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Detoxing from digital devices is frequently seen as a way to focus on our personal life and social connections without interruptions. Detoxing is a period when you refrain from using tech devices such as smartphones, laptops, TVs, personal computers, tablets, and social media platforms. For many of us, being connected and engrossed in the digital world is just a part of daily life. Depending on who you are and how much you use digital devices in your day-to-day life, a digital detox might seem either too challenging or too easy. It is not until you begin to experience the ups and downs of a digital detox rollercoaster that you understand just how addicting the digital world could be.
No matter who you are, if you are living in a country that is highly digitalized, you most likely need a digital detox. By forgoing electronic devices, at least for the moment, you can let go of the stress that stems from continuous connectivity. Moving away from the online world can help you enjoy more real-life connections or experiences.
There are several reasons why you might want to give up your digital devices for some time. You might want to relish your time without the interference that your mobile and other devices create. You might also feel the device usage has become extreme and is adding too much stress to your life.
Signs You Might Need a Digital Detox
• When you feel restless or stressed out if you cannot find your phone
• When you push yourself to check your phone every few minutes
• When you feel low, restless, or angry after spending time on social media
• When you are worried about the like, comment, or likes on your social posts
• If you are anxious that you will miss something if you don’t check your device
• If you are staying up late or waking up early to play or check social media
• If you are not able to concentrate on one thing without having a check on the phone
Unplugging yourself from digital devices can help your mental health. A digital detox does not need to be a complete separation from your phone and other tech connections. The method is often more about setting limits and making sure that you are spending time on your devices in a way that benefits rather than hurts your emotional and physical health and wellness.
Here are a few ways to practice a digital detox that can benefit you in many ways.
1. Be Realistic
Being entirely detached can feel liberating and energizing for some people. But for most people, completely forgoing all kinds of digital connections might not be possible, mainly if you rely on staying connected for work, school, or other commitments. This does not mean that you cannot relish the benefits of a digital detox. If you use your devices throughout the day for your job, a digital detox can be done after your work at the end of the day. Choose a time to turn off your devices and spend an evening with family or do things you like to do.
2. Set Limits
It is not possible to completely disconnect from digital devices. However, setting boundaries when these digital influences are permitted to interrupt your time can be worthy for your mental well-being. For example, restricting your mobile device usage before you go to sleep may be helpful. Avoid lying in bed and playing on your phone or checking comments on social media platforms. Instead, make an effort to read a book or magazine for a few minutes before you go to sleep.
3. Eliminate Distractions
One more way to start your digital detox is to turn off the notifications on your phone. Most social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and news websites send alerts every time you get a message, comments, or a new post. Rather than checking certain apps every time you get the notification, set a particular time each day to check your messages, notifications, or mentions. Then set aside a certain amount of time, maybe 20-30 minutes, to dedicate to catching up and sending replies. This might help you leave your phone behind for at least a short time.
Make It Work for You
A digital detox can be followed in many forms. For example, you might want to try giving up all digital devices, or you might want to focus on limiting usage per day.
Here are some ideas you must try:
• Digital fasting: Try forgoing digital devices for a short period of time, such as a day or a week.
• Recurrent digital self-restraint: Pick any one day of the week and set aside your digital device.
• Particular device detox: If you spend too much of your time on a specific application, website, game, social media platform, or digital tool, emphasize restricting your use of that addicted item.
If you are going to unplug from the digital world, it is essential to plug into something that matters. You can focus on the things you actually want to do. List down what you could do with the time you gain from not spending online. You might choose to connect with your families, hobbies, health, self-care, etc. Going device-free can be uncomfortable but can be a worthwhile experience that will help you be more present and mindful of your other activities and involvement.