DIGITAL DETOX // signs it's time to take a break from the online world 📵
2022 is well and truly underway and we're just starting to get back into the swing of normality post holiday season. The Christmas and New Year hols are a great time for us to switch off from technology and be more present in the real world, but coming off the back of this little digital detox, it's important to be aware of when you may need to take some time away from your devices throughout the year.
Technology is both a blessing and a curse. Most of us rely on it heavily for work, school or university, so it can be hard to take a total tech break. But when you combine the time we spend on devices doing our 'essential' work with 'leisure' time scrolling IG, Tik Tok, Facebook and other social media, the hours spent on technology per day can certainly rack up.
With devices and apps designed to keep us coming back for more, it's incredibly easy to unknowingly spend hours upon hours every week mindlessly scrolling on social media, but luckily you're now able to set time limits for certain apps on your phone - a feature we definitely recommend taking advantage of!
It's useful to be aware of the signs of too much technology exposure so you're able to recognise when it may be time to switch off for a moment and get back into the real world, technology free. Here are four signs your mind and body may need a break from the digital world:
SIGNS YOU NEED A DIGITAL DETOX
YOU'RE SPENDING AN INCREASING AMOUNT OF TIME ONLINE
Are you spending more and more time online lately, yet find yourself still craving more? Devices and social media apps are literally set up to keep you checking them throughout the day, so it's totally understandable that your brain may become addicted to the online world. You may even notice that the minute your internet speed is even slightly slower than what you’re used to, this causes you to become more frustrated than it should. These are pretty strong signs you're in need of a digital detox!
YOU GO ONLINE TO LIFT YOUR MOOD OR ESCAPE PROBLEMS
Coping mechanisms are only natural, but when technology becomes the main thing you resort to for comfort when you're having a bad day, it may be time to take a break from your devices and focus on other activities to lift your mood. As much as spending time on socials may help you feel good at the time, it's not going to benefit your mental health long-term or fix all your problems, so it's important not to become reliant on your devices or social media for that quick 'feel-good' fix. Instead, head out for a run, practice yoga in nature, go for a swim in the ocean or invite a friend for a leisurely stroll to your fave cafe.
YOUR SLEEP IS SUFFERING
If you find yourself staying up later than you should watching Netflix, scrolling social media or doing anything else on technology more often than not, it's definitely time to set some boundaries with your devices and take a break, especially at night time. The blue light from screens stimulates your brain, so while it may feel like a nice de-stressing activity before bed, spending too much time on technology prior to heading off to dreamland will have a detrimental impact on your sleep cycle, making it harder to fall asleep and decreasing the quality of your sleep. We all know that being sleep deprived doesn't do anyone any favours, so if there's ever time for a digital detox, its for the few hours before heading to sleep.
Check out our 6 tips for a dreamy nights sleep.
YOU'RE CONSTANTLY COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Social media has enabled us to compare our lives to millions of other people online 24/7. While we all know that social media is usually just a highlight reel of everyones lives, it's still unhealthy to be constantly comparing ourselves to others. Comparison is the thief of joy, so if you've been feeling less content lately or like you're just not good enough, it may be time to take a break from socials and focus on what’s important in your own life without comparing yourself to others.
WAYS TO DO A DIGITAL DETOX
HAVE A DIGITAL DETOX DAY
Pick a day that you don't need to be on technology for work, uni or school and take the entire day off your devices. So that you're not tempted to reach out for your phone, make sure you plan a day of fun and fulfilling activities. Take this as an opportunity to be present and give your full attention to the people you're with or on the activity you're doing. You might even find you want to make it a routine to have one day a week completely off technology!
TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS
This is a great way to avoid being constantly lured back to your devices and the online world. Turn off all notifications on your phone and/or turn it on 'Do Not Disturb' when you're working or doing any other activity where checking your phone is not essential. This will not only help increase your productivity, but also cut down on many minutes of mindless scrolling each day.
LIMIT TECH USAGE TO A CERTAIN TIME FRAME
You set the boundaries and stick to them. Whether you want to break the habit of checking your phone first thing in the morning, or cut out technology before bed time. Set certain time frames when technology is completely off-limits, or specifically allocate a few hours of the day to check your notifications or be on technology, then make sure your devices are out of sight out of mind for the rest of the day.
BAN PHONES FROM YOUR BEDROOM AND/OR DINING TABLE
If you have to put your phone in a different room overnight, do what you gotta do. This is a great way to kick the habit of laying in bed scrolling at night or reaching for your phone as soon as you wake up. On the other hand, banning phones from the dinner table will also help you to fully appreciate your meal and the people you may be dining with.
Make 2022 your best year yet by becoming more present in the real world and creating healthy habits with your devices. You'll be surprised at how much more time you have to spend on other important things in your life and how your mental health improves from less time online. For more ways to take a break from the online world, read these five tips to help you cut back on technology and social media usage.