In a world powered by technology, it is no wonder why there is an increasing concern and a constant need for a digital detox. Although most of what we do are reliant on devices powered by technology, studies have proven that taking the time to abstain from its consumption is vital to all aspects of our well-being.
Some physical risks and rampant mental health issues are rooted because of how social media works. Video games and other applications are engineered to be addictive. Some are designed to trick people into watching more and spending more! The culture of social media is also becoming more and more toxic instead of informative.
Disconnecting from the online realm and connecting more to our offline worlds creates a healthy balance and a more peaceful way of thinking. While it is hard in today's modern world to completely take the time off from technology, here are more reasons why you should:
It gives you more time
The average person spends 6 hours and 58 minutes a day on screens connected to the internet, according to an article by Howarth (2022). This data also mentioned that almost half of 0 to 2-year-olds interact with smartphones, while Gen Z averages around 9 hours of screen time per day.
Imagine how social media takes over our lives on a day-to-day basis - the amount of time you could have spent doing something important or exploring more meaningful things you actually love. Digital detox gives you a lot of time to discover, reflect, and learn new things.
It recharges your brain and body
Information overload often happens when you consume too much social media. News all over the world, notifications here and there, and constant updates from people. While we want to be sensitive to what happens around us, it is important to take care of ourselves. After all, we cannot fully help if we are not in the right state of mind.
A digital detox allows you to unwind and slow down. It reduces stress levels and makes you feel less distracted. When you give your brain time to process everything, it affects how your body will respond. Turning your devices off is a powerful way to cleanse your mind and a healthy way to rest your body.
It increases productivity
Social media often interrupts our work. Before you know it, you mindlessly spent 3 hours watching short-form videos.
But when you take a break from social media, you can condition your mind and body to cross some things off your to-do list. The absence of distraction that is usually brought by social media will help you gather your thoughts, focus, and take action.
It helps create meaningful relationships
Technology affected how we connect to people. It gave us the opportunity to be more connected to far-away loved ones, but it also distracted us from creating more meaningful relationships.
The time we spend away from social media can be used to reconnect with our friends and family. Spending more time with people we love is beneficial to our overall health. Physical connection is a great way to cope with stress, improve our mood, and express our emotions.
It improves overall sleep
Most, if not all, of the lights we use are sources of blue light, which boosts alertness and blocks the sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin. The blue light in our digital devices keeps us awake in our beds, which disrupts our body's sleep-wake cycle, thus affecting the time of our sleep and the quality as well.
Simply put, eliminating digital devices before we sleep or throughout the day will keep our natural body clock and will help us fall asleep quicker.
For some, taking the time off technology is complex, so here are some tips that could help you in doing so:
- Automate your gadget and set a time for it to power off. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, put it on silent mode instead.
- Delete your most used application for a while (the ones that disrupt you the most).
- Keep your device out of your sight.
- Trick your mind. For example, reward yourself with a nice treat for every hour you spent away from social media.
- Find an accountability partner. It is easier to commit to things when you have someone who does it as well!
Technology is something we cannot control as it has been an important part of our society. But all the ways we can engage and the choice to freshen up is for us to decide! With effort and time, you can help yourself or your loved ones to be more productive, peaceful, and happy.