A Digital Detox can be defined as “a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.”
Let’s face it.
With Social Media and an ever increasing online environment, we live in a world where we are constantly ON.
On the go.
It’s just On, On, On ! And ON !
We feel obliged to respond to things as soon as we get them and, in doing so, we teach people that we are “on call” all of the time, often apologizing for not responding as quickly as possible or with a delay.
It’s no wonder that, from time to time, we find ourselves feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, confused as to which way to turn and feeling like we have no time to ourselves.
How many of us (ourselves included at times) often find ourselves checking our phones before we go to bed and first thing when we wake up ?
Before we’re even out of the house for the day, we have alerts and reminders and notifications.
So making time to do a Digital Detox every now and then is important.
In fact, it’s more than important – it’s pretty VITAL.
Why Do It ?
- Whether we realize it or not, we can become addicted to “ping” or that little red number that shows up. It fills a need we have on some level and creates dopamine in the body, both of which are highly addictive.
- It creates imaginary stress that isn’t really ours. We get caught up in the hype and drama of what other people are going through and we live on a constant emotional rollercoaster every day.
- The world of Social Media and “all things online” can often be very superficial and selective. People only let you see what they think you want them to see and, in doing so, because we’re sitting behind our devices and living through what we’re living through, we compare ourselves constantly to everyone else. It affects our self belief and our self confidence.
- We can often lose our boundaries because things often go in different directions when typing. Words on a screen can be perceived in so many different ways and it can often create and cause unnecessary disagreements and misunderstandings, which affect real life relationships too.
But What Are The Benefits ?
When I was growing up, we had one of those old fashioned telephones in the house – you know, the ones with the dial wheel thing.
If you weren’t home, you didn’t know that you had missed a call until someone called to say that they had called.
We didn’t have the internet and TV was Black and White and only started at a certain time.
Games were played on boards or in the garden and one of my favourite things to do was sort out the buttons in my mom’s sewing room – she had this huge tin of random buttons that we loved playing with.
It made life simple.
So doing a Digital Detox brings about quite a few benefits too.
There’s the obvious ones like being more productive and focused, knowing our own boundaries and being more self centred.
But there are also some less obvious ones too.
- We get to learn a few interesting things about ourselves. Being “disconnected” from the world means we have to start enjoying our own company and the company of those we spend the most time with.
- We start to see how distracted we get when we don’t have an online world to take our minds of our own personal challenges and are (almost) forced to work through them rather than avoiding them.
- We get to think differently about what’s going on rather than being “directed” by the thoughts and views other people are sharing all the time that often put us off sharing our own thoughts and views.
- We’re not going to go into them now but we learn how to fulfill our own human needs on our own rather than relying on other people – our sense of significance, our genuine sense of community and connection with those around us and much more.
- We are able to be more present with people, we do things the “old fashioned” way by going out and actually connecting rather than simply communicating online.
How Do You Do It ?
- Start to set clear boundaries for yourself that YOU stick to. Allocate times when you will use Social Media and for how long.
- Leave your phone at home for once. Try go out for a few hours without taking your phone with you.
- Set an alarm for the end of the day when you disconnect and set the alarm for at least 2 hours before you head to bed.
- Remove email and social media apps from your phone or portable device. You don’t need to be checking them all the time.
- Take yourself out of your environment and give yourself a complete Detox. A Retreat can not only help you stay off social media, it can also give you time and space to reflect and think differently.
So why not give yourself a Digital Detox soon ?
What are your thoughts ? We would love to hear so please let us know.