Do Digital Detoxes really work?
Health experts are recommending periodic digital detox or an extended period without gadgets. This certainly isn’t surprising considering the restrictive environment created by the pandemic and our increasing exposure and reliance on new technologies.
Could you be considered one of “those people” who are glued to their iPhone?
Whether you scroll mindlessly through Facebook or Instagram out of habit or you binge-watch Netflix on a weeknight, do you feel a week-long digital detox would be beneficial to you?
Let’s have a good look at what the benefits of a digital detox are?
6 Health Benefits of a digital detox
Break addiction – 92% of Aussie teenagers admit to going online daily. Taking a break from tech proves to us that we can live without constant stimulation, and lessens our dependence on technologies.
Reduce depression and anxiety – Research shows a positive correlation between immoderate technology use and anxiety. More specifically, this anxiety is created by the dopamine release we get when we receive stimulants like social media notifications or text messages. Therefore, detox to break validation-seeking, which reduces the associated mental distress.
Build relationships – Forbes found that 3 out of 5 people in the US claimed that they spend more time on their digital devices than they do with their partners. This can pose a threat to building and maintaining real-life relationships.
Increase your child’s activity – It comes as no surprise that the decline in physical activity, especially in children, has worsening with the advancement of digital media. A great way to promote a more active lifestyle for your children is to lead by example and set limitations on your technology access by going on a digital detox.
Save money – As a large chunk of everyone’s wage is swallowed by mobile phone companies, TV companies, and Wi-Fi companies, a strategic digital detox could surprisingly put more money in your wallet.
Promote better sleep – High-tech gadgets cause sleep disturbance, which promotes psychological distress. Artificial light from devices causes you to feel more awake than you really are, which ultimately interferes with your sleep quality. Give yourself at least two technology-free hours time before bedtime.
Have a listen
Communication professor Josh Misner shares the most important lessons learned from a decade of ‘Screen Free Saturdays’ and how a shopping incident brought his awareness to the harm screen addiction has to relationships..
5 provocative quotes to consider
- Everyone gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense. Gertrude Stein
- There’s never enough time to do the nothing you want. Bill Watterson
- Production of too many useful things produces too large a useless population. Karl Marx
- We didn’t have Facebook when I was growing up. We had “phonebook”, but you wouldn’t waste an afternoon on it. Betty White
- It’s a very different era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. Gillian Flynn
Rethinking our relationship with technology
Misha Ketchell argues that disconnecting from digital technologies is like sticking our heads in the sand. It prevents us from asking how technologies are changing our lives in particular ways and whether it is for the better. It also stops us from reclaiming these technologies and re-purposing them for different, more impactful, goals and values.
Ketchell explores alternative discussions in his 2015 article for ‘The Conversation’ entitled, ‘We don’t need digital detox, but there is a need to rethink our relationship with technology’.
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