DIGITAL DETOX: All you need to know

Everyone is familiar with the word detox. Detox generally implies the process of removing toxins.
DIGITAL DETOX the name says it all. Digital detox means staying away from the digital world for a considerable period of time. It means saying no to anything digital.

Detoxification is very necessary for the well being of our body as it removes the toxins from our body. In the same way, a digital detox is often seen as a way to see or focus on the real-world by removing the distractions of the digital world.

No doubt the digital world has helped us a lot in every sphere of our life. It has enhanced efficiency, convenience and communication.

As we all spend most of our time being digitally active, we don’t find much time to do real-world activities. We lack time to spend with our near and dear ones. It is a common phenomenon that every good thing has some bad in them and so we can’t completely ignore the harm that the digital world is doing to us.

You might be thinking why should I do a digital detox? How the digital world is harming us?
You may say that you are not experiencing any bad impact on the digital world.

So before going to any conclusion let us see some reasons for a digital detox.

  • Digital World may cause sleeping disorder-
As per research, it is seen that too much use of digital devices particularly prior to bedtime can cause disruption in sleep causing the problem in sleep quality and quantity. The majority of the people start their day by checking their phone’s notification and end up their day too by checking their phones. Today children comprise one of the large group of a consumer of technology. Study shows that children between 4-11 years, who spend much time with television are associated with sleep anxiety, night waking and so. The study also found that there is a connection or link between nighttime exposure to technology and increasing body mass index. Not only children, but it is also found that 70% of adults use their mobile until they fall asleep and keep checking social media and playing games in bed. This adversely affects their sleep causing anxiety, insomnia and such sleeping disorders.
  • Technology adversely affects mental health-
A study published in a journal, Society for Research in Child  Development (SRCD), found that adolescents spend an average of 9 hours a day using screen-based media. This has raised concerns for the negative effect of digital technology on adolescent’s mental health, especially for adolescents with pre-existing mental health problems. It is seen spending too much time in the digital world increases the feeling of social isolation or depression. Further frequent use of digital media may be associated with the development of ADHD( Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder).
  • Social comparison impacts your life-
Social media has become an online arena for self-presentation and social comparison, which may adversely affect users’ mental health. Through social media one can share their personal information with a broader community and this platform is widely used by adolescents, young adults and people above 30 years. No doubt it improves the quality of social relationships with others but we can’t overlook the negative consequences. Researches show that people who spend frequently more time on social media find others are happier and living a better life than they do. It hurts their self-esteem leading to depression. It is also seen that people with lower self-esteem, introverts are more motivated to spend time online in order to compensate for unsatisfactory face to face interaction.

Social comparison takes place when they start comparing themselves with other abilities and personal life.  They start to compare themselves with others on the number of likes and comments that other people have posted on social media. Study shows that social comparison may lead to depression, rumination and lower life satisfaction. It also leads to FOMO( Fear of missing out). FOMO generally means the fear that you are missing the experiences that others are having in their lives. Every time you see a post or image about someone else’s life, it leaves you with a feeling that you are missing out on this in your life and your life is less exciting than theirs.
  • Digital device linked to obesity risk-
According to a study by Rich University, it was found that people who frequently use digital devices are more likely to be overweight or have obesity, have low self-control power. The study reveals that when a multitasker sees the picture of unhealthy food on social media their brain starts dealing with food temptation and they end up consuming unhealthy food. A study reveals that such people have higher BMI and more body fat. This study suggests that there are links between media multitasking, the risk for obesity and low self-control power.

Now the question arises what are the indications from which you can realize that you need a digital detox?

So, let’s have a look at the signs that indicates that you need a digital detox.

  • You feel compelled to check your phone every few minutes and feel anxious and stressed if you can’t find your phone around you.
  • You feel depressed or angry while spending time on social media.
  • You count likes, comments, share on your social posts and keep comparing others’ life with yours.
  • You find yourself having trouble concentration on one thing without checking the phone.
  • You keep checking your phone late at night and often stay awake to play games on your phone.

So, what is the solution? How can you do a digital detox?

Completely resisting all kinds of digital devices can be a tough job for a lot of people especially for those who spend hours in the digital world.  But this doesn’t mean you can never enjoy the benefits of digital detox.

Yes, you can try mini detox. Say you can’t stay away from a digital device during the day due to your job, in that case, plan a mini detox during the evening hour by turning off all of your devices for a few hours and focus on spending time completely free from electronic distraction and social media.

So let’s see what are the steps of digital detox.

  1. Motivate yourself- The decision of doing a digital detox is a big decision. You may wonder how will you stay without digital devices or what will you do with your time. So, first of all, motivate yourself by reminding the good reasons for doing a digital detox.
  2. Choose your time- Once the motivation part is over and you feel totally motivated to go for a digital detox, choose a time according to your wish. It may be a weekend, a holiday or some sort of vacation.
  3. Decide what to do during the session- You can simply start your day with meditation and relax your mind. Then try exploring new things like reading a new book or article about a topic of your interest. Go to the library and find such books instead of the digital one. Try to learn a new skill like gymnastics or try out an activity like gardening, painting, singing or anything as per your interest.
  4. Log out of social network- Log out of the social networking sites and turn off all the notifications that can distract you from your digital detox. And put all your electronic devices out of your sight. Remember out of sight, out of mind.
  5. Give advance notice- You can give advance notice to your friends, family and colleagues so that they can help you in your detox. Tell them to contact you only if any emergency arises. This way you can’t miss messages or information about any important work.
  6. Hang out- Try to hang out with your friends and family and talk face to face. Give them your undivided attention. You can invite your friends to your house or you can accept their invitation.

These are some of the ways that I personally think will help you a lot to do a digital detox. Tell us more such ideas that you think will help in doing a digital detox.

Hope you like our article. Do share it with your friends and family members.
Let us know if you are going to try a digital detox.
Stay healthy.
Thank you.

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