Technology is a wonderful thing. It’s given us Netflix, online shopping, video games, and social media –– but sometimes you need to take a break from the cat memes and give yourself a digital detox. With infinite knowledge and endless distraction just a click away, it’s more important than ever to create healthy boundaries with technology. So tune in, turn off, and drop out because we’ve got all the info you need to find that sweet spot between staying connected and getting unplugged.
What is a Digital Detox?
A digital detox is when you disconnect from your TV, smartphone, video games, and social media so you can focus on real-life without the distraction of a screen. Don’t worry – a digital detox isn’t forever! Take a mini-detox after work, read a book on your morning commute instead of scrolling through the news, or make Sundays a tech-free day – do whatever works for you! What matters the most is that you create time for your brain to reset.
The Consequences of Always Being Connected
These days, we’re more connected than ever. When it feels impossible to step away from the tweets, and you can’t stop doom-scrolling the news, you know it’s time for a digital detox. Being connected 24/7 might have you staying up late to play video games, feeling like you’re missing out on the experiences all your friends post about, or getting behind at work because the refresh button isn’t going to hit itself. Disconnecting is an integral part of any self-care routine for anyone who wants to optimize their creativity, productivity and have more energy.
The Negative Effects of Technology on Your Brain
You might not realize it, but too much technology harms your brain. From having a lower stress threshold to disrupting your beauty sleep, our screens are silently altering the way our brains work – and it doesn’t stop there. Here are some of the negative effects technology has on that wrinkly pink thing between our ears.
- Reduces creativity: Technology encourages instant gratification and prevents us from having the patience needed for the more profound thinking skills associated with creativity.
- Negatively affects relationships: More time spent on devices means less time spent with the people you love and makes us feel less satisfaction and connection.
- Impaired social intelligence: Spending too much time in front of a screen interferes with our ability to learn from successes, failures, and the people around us.
- Trouble concentrating. Technology is constantly pulling us in multiple directions at once, making it hard to focus on what’s in front of us.
- Disrupts sleeping habits: The blue light screens emit has been proven to disrupt the circadian rhythms that help us sleep at night.
The Benefits of Doing a Digital Detox
Banish the digital distractions and reap the benefits of a techno-free life. Cutting out technology has massive mental health benefits, and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel when you aren’t constantly connected. Benefits of a digital detox include:
- Enhanced sleep: Without blue light and the temptation to keep scrolling, you’ll get better z’s and have more energy in the morning.
- Increased productivity: Less tech means more time to get things done. When you’re not staring at a screen, you’ll have more time to do the things that matter.
- Better posture: “Tech neck” is a real thing, and improved posture is a significant benefit to ditching your devices.
- Improved relationships: Having more time for your loved ones can only be a good thing. Notice how much closer you feel to the people around you after going tech-free.
- More time for hobbies: Going on a digital detox gives you ample time to explore all those hobbies you’d long forgotten.
How to Do a Digital Detox
Give your brain a break! Read up on how to do a digital detox – we’ve got tips on what to do instead of scrolling, how to get your friends involved, and how to stick to your new detox routine.
Do other activities instead
Harken back to the days of yore and try some tech-free activities. Getting a vacation from technology will offer you a fresh star. Go for a walk, get the family together for a game night, or read a book instead of staring at your phone. Take up knitting or learn how to bake gourmet desserts.
Establish limits and goals
Each week, make a goal of spending less and less time using technology. Start with a half-hour of tech-free time each day, then increase it to an hour the next week and keep going.
Get your loved ones involved
Get your family involved to make going tech-free into a fun challenge. Check everyone’s smartphone at the end of the week to see who spent the least time looking at their screen –– whoever wins gets to choose their favorite takeout for dinner or pick what to watch on movie night.
Whenever you’ve accomplished offline time, give yourself an award. Go out for a tech-free date night to your favorite restaurant, or get yourself that thing that’s been on your wishlist for ages. Set up a special ritual for your digital detox, like a spa night.
Types of Digital Detoxes
There are a ton of ways to take a tech break. Pick a couple of methods that work for you and give them a go for at least a week – feel free to tweak times or alternate days to fit your schedule. Some days you might need to be on your phone or take a video call during a detox period, so roll with the punches and stay flexible.
Disconnect for a period of time
Designate a period of time each day that you’ll go tech-free. During lunch, after work, or before bedtime are all great places to start. Make it part of your routine, then see how you’re feeling after a week. Many people end up expanding their tech-free time because they love how it makes them feel.
Have technology-free meals
Ditching your devices during meals encourages you to not only appreciate the food you’re eating but to enjoy the company you’re in. Make it a rule that no phones are allowed at the dinner table, turn the TV off, and notice how much fuller your heart and belly feel.
This article was republished with permission from Porch.com. Check back next week for the follow up article, “How to find a balance with technology”.
Is technology impacting your mental health? Is screentime damaging your family relationships? Here’s what you need to do: Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online now.