Why and how you should go on a digital detox

Aspen Henriksen
Internet Provider Comparisons

Did you know that whenever you interact with social media, it triggers dopamine to be released in your brain? Yip, it is similar to your brain's response to alcohol or drugs. Scary stuff, right? Keep reading to find out how to fight it.

In 2017, the American Psychological Association found that 43% of Americans reposted checking social media compulsively. Another study conducted by Statista found that the average person with an internet connection spends around 144 minutes on social media every day, even though a maximum of 30 minutes is optimal for good mental health.

Although we try to resist the tug of social media, little by little, the average amount of time we are spending online is slowly increasing. It’s obvious we are facing a social media epidemic. An epidemic may seem like too strong a phrase but when you consider the repercussions such as FOMO, social media fatigue, mental health challenges and a decreasing sense of connection with others, it appears to be quite apt. Our advice? Unplug and hug!  

Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether it's checking social media, responding to emails, or streaming content, it's hard to imagine a day without our trusty gadgets. While technology has made our lives more comfortable and convenient, excessive use can have adverse effects on our mental and physical health.

The University of Pittsburgh reported that teens who frequently check and heavily use social media are three times more likely to feel socially isolated. The good news is taking a break from these devices through a digital detox can alleviate these problems.

In this blog, we will look at the benefits of going on a digital cleanse, setting limits, deleting apps and more. We’ll also delve into the ugly truth regarding the damage too much screen time can have on our brains.  

4 tips to wean yourself off screens and become more present

  1. Go on a social media detox  

A digital detox means taking a break from your digital gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and social media platforms for an extended period. It's a way of disconnecting yourself from tech and giving your brain a chance to rest and recharge. You might just enjoy it!

  1. Delete apps and turn off your notifications

For those who can’t go on a full social media purge, consider deleting apps that you spend mindless amounts of time on and switch off any notifications that might tempt you to pick up your smartphone and scroll for no good reason.  

  1. Set boundaries for yourself  

Most devices allow you to set time limits in settings which don’t allow you to carry on scrolling after you’ve used up your allocated time. This is a great way to get your screentime down and enjoy “unplugged” time doing some of the things you love.

  1. Tell a buddy

Accountability is a great tool to help you keep to your goals. Rather than relying solely on self-control, buddy up and share your thoughts and struggles. Having a friend or family member check in goes a long way when it comes to breaking old habits.  

The affects of social media on mental and physical health

We go online to escape boredom and often end up comparing our lives to the highlight reels and picture-perfect personalities of others on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Not only does this lead to a feeling of inadequacy but a sense of dissatisfaction with the mediocrity of ones life when compared to everyone else's online. Increased stress is another one of the negative side effects that may come with too much screen time.

On top of that, social media addiction can result in disordered sleep and more recently, it has been discovered that heavy screen time can also have a negative impact on our cognitive function resulting in memory deficits.

Studies have also shown that excess screen time leads to a decrease in the brains grey matter, which can result in retarding growth and development, and a shortened attention span. That is just the tip of the iceberg. So, what can we do to reduce these side effects? Read on for a few practical tips to help you disconnect.

Reducing screen time is not easy but adopting some practical measures can make it easier. Turning off notifications from social media platforms, setting a timer for gadget use, and having a designated tech-free time can help in reducing screen time. Choosing hobbies that don't require the use of technology such as reading a book, gardening, or exercising can also reduce reliance on digital gadgets.

How can a digital detox improve productivity?  

Taking time away from the digital world can have a profound influence on productivity and focus. The break allows the brain to rest and recharge, which can enhance performance and lead to better memory retention. Work-life balance is critical, and taking a digital detox helps to achieve this balance.

In conclusion, the digital world is compelling and has made our lives easier, but it's essential to take a break from it occasionally. A digital detox is a remedy that helps to improve mental and physical health, increases productivity and focus, and reduces the risks of addiction, anxiety, and depression.

As the dependence on digital gadgets grows, it's essential to realize that taking a break is not an option but necessary for our mental health and overall wellbeing.

Written by:
Aspen Henriksen
Digital Storyteller

Aspen is a Digital Copywriter and Storyteller. When our pun-loving polyglot isn’t writing articles, she spends her time getting to know a brand's DNA or writing scroll-stopping copy that is research and insight-driven and resonates with people.

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