• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Digital Detox – What is it and why you need it?

How often do you find yourself devoid of the company of your smartphone? Chances are, none. Have you ever stopped and wondered why is it that you feel this need of always being beside your phone, connected to the internet? Most people’s answer to this question would be a simple no. There is no denying the fact that today we live in a hyperconnected world. It seems challenging to envision a life that is without an array of technological gadgets by our sides. From your Facebook being inundated with new posts every other second, to the unending scrolling of Instagram feed, it seems like today everyone is fighting for your attention, never allowing you to leave your phone aside and just be in the company of yourself.

Technology has taken our lives by a storm, and it seems like the majority of the people are stuck in this storm. Of course, being connected has its own benefits as the internet can impart much valuable learning. Besides, being connected through apps like Whatsapp and Facebook pages have become imperative for people not only for work purposes but also to maintain relationships and share opinions.

But the problem arises when we become over-connected. Too much interference of technology in our daily lives can do more harm than good. It can make us addicted to technological equipment and remain in a highly stressful state when we are disconnected from it. Thus, we become prone to developing various kinds of mental and physical illnesses. They can be effectively prevented if we take a step back, turn off our devices for a while and stop interacting digitally for just a few hours. This is called a digital detox.

Do I Need a Digital Detox?

Not only you, everyone needs a digital detox from time to time where you maintain a distance from electronic devices and simply go outside to spend some time in nature. You can walk, jog, or just sit in a silent place, paying close attention to everything that is in the environment around you. If this does not sound appealing, there are evidence-based reasons too, which will instantly make you ditch your phone in favor of spending some quality time with yourself and your loved ones.

Here are the major reasons why you should go on a digital detox.

  1. Constant digital connection raises your stress levels

  2. Digital devices make you prone to sleep disorders

  3. Technology can disrupt your work/life balance

  4. Constant comparison with others overwhelms you

1.   Constant Digital Connection Raises Your Stress Levels

Stressed

Man looking stressed, Credit: Canva


You might feel that you would not be able to live without your smartphone. But the reality is that it is just an illusion that you have created for yourself. According to the American Psychological Association, a majority of adults are stressed and anxious due to the high usage of technological gadgets. When you are always in the company of phones, social media and messaging apps, you are always under the stress of checking them. Think about it. Don’t you feel strange when you have not checked your mail or Whatsapp after waking up? This is just a small example. An increasing number of people in this modern era are unknowingly dealing with a high-stress level due to the pressure of being digitally connected at every moment.

2.   Digital Devices Make You Prone to Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorder

Woman checking time, Sleep disorder


Believe it or not, being constantly plugged in has the drawback of completely disrupting your sleep patterns. According to studies using electronic devices right before bed time can contribute to a low quality sleep. Besides, it can also affect your mood negatively and increase your chances of developing insomnia and irregular sleep. The solution to this problem is to unplug yourself from all the electronic equipment 3-4 hours before you hit the bed.

3.   Technology Can Disrupt Your Work/Life Balance

Family time

A family in the park. Credit: Canva


When you are always in the company of the internet, it is not only difficult but nearly impossible to spend quality time in the company of your loved ones. This constant need to remain digitally engaged haunts you even when you are on a vacation. According to a study in the journal, ‘Applied Research in Quality of Life’, technology plays a significant role in creating work/life balance. It is common for people to find their work/life balance completely disrupted due to their addiction to technology.

4.   Constant Comparison with Others Overwhelms You

self-doubt

Man feeling stressed, Credit: Canva


It is a known fact that after spending  considerable time on social media like Instagram and YouTube, you find yourself fantasizing about living your favourite celebrity’s life. Slowly your fantasy turns into obsession and you start hating your own life because you do not have all that which other people have. It directly affects your mood and you stop feeling grateful for all the things that you do have. All this negative thinking can, in some cases, even lead you to depression.

Digital Detox Tips

Contrary to how difficult you may believe it to be, digital detox is indeed not as tough as it is made out to be. We recommend you take up a digital detox challenge by following these tips for a week.

  1. Turn off all your phone notifications for as long as one hour everyday. The notifications can be highly distracting and it is because of them that you feel the urge to keep checking your phone.

  2. Eat your meals without your phone by your side. Let your meals be a time when you are not in the company of your phone.

  3. Set some hours where you will remain completely tech-free.

  4. Don’t take your phone to your bedroom. Let your bedroom be a place where you only relax and sleep.

What Are the Benefits of Digital Detox?

Happiness

Woman jumping, Credit: Canva


Reducing the amount of your screen time can boost your mental and physical health in a number of ways. Here is how a digital detox benefits you.

  1. You will stop comparing your life to others on your social media. As a result, you will feel more calm and content with all that you have. Instead of focussing on what your life lacks, you will begin to find peace in everything that you are blessed with.

  2. You will stop feeling stressed, anxiou, and depressed due to not being able to turn on your phone. As a result, you will be able to pay better attention to your health. You will get time to inculcate healthy habits which will positively affect your life.

  3. You will find that the quality of your sleep has enhanced. No longer will you suffer from irregular sleep and all your sleeping issues will automatically heal.

  4. You will be able to spend better quality time with your family members instead of always staying in the company of your internet friends. In other words, you will attain an amazing work/life balance.

If you think that you simply cannot survive without your smartphones, computers, and laptops, it is time to reassess your lifestyle. Addiction to everything is bad and technology is no exception to it.

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