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Digital Detox: ‘Downtime’ is a feature (not a bug) for humans!

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Digital Detox

Undoubtedly, technology has made the COVID-19 pandemic much easier to endure than if it would had happened 20 or 30 years earlier. However, the amount of time we spend on mobile devices has increased drastically. Mobile is the very first thing that most of us reach for when we wake up and is also the last thing we look at before we fall asleep. “But we live in the era of digital technology!”, one may argue and the argument won’t be irrelevant. However, anything in excess is bad and digital is no exception.

When was the last time you switched off your phone for at least an hour? If the answer is “I can’t remember!” then digital detox could be what you need.

What is 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, etc. It is a way to disconnect to reconnect.

Why is it essential?

No one denies that digital devices have their upsides. They can enhance efficiency, convenience, communication, and the list can go on. However, humans are not machines. Downtime is not a bug, but a feature for us!

According to research reports,

  • Excess of technology can be stressful
  • Heavy use of digital devices can disrupt sleep
  • Constant connectivity affects work-life balance
  • Excess use of social media can lead to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
  • Too much time on gadgets can cause trouble in concentrating

So, if we don’t let ourselves recharge and reboot, this can mean we quickly burn out or become inefficient (or less efficient).

Benefits of Digital Detox

While it may be hard, it will be a rewarding experience that will help you to better understand relationships (including the one with your devices) and be more mindful in your other activities and experiences.

How to detox in the digital world?

There is no manual for a digital detox. Everybody can choose his or her own way of doing it. Here are some useful tips that can simplify the process

  • Do a reality check. Every time you reach for your phone, take a screenshot so you’ve reality check of how long you would last without checking your phone.
  • Keep your phone on silent, so you’re not tempted between your screen-check
  • Don’t carry it everywhere. Having to reach to your phone makes it a bit difficult and gives you some time to think whether do you really have to check it “now”. The delay makes it easier to have a self-imposed intervention.
  • Fix a spot for your phone during detox period. It will act as a reminder of your detox whenever you try to reach for it unintentionally. Keeping away your phone signals to your family and friends that you are paying attention to them, not to the screen.
  • Announce that you are on a digital detox so that you well-wishers will reach out to you only in case of emergency, thereby making it easier for you to continue your digital diet. It’s like avoiding a foody friend during your diet!
  • Remove distractions. For example- It’s ok to use Spotify while you are working out, but set your smartphone on airplane mode to make sure that you aren’t distracted by calls, messages, or notifications during your workout.
  • Social media detox. It isn’t always possible (or recommended) to completely disconnect from the digital world. So, focus on restricting or even completely eliminating your use of specific channels such as social media for a specific period of time.

Wrapping up

Should we smash all the digital devices? No way! Digital is the present and the future. However, what we should be concerned about it’s the way we use it and the time we spend on digital avenues. It is transforming our lives for good in several ways. For example- Technology helps to improve relationships by allowing us to digitally connect with other people that we can’t connect with physically.

However, with digital detox, we give ourselves a chance to step back temporarily. When we return recharged, we can be more productive and have a new perspective on the same tasks that we have been performing, be it personal or professional.

Think of Digital Detox as the short tea break that we take during our work. When we get back to our desk after that break, don’t we feel more focused? Digital Detox is just an extended version of this tea break that helps us rejuvenate. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or for life. But it could have a really positive effect on our day-to-day life.

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