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  • May 09, 2023 4 min read

    In today’s world, we’re more connected than we ever are. The internet has made it possible and the devices we carry around even more so, which means we can be anywhere at any time and be online 24/7. While this is really amazing and useful, the downside to constant connectivity is the resulting stress, anxiety and overwhelm that it can cause us. This is why digital detoxes are becoming a thing—disconnecting from the online world from time to time and reconnecting with the real world, the physical one.

     

    What’s a digital detox?

    A digital detox is taking a break and disconnecting from any and all digital devices and technology. Since social media, email, and many other forms of digital communication provide such constant stimulation especially to our brains, stepping away from it all gives our mind and body the chance to rest, recharge and focus on our wellbeing.

     

    Is it really beneficial to me?

    It is! Though we don’t realize it, the constant barrage of notifications and messages we receive on nearly a daily basis can become stressful and cause some anxiety. Most digital devices also emit some type of blue light, which can interrupt our shuteye; stepping away from them can help improve the quality of our sleep.

    There’s also the added bonus of not being distracted by electronic devices enough to pay attention to whatever’s happening at any given moment. We’re able to stay in the present and connect more deeply with the people around us.

    Finally, a detox of this sort can help us with productivity and creativity. This is because disconnecting gives our brain the chance to rest and recharge until we’re ready and refresh again!

     

    But how do I do it?

    There are a few things we want to keep in mind before completely disconnecting:

    • How long will you be disconnected? Is it a few hours, an entire day, a full weekend, or a week?
    • What activities do you have planned during your detox? Any analog, manual, or relaxing activity will do: reading, hiking, going out with friends and loved ones, or catching up on sleep.
    • Don’t forget to let your friends, family, and colleagues know that you’re taking a digital detox. .This is just so they’re aware when you’ll be back, won’t be alarmed if your digital appearance suddenly disappears, and know when to expect a reply from you.

     

    How to go analog: some activities you can do.

    There are many things you can do during a digital detox, one of which is engaging in different analog activities that don’t require you to use digital devices or any type of technology. You can write in your journal, read a book, dabble in the arts—drawing, painting, sketching—play board games, and so on.

    This doesn’t only stimulate creativity; it also helps you be more aware and stay in the present. All the fun and relaxation is also an effective way to reduce stress!

     

    How to create a healthier digital habit.

    If you’re doing a digital detox to improve your relationship with technology, then an important thing to do once you “return” is to create healthier digital habits. It can be any of the following:

    • Set a limit on your screen time. Don’t lose yourself to scrolling endlessly. Setan alarm if you have to.
    • Turn off notifications and not just when you’re doing something or about to sleep. If you’re trying to relax for the day, it will probably help to turn it off too so you can have some alone time.
    • Schedule more regular breaks—not really a detox but just ample time to rest, refresh and restart.

    By being proactive with improving your digital habits, then you can definitely reap a lot of the benefits offered by a digital detox for the long term. By being proactive with improving your digital habits, then you can definitely reap a lot of the benefits offered by a digital detox for the long term.

     

    Good versus bad technology.

    There are conflicting narratives about how technology is either good or bad, but the reality is, it’s neither. It really depends on how we use it and the key, as in with other things, to keep a balance.

    • How much do we use technology?
    • Does it run our lives?
    • Is it harmful or helpful?
    • Does it assist us in being productive or is it becoming a distraction?

    These questions and more can help us determine the type of relationship we have with technology so we can decide how to make adjustments. The point is to make the relationship healthy: how can you make sure that something so innovative that can be helpful to you, personally and at work or in your career, won’t become harmful to you?

    At the end of the day, it’s all about balance.

     

    A look at social media.

    It’s well known by now: social media has become a great source of stress and anxiety for many people. There’s also the fact that scrolling through one can easily become a time waster; sometimes we don’t even realize we’ve been scrolling for hours. This is why it’s important that we’re mindful of how we use social media in general.

    A few things to consider is limiting how many social media platforms you use—put a limit on it, including how much you spend on each one. Unfollowing accounts that don’t add value to your life or cause you feelings of anxiety and stress is also a good move. If you must really keep a social media account, curate your experience and don’t feel bad about being selective of what you see on your feed.

     

    Don’t forget to reflect on your experience after a digital detox!

    It’s important that we look at what the effects of a digital detox has been so take the time to look back and see what kind of impact it has on you. What did you learn? What things did you enjoy? What was the most challenging part of disconnecting? What will you do again? This can help you plan out a better digital detox, as well as become more mindful of how you approach technology as you reconnect. The key, again, is to cultivate a mindful and balanced relationship with it.

    What other things can we ask or consider to make a digital detox more beneficial for us? Can you share your experience after unplugging and disconnecting? How has it helped you? Let us know in the comments!

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