The virtual world has taken over our daily lives. We spend a good portion of our days looking at the screens of our gadgets. It has become a necessity, providing convenience in doing our jobs and errands, but on the flip side, it has also turned out to be toxic. Too much exposure to our devices causes all sorts of problems that affect our lifestyle negatively.
Hence, we all need a digital detox. Digital detox refers to a period of time wherein an individual refrains from using devices that connect to the internet, which in turn gives a person an opportunity to focus more on real-life interactions and to alleviate stress.
Two common things we do when we connect to the internet are scroll through social media feed and play games. Studies have been done about both and why a person that spends a good majority of his time can benefit from a digital detox. Below are research-based reasons why digital detox is good for you:
Overall health and wellness improvement
Various studies validate that excessive use of social media and online gaming causes the following:
- Digital devices affect sleeping patterns – Researchers have found that heavy device usage prior to bedtime interferes with your sleep duration. Children using devices before sleeping have significantly worse and less sleep. There are also connections that were found with nighttime device use and the increase to body mass index.
- Increased stress – In the annual Stress in America survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, it was cited that technology is a significant source of stress of around 18% of U.S. adults due to the ever-present presence of digital connectivity. In Sweden, researchers found that heavy use of technology among young adults causes an increase in stress levels.
Among the reasons that factor into said added stress are: FOMO or fear of missing out, stress from social comparison from uncontrolled social media exposure, and lack of human interaction.
- Negative effects on mental health – The majority of the toxic effects of heavy digital media use are on mental health. Another study cites that smartphone addiction causes an imbalance in the brain chemistry of teenagers. The said imbalance is found correlated to depression and anxiety.
A digital detox will help you reduce stress and attain a little peace of mind, which will lengthen your lifespan.
With too much exposure to gadgets, we sometimes have a difficult time distinguishing between what is urgent and what is not important. We become so glued to our devices that we tend to forget what we need to focus on.
Regularly logging off helps you to put things into perspective and put your attention on things or people that need them. Give yourself time to reflect, pause, and be at the present so good ideas can come to you.
Better working relationships
It is ironic how our devices help us connect to people from other people from around the world but disconnects us from the people right in front of us. Digital detox lets us connect interpersonally without hindrance, which is one of the emphases of brands and of groups advocating us to put down our gadgets for a moment.
Organize a retreat in a private resort in Nasugbu, plan technology-free activities, and explain to your children what you’ve read here. Start small and gradually build-up on your detox.
In closing, a digital detox can be summarized as a way of disconnecting to enable yourself to reconnect.