Do you ever leave the house without your phone? Is it the first thing you reach for or go to when you wake up? Do you get anxious when your device battery is running low? Do you feel anxious about all the messages piling up in your inbox? Do you feel like you don't want to miss a post on Twitter or Instagram? Do you get lost for hours on Pinterest? Do you feel that your 'Facebook friends' have a much more exciting life than you do?
If you answer YES to any of these questions, you may want to consider detaching from technology with a Digital Detox.
Everyone is detoxing these days. We are drinking green smoothies, cutting gluten and sugar out of our diets and greening up our skin care products. It's all in the name of good health, yet we don't consider the effect that technology is having on our health. In today's world, technology constantly competes for our attention. There is no technology downtime. There is an expectation and desire with both employers and friends to be available to respond to emails or texts immediately. What kind of effect are these constant demands on our attention and energy having on our health?
I have made the conscious decision not to own a mobile phone. It's not always easy yet it's also incredibly liberating. As as result, I am hyper aware of the behaviour of people with phones. I observe people out together for dinner, both on their phones. I observe a parent at the park with their child, on their phone. I observe teens hanging out, all on their phones. I am by no means judging. I most definitely make up for my lack of phone with the many hours I spend on my iPad or in front of my computer. So why consider detoxing from your devices?
Benefits of a Digital Detox:
1. Unplug from technology and plug in to life. Step back from the noise and reconnect with what really matters to you.
2. Reduce your stress and anxiety from being accessible all the time. Create down time for yourself.
3. Increase mindfulness and self-awareness to make conscious choices about how you spend your time and energy.
4. Be in the moment. Remember the last time you were out with friends and how often you or someone in your group checked their phone? Every time you reach for your phone, you are checking out of the present moment and not spending quality time with the people that you are with.5. Reduce eye strain, headaches and neck pain.
How can I do a Digitial Detox?
1. Choose a day to shut off ALL your devices. A 24 hour period would be ideal. If this seems too overwhelming, only connect twice daily: briefly in the morning and then briefly again at night.
2. Try signing into your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts every 2nd day rather than all day long.
3. Make a date to go out with a friend and leave your phone at home.
4. Turn your technology off at night and never bring it into the bedroom.
5. Set up an Out Of Office notification for a few hours every day
6. Set up a Do Not Disturb setting on your phone.
6. Turn off the pings and alert notifications.
Technology is most definitely here to stay. It's not going anywhere so please take the time to disconnect from it. I guarantee that it will still be here when you get back.
Who is ready for Digital Detox? What will you do to detox?