Social media has taken over a lot of people’s lives. We as a society have become slaves to these pocket computers to the point that people get anxious if we don’t have them. I mean 6 out of 10 people say social media has negatively affected their mental health. That’s crazy to me! That’s why I’m so glad so many celebrities are popularizing the idea of leaving or limiting the time spent on social media. Today I want to share with you the benefits of digital detox and how to do it to save your mental health!
What is a Digital Detox?
A Digital detox refers to a period of time when a person refrains from using tech devices such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and social media sites, It’s often seen as a way to focus on real-life social interactions without distractions1.
Why Should You Do A Digital Detox?
Technology can be stressful
Around 18% of adults say constantly having to be connected causes them stress. Whether constantly checking email, texts, or social media, it can stress a large amount of us out.
It Can Disrupt Our Sleep
Heavy use around bedtime can lead to poor sleep quality or no sleep at all. One study found that 70% of study participants checked their social media in bed with 15% spending an hour or more on social media in bed. Results found that using social media in bed at night increases anxiety, insomnia, and shorter poor quality sleep.
No Work-Life Balance
Constantly being connected makes it harder to create a work-life balance because it’s hard to resist checking your email every 5 minutes to make sure you’re not missing out on anything.
Comparing Yourself To Others
Social comparison makes it hard to be content in your life. Being on social media you might start comparing yourself to friends, family, strangers, and celebrities. This makes you think that everyone is leading fuller, richer, and more exciting lives based on what they posted on their Instagram. Remember people only show their personal highlight reel and it’s rarely the whole picture.
Signs It’s Time For A Digital Detox
- You’re stressed or anxious after being online.
- You feel compelled to check your phone.
- You feel depressed, anxious, or angry once you’re off.
- You’re obsessed with likes, comments, and shares on your post.
- You think you’re missing out but not checking your phone.
- You stay up late or get up early to play on your phone.
- You can’t focus without checking your phone.
7 Ways To Do A Digitial Detox
- Schedule time away from your screen throughout the day- make sure you’re realistic with the planning. If you work with computers don’t do a week free of screens completely. Make it something reasonable like when you get off work don’t check your phone for a few hours after you get home, go for a walk, or fix a delicious dinner to keep busy.
- Downgrade your phone- If you have a phone like mine that will always light up a minute after you haven’t checked the notification as a reminder maybe it’s time for a downgrade. It doesn’t have to be a flip phone but something that doesn’t demand your attention 24/7.
- Turn Off Notifications or Uninstall Apps- If you have an app that you can live without or that is constantly notifying you reminding you to check it. It could be a good practice to turn off notifications for it or maybe just uninstall it if you don’t need it.
- Turn Your Phone On Do Not Disturb or Off – Every now and again it’s great to turn off your phone or put it on do not disturb mode so you can focus on your peace of mind. This would be good practice if you’re watching a movie or maybe it’s game night and you don’t want to be distracted at all.
- Set A Time Limit For How Long You Can Be On Your Phone- Set a time aside during the day to be on or off your phone to lessen dependency. Whenever it would be a good time to stay off your phone like when you’re watching a movie, taking a bath, or walking your dog take this time to fully immerse yourself in the activity instead of updating your status or looking through photos.
- Create No Phone Areas- Places in your home where you don’t let your phone come in like the bathroom or the bedroom are great places to decompress and focus on yourself or the task at hand.
- Talk To A Therapist- If you’re feeling like it’s too hard to put the phone down or you get really anxious or irritated please consult a professional. Phone addiction is a real thing and sometimes you need to get help with your digital detox.
What To Do Instead Of Being On Your Phone
- Spend time in nature doing a hike or a walk in the park.
- Play with your pet.
- Find a new hobby that doesn’t require a phone.
- Play an instrument
- Read A Book
- Do Your Nails
- Take a long bubble bath
- Watch A Movie or Show
- Hang Out With Some Friends
- Visit an art exhibit or museum
I hope this helps you out on your journey especially if you’re trying to become less phone-dependent. Remember there’s a big beautiful world out there outside of your phone and social media and spending time in it without documenting is a lovely thing. Good luck on your digital detox and I will see you in the next one.