Digital Detox: The Must-Have Experience This Season

Digital Detox: The Must-Have Experience This Season

Mallika Jhaveri

Are you constantly on your phone? Does most of your day consist of being glued to your laptop? Is your screen-time dangerously high? Can you sometimes feel your eyes popping out of their sockets and then tearing up to stay in place? If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re in desperate need of a digital detox. To know more about this and understand why it is so important, we got in touch with Dr. Anamika Chawhan, Cognitive Scientist & Founder of Magnificent U, a Coaching and Mentoring company. She has expertise in digital detoxing and strongly believes that a digital detox is the need of the hour. She says,

The purpose of a digital detox is to build healthy habits around using technology so that you are in full control of it rather than the other way around.

Since most of us are working from home and conducting our daily lives online, going cold-turkey on our devices isn’t possible, but significantly reducing their usage is. Here’s everything you need to know about digital detoxing!

Why We Really Need It

Because we’re glued to a screen 24/7!  We spend hours mindlessly scrolling in addition to working on our phones, laptops and tablets. According to this article by First Post, on average, an Indian spends 7 hours on their devices. This is 25% more than last year and can be attributed to COVID-19. 7 hours out of a 24-hour day is insane! That means we spend nearly 1/3 of our day staring at a screen. So clearly, we need to do a digital detox ASAP.

Why A Digital Detox Is Important

Dr Chawhan says that taking a break from your screens can improve mental health, reduce stress-levels and help sleep better and swears by these benefits.

1. Improves Mental Health

Many people with screen-addiction also have mental health conditions that contribute to their addiction. A digital detox can reduce the mental health symptoms associated with excess technology use and help make recovery a little easier. Additionally, social media is known to give us a false sense of body-image, lifestyles, relationships etc. that contribute to problems with our self-confidence and happiness, so a detox can help lessen those too.

2. Enhances Sleep

Evidence shows that frequent device use can disrupt your sleep-schedule and make it harder to fall sleep. We all know the pain of scrolling through the night and using social media for no apparent reason. Improving your sleep through a digital detox allows one to better rest their body, help fall asleep faster and attain deep sleep.

3. Reduces Stress-Levels For Those In Recovery

Stress can create drug or alcohol cravings for a lot of people in recovery. By reducing the stress that comes from social media and other technology through a digital detox, one can better control any related withdrawal symptoms.

How We Can Do It

Dr. Chawhan says,

Giving up complete screen time is practically impossible. But, one can certainly adopt several measures for digital detoxing such as turning off push-notifications, putting away the phone during meals, designating ‘tech-free’ hours, making certain places of the house a no-phone zone or temporarily logging off social media apps.

Depending on our lifestyle, there are many ways we can do a digital detox. Some of them are:

  • Set time-limits: Schedule technology-free hours every day, like staying away from your phone during meals or in the bathroom. Add more physical and present activities to your life like game-nights, painting or going for walks!
  • Use your phone with purpose: When you want to use your phone, consider the reason why you’re using it. If it involves negative coping behaviors like avoidance of an activity or stalking someone online, think about how you can better handle that feeling and avoid it if it’s absolutely mindless
  • Set physical boundaries: If you have trouble putting down your phone, try storing it in another room to discourage yourself from using it. Many people don’t keep their phones in their bedrooms so as to avoid the late-night scrolling.
  • Enjoy more paper-media: Remember books and newspapers? Try reading them! My personal go-to are Archie’s Comics. You can even put pencil to paper and write a letter, draw, scribble or doodle! It feels great, really.
  • Take advantage of your phone’s apps and features: Your phone’s features can help you control your overall technology use. For example, you can switch off notifications for certain apps, use screen-time tracking devices, set time-limits on certain apps or turn off your phone entirely for some time!

Have you ever conducted a digital detox before? Share it with us in the comments below!

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