This constant need to be “on” is certainly detrimental to our health and wellbeing. Prolonged exposure to media increases our risk of developing mental health issues, like depression, anxiety and ADHD. The pressure to continue working after typical business hours and to regularly check our texts and emails at all times of the day are significant sources of stress and anxiety for adults. With social media, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap and suffer from low self-esteem when everyone posts only highlight reels and perfectly curated moments.
Our physical health is also suffering from our excessive media use. Since technology emits blue light, staring at our screens before bed interferes with our body’s production of melatonin, so the quality and quantity of our sleep suffers. Working on our computers all day or binge watching the latest Netflix series can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle, so exercise is often put on the back burner. Plus, staring at a screen can cause neck pain and unwanted wrinkles.
With all of the disadvantages of technology present, we’ve never been in more need of a digital detox. A digital detox refers to a period of time when we refrain from using technology. It’s all about disconnecting from the online world to reconnect with ourselves, our lives and our social circles.
Digital detoxes have become popular ways to unwind, destress and feel more present. Taking a break from our devices frees up a lot of our time, so we can spend that time recharging alone, practicing self-care, strengthening in-person relationships or enjoying rejuvenating activities, like trying the hottest workout class or curling up with a new book.
Pushing pause on technology and taking a step back from the digital world every now and then is a healthy practice that has tons of mental and physical health benefits. When you commit to a digital cleanse, your posture will improve, you’ll sleep more soundly, your stress and anxiety levels will subside, your memory will improve and your relationships will flourish.
Of course, completely abstaining from all technology in a world that can’t function without the internet isn’t always realistic, but there are more practical ways to limit your digital media usage. Try designating a certain day of the week, like Sundays, or a certain amount of time, like 15 minutes during dinner, to disconnecting. You can also set restrictions on specific types of media that are particularly tempting for you, such as Instagram or Xbox. If you’re looking to limit all distractions, turn off your push notifications on your phone or make a certain part of your home a technology-free zone.
Be sure to choose a digital detox method that works with your needs and schedule, and you’ll be feeling refreshed and relaxed in no time.