Why You Might Need A Digital Detox Once And A While

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August 23, 2023
Mindset & Growth

An individual who undertakes digital detox refrains from using electronic devices, such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and their social media accounts for a specific period of time.

Many people view "detoxing" from digital devices as a way to focus on social interactions in real life without distraction.

People can relieve the stress caused by constant connectivity by putting away digital devices at least temporarily.

Take a moment to consider some of the advantages and methods of doing a digital detox before deciding if it is right for you.

Factors for a Digital Detox

digital-detox

Being connected to the internet and immersed in the digital world has become a way of life for many people.

U.S. adults spend an average of 11 hours a day watching, reading, or interacting with media, according to Nielsen Company research.

There are several reasons why you may want to give up your mobile phone and other devices for a short period of time.

If you want to enjoy some time alone, turn off your phone and other devices.

Your device use might also seem excessive and be stressing you out.

It is even possible to feel addicted to your devices in some circumstances.

Even though it is not formally recognized as a disorder in the DSM-5, technology addiction is seen as a very real behavioral addiction that can lead to psychological, social, and physical problems.

According to the Research

  • Technology Has the Potential to Cause Stress

stress

While people commonly believe that they can't imagine life without their technology devices, research and surveys have found that technology also contributes to stress.

An annual survey by the American Psychological Association found that a fifth of U.S. adults (18%) cite technology as a significant source of stress in their lives.

A majority of this tech stress is attributed to the constant need to keep checking email, texts, and social media.

According to a study conducted by researchers in Sweden, heavy use of technology leads to sleep problems, depression symptoms, and increased stress levels in young adults.

  • Sleep Can Be Disrupted by Digital Devices

sleep-disrupted

The evidence also suggests that heavy device use can interfere with sleep quality and quantity, particularly prior to bedtime.

According to a study, children who use digital devices at bedtime have significantly poorer sleep.

Additionally, nighttime tech use was linked to an increased body mass index.

The use of electronic social media in bed has also been found to adversely affect sleep and mood.

According to the study, 70% of participants used their phones to check social media while in bed, with 15% spending an hour or more doing so.

Social media use in bed at night is associated with anxiety, insomnia, and shortening of sleep.

  • Heavy device use may be associated with mental health issues

Children who frequently use technology were at greater risk for mental health problems, according to a study published in the journal Child Development.

adhd

Digital technology use was associated with higher levels of ADHD and conduct disorder, as well as poor self-regulation.

  • Work/life balance is impacted by constant connectivity

unbalanced-work

It can be hard to create boundaries between your work and home lives when you feel like you are always connected.

We can't help but check our emails, reply to texts from colleagues, and check our social media accounts, even when we're at home or on vacation.

The study was published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

It noted that technology had an effect on work-life balance.

It was found that the use of the internet and mobile technologies affected overall job satisfaction, job stress, and feelings of overwork.

  • It Is Difficult to Be Satisfied Due to Social Comparison

harm

Almost every social media user has found themselves comparing their own lives to those of their friends, family, total strangers, and celebrities.

Based on the tiny glance you catch on Facebook or Instagram, you might think that everyone else seems to lead a fuller, richer, or more exciting life.

It is true that comparison can steal joy from you.

By removing yourself from social media, you can focus on what matters to you in your own life without feeling the need to compare yourself to others.

  • Feeling left out of the digital age can be depressing

fear

Known as FOMO, the fear of missing out is the belief that you are missing out on the experiences of others.

Constant connectivity can cause this fear to grow.

You may feel as if your life is less exciting every time you see a curated image or post about someone else's life.

You may overcommit to social events in order to avoid being left behind.

Fear of missing an important text, DM, or post can also keep you constantly checking your device.

You can set limits and reduce the fear of missing out by doing a digital detox.

In doing so, you should avoid feeling like you are disconnected from what is happening in your digital world.

Signs That You May Need a Digital Detox

  • It becomes very important to you to track your social media like, comment, and reshare counts

  • Keep checking your device because you're afraid you'll miss something if you don't

  • It's common for you to stay up late or to wake up early to play on your smartphone

  • If you don't constantly check your phone, you have difficulty concentrating

  • It makes you feel stressed or anxious if you cannot find your phone

  • A few minutes later, you find yourself checking your phone again

  • After spending time on social media, you feel sad, anxious, or angry

How to Perform a Digital Detox

The idea of a true digital detox would indicate abstinence from all digital devices and social media, but it is important to customize your device usage to fit your life and demands.

You can benefit from a digital detox by detaching from your devices, but you don't need to completely remove yourself from your phone and other tech connections to experience its benefits.

It is often a matter of setting boundaries and ensuring that you are using your technology in a way that is beneficial to your physical and emotional health.

  • Set Limits

The best way to ensure your mental well-being is to set limits on how often these digital connections can invade your time.

Although not always possible or desirable, limiting them can benefit your well-being.

