New research shows that if you feel tired, overwhelmed, and unhappy, one of the reasons could be digital overload and it’s time to do a digital detox.
The average American checks his or her phone over 110 times a day. The constant distraction of our digital lives has made us less happy and more unproductive. The antidote? Unplugging from the internet and other technology.
For many people, doing a digital detox is not just about turning off your computer and cell phone, but going further: unplugging from social media, tv, and even newspapers.
Whether you go cold turkey or start with one day a week, you will be amazed at how much happier, healthier, and more productive you can be.
Why Digital Detox is Important?
A digital detox is important for everyone, but it’s especially important if you have an eating disorder or other mental health problems.
A digital detox is a voluntary abstention from all forms of electronic media, including computers, smartphones, tablets, television, and anything else with a screen.
The idea is that by clearing your life of all traces of digital media, you can focus on living in the real world, which is much more beautiful than what you’ll find in the digital world.
Once you remove the distractions, and you’ll find that you have more time for the things that matter.
Why Are We Addicted To Our Digital Devices?
Tablets, smartwatches, phones, and other digital devices are all intended to keep us addicted. Nonetheless, integrating social networking apps with these devices is creating a widely prevalent problem, with no one seeming to care.
You ought to question why they would give you a free account and charge you nothing for it.
The answer to this question is simple: You are the product. More specifically, your attention is what the major social media platforms need, and they need your attention to make billions of dollars from advertising at your expense.
They make money and you lose. You lose your peace of mind, your friendships, your health and many more intangible experiences… and you don’t even know it.
Doing a digital detox is one of the easiest ways to improve your mental and physical health.
How to Do a Digital Detox
For starters, you should plan for it. How long do you wish to detox for?
Ideally, it should last for at least one entire day. Some people call it a ‘dopamine fast’ or other similar terms. You want to give your mind a break from the constant hits of dopamine you get from social media notifications or alerts from apps on your phone.
It’s best to do this over the weekend. One or two days should suffice. It’ll be hard enough doing it for a day, but two is better.
The next thing to do will be to plan how your day will go. The goal is not to use ANY digital devices such as your phone, tablet, TV, etc.
So, you want to keep yourself occupied. Some people may prefer to spend a day by the beach, because time will fly. Others may spend the day reading followed by dinner at a restaurant.
By keeping your mind and body engaged in other activities, you’ll be too busy to think about your phone. (You’ll notice that you feel like something is missing when your mobile device is not with you.)
On the day of the digital detox, the first thing you should do is NOT look at your phone the moment you wake up.
Millions of people do this and start off their day by checking the notifications on their social media, or emails on their phone, etc.
When you do this, you immediately put other people’s agendas ahead of yours. You may get upset by an email or by some comment on your social media. This is not how you want to start your day.
So, no phones or any digital devices upon waking… and for the rest of the day too. That’s how simple the concept is, but simple and easy are two different things.
It will seem like a struggle not to check your email, or watch videos on YouTube/Netflix, or check your social media. But this is a battle you must win. With determination, you will win it.
5 Digital Detox Tips
While we’re inundated with new technology, it’s important to remember that unplugging can have some very real benefits, including lowering stress levels and improving your happiness. Here’s how you can participate in a digital detox and improve your mental health:
- After your first day or two, your goal should be to limit the usage of your digital devices to the bare minimum daily. Remove all unnecessary social media apps from your phone.
- Set aside a specific time of the day where you’ll log into your social media and check your accounts. Limit yourself to not more than 15 to 20 minutes. It’s very easy to get sucked into the human drama on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. But this is a black hole that has no benefits. The best way to win this game is to not play it.
- Use social media as an occasional form of entertainment or for your business, but don’t let it consume your life. Real-life happens in the real world.
- Get your fun from spending time with your family, the friends you’ve actually met, from doing the activities you enjoy.
- A digital detox, if done gradually over a month, will show you how much more creative and productive you get when you’re not spending all your time on the phone.
You’ll get pleasure doing activities that actually help you progress. The constant dopamine fixes you get from social media makes every other activity pale in comparison. Once you cut it out, you’ll discover more joy in doing the work that matters.
Plan and execute your digital detox as soon as possible. Endure the withdrawal symptoms and once you are in control, your mental and physical health will improve. It’s time to unplug.
Digital Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
You’ve been hearing it everywhere: “Unplug.” “Digital detox.” “Take a break from your phone.” And what’s the point of it all?
But time and again, we have heard from those who struggled to shake their digital dependencies that this doesn’t work as well as you might think.
They say that, when they have tried to ditch technology entirely, the anxiety of trying to stay completely offline would actually cause them to become more dependent on tech.
You’ve probably heard the stories of people who have gone through a digital detox—the first day is great, but by the second, you’re already thinking about checking your email.
But what is it about going more than a few hours without a screen that makes people feel so anxious?
What are the withdrawal symptoms you’re feeling when you try to go 24 hours without your phone and without going on the Internet?
As you’ve learned to expect, the withdrawal symptoms are both mental and physical. They include feelings of anxiety, irritability, and restlessness; cravings to check your phone/tablet; lethargy and exhaustion; and problems sleeping at nigh
Benefits of Digital Detox
- Social Media platforms need your attention to make billions of dollars from advertising at your expense.
- Doing a digital detox is one of the easiest ways to improve your mental and physical health.
- You want to give your mind a break from the constant hits of dopamine you get from social media notifications or alerts from apps on your phone.
- On the day of the digital detox, the first thing you should do is NOT look at your phone the moment you wake up.
- Here’s how you can participate in a digital detox and improve your mental health: After your first day or two, your goal should be to limit the usage of your digital devices to the bare minimum daily.