January has come and gone, and along with it some of those New Year’s Resolutions. But, if you haven’t tried a Digital Detox, it’s a resolution that you can start right now… and in this article, I list all the reasons why you SHOULD! Read on for 7 benefits of a digital detox and why you really should consider doing one sooner rather than later.
- Better Sleep
- Less Distracted
- Reduced Stress
- More Time
- More Efficient
- More Connection
- Separation from your digital life
According to this article, using your phone in bed can lead to insomnia, sleep disturbances, daytime sleepiness, and mood disorders. However, over 70% of adults use their phones in bed. Experts who have studied sleep recommend not viewing any screens for a minimum of 30 minutes before sleep. Admittedly, I watch TV to go to bed. I put my phone on sleep mode and TRY not to reach for it, but the TV is another story. I need to challenge myself to NO SCREENS for at least 30 minutes before bedtime and see if it makes a difference.
This is hard, and I am working on it. I realize that sometimes I am distracted when my kids are trying to ask me something or get my attention. I’m trying to simply put my phone down and be in the moment and pay full attention when they are talking to me. It’s hard, but I know that it’s so important. Kids can tell when we are distracted or not fully listening. Adults can too. Try this week to fully be wherever you are. Driving your car, grocery shopping, or listening to your loved ones. Just do that. Our brains can’t fully engage in more than one task at a time, so give your fully attention to what you are doing and be present in that task and that task only.
According to this article, these lovely little devices are causing us a lot of stress and anxiety! Phones, scrolling, and all of the newest apps are built and engineered to be addictive… and they WORK! The more we scroll, the more dopamine hits our system. Eventually we need to scroll MORE to get that same hit of dopamine. Our adult brains were not built to handle this, but it’s especially a problem for our kids and teens. As the rate of digital use goes up, so does depression, anxiety, and overall stress. Taking a break can help to reset those levels.
If you plan on doing a digital detox, think about what you plan on doing with all that time. You could pick up a new exercise routine, plan on dates with your friends or kids, or even take up knitting or reading a real, physical book! I know that in the morning I’ve replaced my scrolling time with recording my gratitudes and goals. It’s been a great way to track my progress in certain areas and remind myself daily of the goals that I made for this year. It’s only a little bit of time each morning, but even just 30 minutes, 5 days a week adds up to 150 minutes!
Oh goodness gracious, yes! We have all become so accustomed to jumping when our devices say jump! And in the end, we are not getting more done. We are jumping from task to task without really finishing anything, or maybe that’s just me? I know I am guilty of feeling like I just don’t have enough time, but then my weekly screen time pops up and informs me that I had time to scroll on social media. Take the time to edit your notification settings. Pay attention to how long you are scrolling on your favorite app or zoning out on your favorite game. The time really adds up quickly!
Have you ever been talking to someone and then suddenly they look down at their phone or their watch? All of this technology has us all constantly pulled in multiple directions at the same time and it can be hard to fully connect. I see it in myself and in my friends. Especially moms. The school is able to get ahold of us at any time with “helpful” apps. It can really be hard to turn those things off, and I know I feel guilty and like a bad mom if I’m not instantly engaging and paying attention to every little nudge or notification. But, I think we could all try a little harder to turn those off in social situations. Leave the Apple watch at home if you know you’re going to be in a situation with a good friend or your significant other.
Separation from our digital lives
Our online presence is a reality (even people who just lurk and never post or share… I see you 😜). It allows us to look into people’s lives without really engaging. It allows us to have social confidence that we might not normally have. Heck, it allows me to write these words right now and have a voice and a platform that I don’t have anywhere else BUT online. I get it. I make silly social media videos… (with the filter on because I’m 40 and I need the confidence boost!) But, it’s not reality. It’s not who I really am. And I think it’s important to show up in person and not just online, even when it can be hard. Show up for the person who is grieving. Show up for the friend who is celebrating. Cheer on your spouse and your kids. Those are the thing that matters, and all the likes, shares, comments, and content can never replace that.