During your workout, you may want to use your phone to play Spotify or Apple Music, but setting it to airplane mode will ensure you are not distracted by phone calls, texts, or other messages.

You will be able to enjoy real-world activities without distractions when you set boundaries on the type and timing of online connections you will attend to.

  • Get Rid of Distractions

Turning off push notifications on your phone is another way to start your digital detox.

Many social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and news websites send you alerts every time you receive a message or a new update.

As an alternative to checking certain apps or websites each time a new article is published, schedule a time every day when you'll check your messages and mentions.

To catch up and send responses, set aside approximately 20 or 30 minutes.

  • Be Realistic

This could be something you wish to try if you can maintain a complete digital detox for a period of time.

Some people may find it liberating and refreshing to be completely disconnected.

Some people might not be able to give up all forms of digital communication, especially if they need to stay connected for work, school, and other obligations.

Digital detoxification has advantages, but you must find a way to make it work for your schedule and your life.

When you need your devices for work during the day, consider doing a mini-detox after work.

When you decide on when to turn off your devices, spend an evening free of distractions, such as social media, texting, online videos, and other electronic devices.

Use It to Your Advantage

There is no right or wrong way to do a digital detox. You might want to try giving up television, mobile phones, and social media for a while.

Another option would be to limit your use of a single digital device such as your phone or a gaming console.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Consider limiting your use of one app, site, game, or digital tool if it is occupying too much of your time.

  • You can restrict or even completely eliminate your social media use during a social media detox

  • You can try a digital fast by giving up all digital devices for a few days, or even a week.

  • Choose one day of the week to go device-free recurrently

Tips for Digital Detox

Some people will find it relatively easy to give up their devices, while others will find it much more difficult and even anxiety-provoking.

If you want to ensure a successful digital detox, you can do the following:

  • If you want to reduce temptation and easy access to social media apps, delete them from your phone

  • When you are tempted to use your device, get out of the house; go to dinner with friends or take a walk

  • Record your progress and write down your thoughts about the experience in a journal

  • You should inform your friends and family that you are undergoing a digital detox so that they can offer you support and help

  • Keeping other activities at hand will help you keep distracted

THOUGHTS

Leaving your mobile phone and other technology behind can be stressful and uncomfortable at times.

You may feel irritated, anxious, and even bored without them.

The experience can be challenging, but it can be rewarding and give you a better understanding of your relationship with your device and give you more awareness and mindfulness of your other activities.

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Why You Might Need A Digital Detox Once And A While

February 16, 2024

An individual who undertakes digital detox refrains from using electronic devices, such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and their social media accounts for a specific period of time.

Many people view "detoxing" from digital devices as a way to focus on social interactions in real life without distraction.

People can relieve the stress caused by constant connectivity by putting away digital devices at least temporarily.

Take a moment to consider some of the advantages and methods of doing a digital detox before deciding if it is right for you.

Factors for a Digital Detox

digital-detox

Being connected to the internet and immersed in the digital world has become a way of life for many people.

U.S. adults spend an average of 11 hours a day watching, reading, or interacting with media, according to Nielsen Company research.

There are several reasons why you may want to give up your mobile phone and other devices for a short period of time.

If you want to enjoy some time alone, turn off your phone and other devices.

Your device use might also seem excessive and be stressing you out.

It is even possible to feel addicted to your devices in some circumstances.

Even though it is not formally recognized as a disorder in the DSM-5, technology addiction is seen as a very real behavioral addiction that can lead to psychological, social, and physical problems.

According to the Research

  • Technology Has the Potential to Cause Stress

stress

While people commonly believe that they can't imagine life without their technology devices, research and surveys have found that technology also contributes to stress.

An annual survey by the American Psychological Association found that a fifth of U.S. adults (18%) cite technology as a significant source of stress in their lives.

A majority of this tech stress is attributed to the constant need to keep checking email, texts, and social media.

According to a study conducted by researchers in Sweden, heavy use of technology leads to sleep problems, depression symptoms, and increased stress levels in young adults.

  • Sleep Can Be Disrupted by Digital Devices

sleep-disrupted

The evidence also suggests that heavy device use can interfere with sleep quality and quantity, particularly prior to bedtime.

According to a study, children who use digital devices at bedtime have significantly poorer sleep.

Additionally, nighttime tech use was linked to an increased body mass index.

The use of electronic social media in bed has also been found to adversely affect sleep and mood.

According to the study, 70% of participants used their phones to check social media while in bed, with 15% spending an hour or more doing so.

Social media use in bed at night is associated with anxiety, insomnia, and shortening of sleep.

  • Heavy device use may be associated with mental health issues

Children who frequently use technology were at greater risk for mental health problems, according to a study published in the journal Child Development.

adhd

Digital technology use was associated with higher levels of ADHD and conduct disorder, as well as poor self-regulation.

