Almost everything is digitalised in today’s world, from eBooks, online classes, shopping to weekly meetings. We often do not realize how plugged in we are because of our work and if we are not mindful about the time, we could end up living in front of the screens. On average, a person spends about 6 hours a day using the internet. As of April 2020, 59% of the global population of approximately 4.57 billion people were active internet users. In terms of penetration, 58.7% of the global population has internet access.
Ask yourself: Who am I when I am not connected to my phone/device?
Digital technology has swept across every aspect of our lives, further blurring the lines between healthy and unhealthy use of the internet. Internet addiction can be best explained as an emotional attachment to online activities on websites or apps. Internet addiction is common among all age groups and its prevalence is as follows: 13–17 (73%), 18–24 (71%), 25–34 (59%), 35–44 (54%), 45–54 (40%), 55–64 (39%), and 64+ (44).
Ask yourself: What do I need to do to feel emotionally connected off-line?
Evidence suggests that heavy device use, particularly prior to bedtime, can interfere with sleep quality and quantity. Another study found that children who use digital devices at bedtime had a significant lower quality of sleep. As the evidence is clear, heavy usage of digital devices and social media are harmful for mental, emotional and physical health. A digital detox should be considered an important, practical self-care strategy that increases presence and mindfulness, regular practice ensures that well-being levels burnout are prevented.
Ask yourself: What healthy habit(s) can replace looking at my phone first and last thing at night?
Detaching from your screens and devices can benefit your mental well-being as well as overall energy levels and digital detoxing does not necessarily have to involve a complete detachment, rather it is a process that is more about being mindful of your usage. It is about creating boundaries that respect your emotional and mental health, that savour your relationships with others and most importantly yourself.
Ask yourself: What do healthy device boundaries look like in action?
For a lot of us, completely removing all devices or social forms of digital communications can seem overwhelming, which is why being realistic and starting small is a must in order to gradually become comfortable with being away from your device. As a first step, turn off push notifications, this will help ease the pressure of the ‘red dot’.
Ask yourself: What are the first three steps that I will take to be in control of my device usage?
When dining, whether alone, or with friends or family, keep your phone off the table. Studies have found that the mere presence of a mobile device, even if you are not actively using it, lowers empathy levels and decreased conversation quality when interacting with other people.
Ask yourself: When with others, how is my influence and presence impacted if I keep my device in view?
Choose nature, experience getting outside for some physical exercise and breathing. A mere quarter of an hour away from your device can make the world of difference to the clarity of thinking that you go onto experience. Unplugging on a regular basis helps us maintain a healthy balance between real-life activities and the digital world. Ultimately, a digital detox is a way to disconnect to reconnect.
Ask yourself: How will I action what I have learnt today?
If you enjoyed reading this and are interested in becoming Emotionally and Mentally Stronger feel free to reach out to learn more about a new and exciting 60 minute Masterclass. Happy Detoxing.