As the lines between home and office have been blurred, a digital detox is worth considering. With everyone operating from behind screens, burnout has taken a new form: tech burnout. The feeling of utmost lethargy, tiredness, constant headaches, sleeplessness, anxiety, and plenty of other awful things encompass this burnout.
In a normal world, people would shut their systems down and head home, and probably unplug for an evening of digital detox. But with everything becoming digital in the new normal, employees are perpetually in front of a screen: either their desktops, smartphones or TVs. The constant influx of work emails, reminders, and calendar alerts doesn’t help either. While you may refuse to acknowledge notifications, just the knowledge that work needs to be done makes things more stressful. Add to that the hours of scrolling on social media.
The advent of technology and social media may have amazing benefits, but taking a digital detox is increasingly necessary for better mental health. The online universe has mounted hate speech, FOMO, and self-comparisons, and as a result mental breakdowns too. As if this wasn’t enough, the growing popularity of OTT platforms and digital content leaves us up all night binge-watching.
The inability of people to take a turn off from the digital world and stay in the present is enough to cause a digital burnout.
What Is A Digital Detox?
Recently Aamir Khan announced that he would be taking time off from the digital world in preparation for his latest endeavor. He has sworn off all his devices, including his mobile phone, while filming Laal Singh Chaddha. What he is doing is essentially a digital detox.
For the unversed, a digital detox is a complete cut-off from the online world. With more and more people falling prey to the stressors of the digital world, the popularity of detox is increasing manifold. To counter the effects of internet addiction, individuals go through a period of living without their smart gadgets. Research suggests that this form of therapy has quite a few benefits.
How To Go On A Digital Detox?
If the sound of a digital detox sounds pleasing to you, but you don’t know how to hop on this detox bandwagon. Doing a digital detox is no rocket science. A few steps indicated below will help you successfully complete a “detox” and give way to a healthier or at least a rested version of yourself.
1. Turn Off The Beepers.
Removing all kinds of distractions from your smartphones will ensure you are not tempted to take a sneak peek at your devices. Alarms, notification sounds, app buzzes, ringtones, everything must be switched off.
2. Ask Why.
Every time you are tempted to use your phone, ask yourself the reason you are doing so. More often than not, you do it habitually and need nothing important from your device. If that’s the case, it’s better to avoid touching your phone.
3. Uninstall Social Media Apps.
If for some reason, you have your phone in your hand, it’s a safer option to uninstall the distracting apps. You will definitely be tempted to have a look at the latest social media posts; do not give in. Deleting the apps will help you curb those wants and wishes.
4. Tech-Free Hours.
A dedicated time for no technology. With this, you can control how many hours you actually spend on technology and how many hours you are away from it. Having a schedule will help you remain on the path to detox digitally. Instead of having a whole day away from technology, choose a few hours. You will not feel the withdrawal effects this way. Slow and steady.
5. Hobbies And Entertainment.
Use your tech-free hours to get back to your beloved hobbies. Use a pen and paper to write, go outside for a walk, make some DIYs, decorate your room, and do everything you used to do before you were charmed away by the beauty of digital screens.
Before And After A Digital Detox
Students from a secondary school in British Columbia launched a nine-day detox challenge and found splendid results. Cody Hutchinson of Eagle River Secondary School, Sicamous, British Columbia, was the mastermind behind the digital detox. The forty students who were involved in the challenge found that they were paying more attention in their classes and that they indulged in more face-to-face communications during the challenge.
The above research (or challenge) only goes on to prove that a digital detox can be beneficial to people from all walks of life. A well-planned and successful digital detox will not only give your eyes a much-needed break but will also improve your quality of life drastically. Studies have shown better relationships are formed when no one prioritises their gadgets over their partner. With the stresses of daily social media gone, positive mental health begins to take shape. Many addicted individuals have experienced a reduction in their depressive state, better physical health, and an undisturbed sleeping pattern.
It may seem scary to join the digital detox club at first, but the positives outweigh the negatives tremendously. For better health and a positive perspective on life, a digital detox is a must.