or a certain form of media for a period of time. This detox may last between a few days to a few months. However, the specifics of a digital detox will vary from person to person.
Below is a list of the most common things that people will avoid during a digital detox:
- Checking emails
- Scrolling through social media
- Playing video games
- Watching TV
- Text messaging
- Using a smartphone or tablet
Social Media Detox
Taking a break from social media is the most common type of digital detox. While social media can be fun, it can also have an unhealthy effect on people. Negative experiences on social media can trigger depression and anxiety. Plus, social media has also been proven to affect people’s self-esteem.
Below is a list of the negative effects of using social media every day:
- Feelings of isolation
- Being angry or upset over certain content
- Social comparisons
- Experiencing cyberbullying
- Fear of missing out
The Benefits of a Digital Detox
There are many benefits to taking part in a digital detox. This is a great way to find out if technology has been holding you back or preventing you from living your best life. Some of the results from a digital detox can include improved relationships with friends and family, and being more productive at work.
Below is a list of the main benefits of a digital detox:
For some people, gaining too much of certain information can be stressful. Many people may get upset after watching hours of new footage, for example. However, once they reduce their consumption of the news, they will begin to feel calmer.
With the constant notifications we receive on smartphones and other electronic devices, it is very easy to become distracted from the world. During a digital detox, you may find it much easier to notice what’s going on around you. Your brain will be able to concentrate much better on any tasks that you need to complete.
Better Social Interactions
When you eliminate your digital distractions, it gives you the opportunity to pay more attention to the people around you. A digital detox gives you the opportunity to naturally interact and connect with your friends and family more. If you’re not constantly buried in your smartphone when you’re out and about, you also have more opportunities to meet new people.
More Control Over Your Time
If you constantly feel the urge to pick up your smartphone and check your social media and other apps, you’re not alone. Many people pick up their phone every few minutes as a reflex action, even when they don’t have any notifications. Taking a break from digital devices can help you break out of the habits of compulsive use.
Signs You May Need a Digital Detox
Are you wondering whether or not you need a digital detox? If you are using digital devices and you are experiencing any of the following, this is a sign that you may need to go through a digital detox.
- Depressed mood
- Feeling obligated to check your phone regularly, respond or consume media
- Increased anger, irritability, or anger
- Sleep problems
- Feeling insecure
You may also start realising how your technology use impacts other areas of your life. Some examples of this include ignoring your responsibilities at work or home because of the amount of time you spend online or losing interest in being in social situations because you’d rather just interact with people online. These are signs that you may need a digital detox.
How Do You Do a Digital Detox?
A digital detox can take any form you want it to. You may choose to give up all digital devices for a period of time including smartphone use, social media use, playing video games and watching tv.
Other times, you may want to focus on restricting your digital use of just one type of technology. For example, you may choose to avoid using just your smartphone or just your gaming console for a certain amount of time.
Below is a list of some ideas that you may want to consider:
- Digital fasting – Attempting to give up all digital devices for a short period of time such as a day or a week
- Recurrent digital abstinence – Choose one day of the week to avoid devices
- Specific detoxing – If one particular device or app is taking up too much of your time, focus on restricting just that
- Social media detox – Focus on restricting your social media use or even completely illuminating social media use for a period of time
Tips When Doing a Digital Detox
Some people find it more difficult than others to complete a digital detox.
Below is a list of things that may help a digital detox be more successful:
- Tell your friends and family that you’re completing a digital detox and request their support
- Keep a journal and track your progress during the detox by writing down your thoughts and feelings about the experience
- Find some ways to keep distracted by doing some other activities
- Try getting out of the house when you feel tempted to use your device
- Delete social media apps to reduce the temptations to use them