  • Work/life balance is impacted by constant connectivity

unbalanced-work

It can be hard to create boundaries between your work and home lives when you feel like you are always connected.

We can't help but check our emails, reply to texts from colleagues, and check our social media accounts, even when we're at home or on vacation.

The study was published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

It noted that technology had an effect on work-life balance.

It was found that the use of the internet and mobile technologies affected overall job satisfaction, job stress, and feelings of overwork.

  • It Is Difficult to Be Satisfied Due to Social Comparison

harm

Almost every social media user has found themselves comparing their own lives to those of their friends, family, total strangers, and celebrities.

Based on the tiny glance you catch on Facebook or Instagram, you might think that everyone else seems to lead a fuller, richer, or more exciting life.

It is true that comparison can steal joy from you.

By removing yourself from social media, you can focus on what matters to you in your own life without feeling the need to compare yourself to others.

  • Feeling left out of the digital age can be depressing

fear

Known as FOMO, the fear of missing out is the belief that you are missing out on the experiences of others.

Constant connectivity can cause this fear to grow.

You may feel as if your life is less exciting every time you see a curated image or post about someone else's life.

You may overcommit to social events in order to avoid being left behind.

Fear of missing an important text, DM, or post can also keep you constantly checking your device.

You can set limits and reduce the fear of missing out by doing a digital detox.

In doing so, you should avoid feeling like you are disconnected from what is happening in your digital world.

Signs That You May Need a Digital Detox

  • It becomes very important to you to track your social media like, comment, and reshare counts

  • Keep checking your device because you're afraid you'll miss something if you don't

  • It's common for you to stay up late or to wake up early to play on your smartphone

  • If you don't constantly check your phone, you have difficulty concentrating

  • It makes you feel stressed or anxious if you cannot find your phone

  • A few minutes later, you find yourself checking your phone again

  • After spending time on social media, you feel sad, anxious, or angry

How to Perform a Digital Detox

The idea of a true digital detox would indicate abstinence from all digital devices and social media, but it is important to customize your device usage to fit your life and demands.

You can benefit from a digital detox by detaching from your devices, but you don't need to completely remove yourself from your phone and other tech connections to experience its benefits.

It is often a matter of setting boundaries and ensuring that you are using your technology in a way that is beneficial to your physical and emotional health.

  • Set Limits

The best way to ensure your mental well-being is to set limits on how often these digital connections can invade your time.

Although not always possible or desirable, limiting them can benefit your well-being.

During your workout, you may want to use your phone to play Spotify or Apple Music, but setting it to airplane mode will ensure you are not distracted by phone calls, texts, or other messages.

You will be able to enjoy real-world activities without distractions when you set boundaries on the type and timing of online connections you will attend to.

  • Get Rid of Distractions

Turning off push notifications on your phone is another way to start your digital detox.

Many social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and news websites send you alerts every time you receive a message or a new update.

As an alternative to checking certain apps or websites each time a new article is published, schedule a time every day when you'll check your messages and mentions.

To catch up and send responses, set aside approximately 20 or 30 minutes.

  • Be Realistic

This could be something you wish to try if you can maintain a complete digital detox for a period of time.

Some people may find it liberating and refreshing to be completely disconnected.

Some people might not be able to give up all forms of digital communication, especially if they need to stay connected for work, school, and other obligations.

Digital detoxification has advantages, but you must find a way to make it work for your schedule and your life.

When you need your devices for work during the day, consider doing a mini-detox after work.

When you decide on when to turn off your devices, spend an evening free of distractions, such as social media, texting, online videos, and other electronic devices.

Use It to Your Advantage

There is no right or wrong way to do a digital detox. You might want to try giving up television, mobile phones, and social media for a while.

Another option would be to limit your use of a single digital device such as your phone or a gaming console.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Consider limiting your use of one app, site, game, or digital tool if it is occupying too much of your time.

  • You can restrict or even completely eliminate your social media use during a social media detox

  • You can try a digital fast by giving up all digital devices for a few days, or even a week.

  • Choose one day of the week to go device-free recurrently

Tips for Digital Detox

Some people will find it relatively easy to give up their devices, while others will find it much more difficult and even anxiety-provoking.

If you want to ensure a successful digital detox, you can do the following:

  • If you want to reduce temptation and easy access to social media apps, delete them from your phone

  • When you are tempted to use your device, get out of the house; go to dinner with friends or take a walk

  • Record your progress and write down your thoughts about the experience in a journal

  • You should inform your friends and family that you are undergoing a digital detox so that they can offer you support and help

  • Keeping other activities at hand will help you keep distracted

THOUGHTS

Leaving your mobile phone and other technology behind can be stressful and uncomfortable at times.

You may feel irritated, anxious, and even bored without them.

The experience can be challenging, but it can be rewarding and give you a better understanding of your relationship with your device and give you more awareness and mindfulness of your other activities.

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