Our modern day lives are full of tech, screens, apps and more. Today we all rely heavily on technology to get us through our day-to-day routines. For many of us, our smart phones are the first thing we look at in the morning, and the last thing at night. Tech is starting to rule our lives. And it can have a surprisingly negative impact, one that you might not even be aware of. This is why people are doing a digital detox.
Being addicted to things like smart phones, social media, apps and screens can start to distract you from making progress in your life. Doing well in your career, education, relationships and more can all be hindered by addiction to tech. If you think that technology could be negatively impacting on your life, it’s time to consider a digital detox. Here’s how…
Step one: Evaluate
The first step towards detoxing yourself of your tech is to make a gadget list. Write down all of the gadgets you use daily: smart phone and iPad, fitness tracker and at home support. This will help you gain an understanding of how addicted you are to tech. It will also help you understand how much time you’re spending using apps and social media.
Step two: Set boundaries
Once you know how much time you’re spending using tech, you can start to put boundaries in place to help you cut down. Studies show than on average we spend three weeks a year on social media and checking our emails. For many, this is time that could be better spent elsewhere.
If you know that you typically spend around an hour a day on social media, cut it down to half an hour to begin with. Eventually you can work towards reducing that even further.
Step three: change one habit at a time
Trying to go cold turkey is like when you go head first into a really restrictive diet plan. It might work for a few days, but soon after temptation and frustration is likely to get the better of you.
Try reducing the time spent on one device at a time. Over time you can decrease the time further, and introduce more devices to limit your time spent on tech even more.
Working towards success
For many of us, our worst addiction is our phones. Regardless of how much you limit your time spent on social media, this won’t stop you reaching for it every five minutes. This is because it is a habit that you have developed, and you will have to consciously work to break it.
Start by trying a few things, such as turning your phone off at night, or keeping it out of your bedroom. Achieving your goals is made easier when you are working on a digital detox with someone else. Try getting your family, friends or partner involved. Whenever you are together, put your phones down around arms length away. The rule is that while you’re socialising, or spending time together, you don’t go on your phones. If anyone reaches for their phone, they have to do a forfeit.
Once you start thinking about tech and what you use in your day to day life, you might realise it’s a bigger issue than you thought. As you make small steps to reduce the tech in your life, you’ll start to see positive effects: being able to focus better, having more time to spend with your loved ones, and generally being more aware of the world around you.
If this is a topic that interests you and you would like to learn about unhealthy tech and links to poorer wellbeing, loneliness and less sleep, consider our Digital Wellbeing workshop! Facilitated by Sharmin from Digital Cooldown, in this workshop you will be given the opportunity to reflect on your online habits. And you will be able to develop greater awareness of unhealthy tech behaviours. This will leave you able to prioritise the most important things in your work and lives. For more info on our Digital Wellbeing workshop, click here!