What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Check your emails? Scroll your feed? Chances are your smartphone is a big part of your day.
But how long do you actually spend online? Digital Australia’s research found Australians spend an average of 10 hours and 24 minutes engaging with their devices every day. 1500 of those surveyed said they spent more time on their phones than they did talking to loved ones. Shocking, right?
Technology has given us many things – instant communication, entertainment, information – but what has it taken away?
You’re concentrating on a work project or university assignment until you hear the beep of your phone. You’re compelled to check what’s up. The constant distraction of smartphones is making it harder for us to concentrate.
You’re home from work but you keep getting emails from your boss. You feel like you never left. One of the downsides of instant communication is that it’s become impossible to disengage.
Facebook photos depress you and you always feel lousy after a scroll. You’re not alone. Studies show that people who spend more time on social media are more susceptible to depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and stress.
Technology zaps energy. The electromagnetic frequencies omitted from your devices are linked to many health concerns, including fatigue.
The internet has connected us to people all around the world but ironically, it’s disconnected us from our friends and family. We’re no longer as present as we once were.
What’s a digital detox?
A digital detox is taking time away from technology. You “unplug” from all your devices – smartphone, laptop, TV, tablet – and engage with the world around you.
Digital detoxes have become more popular as our technology usage has increased. Retreats where you leave your phone at the door and enter a technology-free zone are becoming all the rage.
CEOs of international companies say digital detoxes are integral to their success. People report of experiencing improved sleep, less stress, better physical health (you’re more likely to be active), more satisfying relationships, better productivity, and clarity of mind.
Time to unplug
No time for a digital detox retreat? We can’t all take an extended trip away, but we can “unplug” every once and awhile. Here are our tips for switching off:
Turn off notifications
The fewer notifications you have on your phone, the less you’ll be tempted to check it. This will stop you mindlessly scrolling and make you look forward to the time when you go through your apps.
Break the habit
Do you check your phone as soon as you get up? Try and replace the habit with something else. Get up, make your breakfast and have a stretch.
Hide your phone
This works surprisingly well. Turn your phone off and hide it in a drawer. Go for a walk. Make dinner. Read a book. Disconnect. You might even forget it exists (jokes).
Set aside a time each day when you don’t engage with technology. Whether it’s in the morning or at night, technology-free time will do you the world of good.