The digital world brings with it so many conveniences. You can keep in touch with friends, shop for just about anything, and compare and contrast all eight pizza joints in your neighborhood. I mean what did people even do before being able to take quizzes on what avocado- based breakfood food they are? However, plugging-in is often a way of plugging out of what’s really happening around us. Phones go from a way to feel secure in case of emergency to a security blanket, emails become a rolling lottery of work and an endless advertising overload, and social media can be a place that makes you feel like you aren’t living the same glamorous life as everyone else. If you are seeking a little more fulfillment IRL and a little less logging on- it may be time for a digital detox.
01. THE SIGNS
Have you ever received an email titled “URGENT” at an ungodly hour or even a holiday and you start to feel that twitching in your thumbs, mentally typing the answer to what you are assuming to be something bad ( that deep down you know is definitely of average importance at best) because, well, why would anyone else be working at this hour. Even in the back of your mind you know well enough that opening that email starts a chain of events that ends with you ferociously delegating a total non-emergency triage to the rest of the team with the main objective that if you’re going down they are going down with you! Sound familiar? It’s not too late for you! Here are some common signs that you may be seriously in need of a screen withdrawal:
- Issues sleeping
Do you find yourself swiping through IG or the latest dating app for hours at night before bed. Not only does the blue-light emitting screen effect sleep and overall mood, but overexposure can also have lasting effects on your health
2. Do you have phantom phone syndrome? Do you jump at the immediate thought that your phone is lost/stolen/temporarily misplaced?
Did you know that studies have shown that not having a smartphone in your immediate space can also make you more productive!
3. When was the last time you went Analogue?
Can you remember recently getting out in nature or consuming content/media in an “old-school” way-like attending a music show IRL with friends?
02. CUT THE CORD
Say hello to your new no phone zone. Creating healthy digital boundaries can increase your mood and also make you feel more fulfilled. Just imagine a world in which your post-gym self doesn’t see a major instagram fit-fluencer’s post featuring their titanium tummy and in-turn you aren’t instantly inspired to do a “why do I even try” sigh and you can actually* walk around all day rewarding yourself for a gym job well done. Sound too good to be true? For some of you, a little nudge is all you need, but if you’re the “digitally dependent” like us, you need nothing sort of a straight jacket to pry those phalanges away from a phone.
03. RULES of the RESET
Real change requires you to take a serious look at how your addiction or dependency is affecting your life and those around you. Do you miss inside jokes at family meals because you’re too busy LOL’ing at your besties latest tweet? Give yourself a daily time limit to indulge digitally.
Secondly, studies have found that some people use social media as a way to live vicariously through the lives of others. Your life is meant to be lived and you are the only one who can live it! Another study by the national sleep foundation found that phones too close to the bed were the leading cause of sleep disturbance among young people in America. Committing time to healthier activities and rituals that bring you health and happiness is essential. Read here on how CBD can improve your sleep and mood as a great introductory way to developing healthier habits with yourself.
04. GO GRID-LESS
Our behavior with technology makes us inherently less active than we should be. Now that you have your new and improved healthy relationship with your handheld, take some time to experience nature or new hobbies. Ease back into the online world and remember that real life is happening just an inch above that screen! When we need a digital detox we plan some hiking trips or outdoor activities with friends, spend time with your parents or if you’re a busy parent- your little ones. You’ll find yourself more engaged with what’s happening around you!