5 Key Ways to Make your Next Digital Detox Effective
Have you ever tried to explore your phone’s settings to check how much time you spend on your favorite apps? Chances are the bottom-line numbers are a lot higher than you realized. It’s not just phones we’re addicted to either. The majority of what people do for work or leisure these days pretty much revolves around screen technology. We click and scroll and post so much that technology’s beginning to feel like more of a burden than a luxury. Tech overload isn’t just exhausting, it messes with your body and health as well. Research shows that heavy tech-use contributes to symptoms such as eye strain, poor sleep patterns, and even joint damage. These problems are the main reason why “digital detoxing” is becoming a popular trend for stress-management.
Here are a few tips on how to carry out an effective digital detox:
- Use Dull Interfaces –
One reason our devices are so alluring is that they’re vibrant. That’s why it’s a good idea to go plain. A darker background allows your eyes to concentrate on gentler glare. In the long run, this has a positive impact on vision. Many smartphones allow you to customize settings so that the entire phone appears in black or grayscale. Use these settings to prevent irritating your eyes.
- Deactivate Push Notifications –
Getting constant updates on what’s happening in the world is informative, but it can also be distracting. If you allow yourself to get interrupted five times in half an hour, you’re never actually going to focus in the present moment. One easy fix is to turn off as many notifications as you can live without.
- No Tech During Quality Time –
It’s a common sight at restaurants – a gleaming smartphone next to the breadbasket. Ironically, even if we’re not actively checking our phones during such moments, merely having them on the table in the course of a conversation dramatically reduces the quality of that interaction. Our brains are just constantly waiting for the phone to light up, and as a result, we are not fully present. The more energy we direct toward our devices, the less energy we’re directing towards whoever is in the room with us.
- Take Short Breaks –
Many of us feel naked when we’re without our devices, but taking breaks from technology can do wonders for our wellbeing. Start by designating a certain time each day that’s tech-free, like while you’re eating lunch. After a week or so, most people feel happy with the change, and they go on to expand it.
- Go Analogue –
If you’ve ever noticed that reading a book feels more satisfying than reading a tablet, you’re not imagining things. Not only do books offer fewer distractions, when we read on paper, our minds process abstract information more effectively. There’s something about ink and paper that just feels like a comforting natural ritual.
There’s no denying that society is generally more involved in digital activities than ever before. And it’s even a fair argument to say that connectedness has incredible benefits. However, there are also some pretty serious drawbacks to using tech constantly. Staring at our devices may be useful at the moment, but if utility comes at the expense of good health, it’s time to reexamine whether you’re hurting yourself unnecessarily. There’s nothing wrong with logging off every now and then, especially if pausing to breathe gives you a sense of instant relief. So if you find yourself wrestling with fatigue and frustration, do a digital detox to see if the tech you rely on so much is actually harming you.