SWITCHING OFF TO SWITCH ON
It’s tempting to think that the only people who need to unplug are those completely addicted to technology. Everyone can benefit from reducing screen time. Various studies have shown that overusing technology is bad for your sleep, your relationships, your productivity, and your self-esteem.
By Mariza Halliday
Being too dependent on technology and being constantly connected makes it more difficult to live your life on your own terms. Taking the time to unplug can have tremendous health benefits on your body and mind. A Digital Detox is when you reduce or stop the use of tech devices such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and visiting social media sites.
YOU NEED A DIGITAL DETOX IF:
1. You have difficulty sleeping
2. Your work efficiency is suffering
3. You constantly check your notifications or your phone throughout the day –even when it is not necessary
4. You feel anxious or stressed out if you can’t find your phone
5. You suffer from eye-strains and headaches
6. You make careless mistakes because you are always distracted
7. You’re sedentary for long periods of time
8. Your personal relationships are suffering due to the time you spend using technology
9. You feel depressed, anxious or angry after spending time on social media
BENEFITS OF A DIGITAL DETOX
• Better sleep
• Promotes productivity
• Improves mental health
• Relaxes your eyes
• Improves relationships
• Gives you more time to focus on yourself
HOW TO DO A DIGITAL DETOX
Nobody is saying you need to go live completely off the grid and banish all forms of technology. Start by identifying two important variables:
• How much time you spend online (most phones can track this)
• What you want to do instead Based on this data, decide how you want to proceed. If you want to go without any screens at all, do so realistically. If you have a job that requires computer screens or cell phone access, your boss might not appreciate your digital detox. It is better and more sustainable to start small.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR A REALISTIC DIGITAL DETOX:
Ban your most-used app for a week.
Completely turn off notifications for that app and inform friends they can call or text you if they want to reach you.
Better yet, uninstall it from your smartphone.
Turn off your notifications during work hours or when you are with friends.
Set designated times where you allow yourself to check your messages, like once every other hour.
Make the bedroom a no-tech zone. Blue light tricks our brains into thinking it is daytime, which makes it harder to fall asleep.
Using your phone in bed also reduces intimacy between you and your partner, and hurts your relationship.
Unsubscribe from email newsletters that clutter your inbox. You don’t need them!
Spring clean your social media accounts. Facebook and Instagram help us to connect with family and friends all around the world. We do not need studies to point out that the more time we spend on social media, the worse we feel. Given the fact that we only see a heavily curated version of friends’ and celebrities’ lives, it really is not surprising. Comparison is inevitable which can be toxic for self-esteem. Block, mute, unfollow, or delete ruthlessly until you’ve created a list of connections who add value to your life, make you laugh, and fill you with happiness.
Follow this simple guide, take a deep breath, and notice all the beauty around you that you miss when your eyes are glued to a screen. Live in the moment, be present and be happy.