Digital Detox - Part 2
Last week, we started off with a description of what a Digital Detox is and how to note the warning signs of when you (or a loved one) may need a Digital Detox. Today’s blog is going to focus on the benefits of a Digital Detox, some tips for a successful Digital Detox, and some facts we wanted to share with you.
What Are The Benefits Of A Digital Detox?
- It is never a bad thing to take a step back from technology - now and again - for varying pockets of time.
- Because checking your screens incessantly can cause stress, it also can negatively impact your interactions with others. By taking part in a Digital Detox, you give yourself the opportunity to reconnect with actual humans in your life (not just online “friends”).
- By taking a break from the constant onslaught of your friends’ social media updates that are only portraying the best things they want people to see, you’ll get a break from the stress and anxiety that these “highlights” are bringing into your life.
- You can increase your attention span because you won’t just be responding to the notifications that are popping up or the vibrations from your phone.
- There’s a good chance that by eliminating the digital use from your life and slowly reintegrating it, you will have more patience and attentiveness to give to your loved ones, especially those who may have been the target of anger when things weren’t going your way (“digitally”) before!
- If you’re no longer getting “lost in cyberland,” then chances are your productivity will go back to previous levels, and you will feel less emotionally drained and/or physically stressed.
- As parents, if you take part in a needed Digital Detox, it’s much easier to enforce with your children healthy boundaries when it comes to social media and online use.
- Your sleep may get better.
- If you’ve been struggling with finding decent amounts of time in your day to do basic things like laundry, cleaning, reading to your kids, cooking a meal, exercise, etc., you may find that by limiting/eliminating screen time, you’ll open up pockets of time for all of these things!
What Are Some Tips For A Successful Digital Detox?
- Worried about missing a text or call from a babysitter or child’s school? Set distinct ringtones or notifications so those important ones can be picked up.
- Start with taking short breaks from your digital life throughout your day. Work up to taking longer breaks - a few hours or more! - each day.
- Make it clear to family, friends, and coworkers when you’ll be unreachable. That way they’ll know when to expect you to respond and won’t freak out (chances are at least some of them are ultra-connected, too!).
- Make sure the VIPs in your life know how to still reach you (make it a rule that they need to call you instead of text or email so you’ll know it’s important enough to need to answer right away). VIPs generally include your boss (especially if your breaks will be happening during the workday - for example, taking an actual lunch break), your spouse or partner, your children, and any caregivers for family members. This is the list of people who should always be able to get in touch with you - no matter what.
- Pick a dedicated place to store your devices while you’re taking your break(s). An upside to this is that by putting your devices away when you’re spending time with loved ones shows them how much they mean to you
How Long Does A Digital Detox Take?
This can be different for everyone. But, chances are, if you start unplugging for 1-2 hours a day, you’ll start seeing the benefits in your life. As you increase that time and really start reconnecting with the people in your life and with yourself, you’ll see more progress. If you have a severe Internet or Digital Addiction, you may need to attend a workshop or retreat on this. But these are for extreme cases.
What Are Some Good Steps To Avoid Needing A Digital Detox In The Future?
- Try unplugging every night a couple of hours before you’d normally go to bed. Resist the urge to “check your notifications” if you get up to use the bathroom or can’t fall asleep right away.
- When you’re taking time to disconnect, use that time to reconnect with others in your life. Play a board game with your family, invest in a new hobby or one that’s fallen by the wayside, take a class, or go to dinner with your significant other.
- Designate a tech-free night in your house (and don’t feel the need to post it out on social media - because that would be using tech!). Spend that time together, not in front of a screen. Board games, long drives, a family walk or hike, or dining out together as a family work well for these nights.
- When you’re done with your “official detox,” be mindful of how and why you’re using your device(s): Do you really need to do this for work or anything else right now? How am I using technology? Do I really want to make this choice for myself to use technology right now? Am I using it to escape? Is this really how I want to live?
Smart Girl Society, Inc., is an Omaha-based nonprofit working to educate and inspire Smart & Confident girls, women, & families. Through educational workshops, civil outreach programs, and technology & social media research, we work with girls, parents, & educators to authenticity on social media and in real life. We educate how to remain safe on social media and how to avoid becoming a target of sextortion. We also inspire action for students to focus on their personal brand development, leadership, educational opportunities, and healthy social skills. Interested in learning more? Check us out!