With the world at the touch of a finger through our gadgets, life is becoming very fast-forward and connected. Though this may be an elusive thing, there are certainly many unforeseen and unwarranted elements that make the digital space ‘a road with caution’. Striking the right balance between use and overuse has become a more difficult task than seeking enlightenment. So in such a scenario, mindful channelling towards limiting technology use and practising digital detox is primal.
What is a Digital Detox?
Digital detox simply means shutting off or limiting gadget usage, including smartphones, computers, laptops, television, tablet and more. This helps to improve productivity, enhance focus and also boost overall wellness. In this age when anxiety caused by social media is skyrocketing, the need of the hour is a digital detox.
This should not be treated like a detox diet in which you binge eat one day and then only drink juices and water the next day. Like a person who needs a balanced diet to stay healthy, similarly practising digital detox each day will ensure better mental health. You do not need to stop using your gadgets but take baby steps to reduce your screen time.
Tips for Doing a Successful Digital Detox
To do justice to a digital detox, you must not do a crash diet restricting all screen time. This can have a negative side effect, making you crave looking at your gadgets even more. The best approach is systematically and mindfully reducing screen time which can be done by the following:
- Turning off push notifications as they are the biggest hindrance to our focus. Each time we hear a ‘ting’ sound on our phone or laptop, our attention gets corrupted, and we rush towards opening the notification. Even if we don’t open it instantly, our mind continuously wanders towards it, breaking the fragile productivity chain. To do so, only have the absolutely important notifications appear on your home screen; the rest can be curtailed.
- Refrain from using phones while eating. It is often said that ‘one should eat with all their senses’; this is true because eating is a joyous act which can get subdued when our eyes are glued to our phones. This has become common for many when we sit at a restaurant, and the people eating together are constantly engrossed in their phones. Due to this, we often tend to overeat since our brains cannot correspond to how much we have consumed.
- Choose a specific period of time to go gadget-free which can be for a fixed hour, weekday or weekend. You can begin by getting disconnected for at least 2 hours daily and then increasing the number. This can even culminate into a whole weekend spent in the company of yourself, friends or family.
- Create a cohesive plan pointing to the other activities you enjoy, like reading, cooking, trekking, painting, etc. These leisure activities will stimulate your brain in a manner that provides better fulfilment than endlessly scrolling on the phone.
- Declutter your phone with apps which you spend too much unnecessary time on. Limit your use of social media, as it can be noted that it consumes most of your time. Many studies link it to multiple health issues as well.
- Use physical modes of newspaper, alarm clock, calculator and writing pad. This will cut down your screen time and make digital detox a success.
The Aftermath of a Digital Detox
Though it can initially feel overwhelming, it will provide you with multiple benefits in the long run. You must constantly monitor your ‘screen time’ on apps to fully analyse your progress. There are many apps which can lock desired apps so that you can not mindlessly open them and waste time.
It can be noted that just one week of systematic digital detox can increase your happiness level and even boost a sense of gratitude which is neglected by the constant comparison on social media. You will also notice your productivity increasing and even improving focus. You can finally focus on your wellbeing holistically, creating a renewed sense of harmony, freedom and peace of mind.