6 October 2023
Is there a moment when we are not drawn into virtual environments, when we are not captivated by electronic devices, especially tablets and phones? Let's face it, in the digital age, we all feel the need to constantly check our notifications and keep track of what's happening. From our own social circles to the lives of celebrities, news websites, and social media accounts that share the latest developments in every field, we can spend a significant part of our time in the digital world. Although these situations may seem inevitable with the current state of technology, digital addictions can threaten our well-being and therefore digital detoxes become an important tool.
What Is a Digital Detox? Why Are They Important?
Digital detoxes can be defined as actions taken by people who aim to get away from electronic devices such as computers, tablets and phones, to limit their use of social media or for a time, to stop using them altogether. If you spend hours in front of your phone or tablet endlessly scrolling, checking countless notifications and losing track of time, it may be time to try a digital detox. So, why is it important to do a digital detox?
In today's digitalized world with rapidly advancing technology, we are in touch with electronic devices almost every moment, but this situation can negatively affect our quality of life, especially our mental health. On the other hand, digital detoxes can:
- Improve your social connections and relationships,
- Allow you to spend more quality time with your loved ones,
- Increase your attention span,
- Help you focus more easily,
- Contribute to good sleep hygiene,
- Reduce eye strain, and
- It may help reduce anxiety and stress levels, opening the door to a less distracted life.
Detoxes may also help you catch the moments you've unwittingly missed as you scrolled on the screen. Taking a break from technology may also help relieve neck aches that occur from constantly looking at your phone, or relieve strained finger muscles that may be contracted from holding phones and tablets. In short, detoxes can help you disconnect from digital life for a while in an effort to connect with “real life” again. Therefore, in today's world, it can be encouraged for individuals who are immersed in virtual platforms to do a digital detox from time to time to rest their mind, eyes, and muscles. So, exactly how do you start a digital detox?
How to Begin a Digital Detox?
Before sharing all the steps, let's talk about the first and most important step of a digital detox: being willing and ready. If you really don't want it badly enough and you actually can't get away from your phone, tablet, or computer, it will be exceedingly difficult to get positive results. So, make up your mind, be completely sure and start the process.
- A second consideration is to start small. It is not realistic to wake up one morning and suddenly close all your social media accounts or say no more phones, tablets, or computers. It is a digital world after all, but you can start your digital detox with small steps.
- First, delete unnecessary mobile apps you don't use, this will help you get rid of unnecessary notifications on your phone and not waste extra time searching for what you actually need.
- Adjust your notification settings. Review the settings, mute, or turn off notifications that cause constant distractions. Once you see a notification, you will spend more time on your phone than you realize.
- Set time limits to limit technology use. Again, you can start with small steps; first 10 minutes, then half an hour, then one hour and so on. These time constraints will define your screen-free moments.
- Use airplane mode more often; airplane mode is one of the fastest ways to remove yourself from the digital world. You can use your device-free time to read a book, watch a TV series or a movie, or meditate. You can use airplane mode to curb the control impulses that you can't stop when your phone is only on silent, you will actually be offline, so you won't see any notifications, even if you look for them. If you're not ready to use airplane mode most of the time, you can start by turning off Wi-Fi and mobile data for periods of time.
- Don't check your phone first thing when you wake up in the morning, just as you shouldn’t check it before you go to sleep at night. This is important both to maintain your mental health in the first hours of the day and to improve the quality of your sleep. It's also a way to reduce your screen time and to weaken a digital addiction. If you find it hard to resist the urge, you can leave your phone outside your bedroom.
Finally, find new pursuits for yourself; you can try hobbies that make you feel better away from your phone, tablet or computer. Spend your digital detox time alone or enjoy the outdoors with your loved ones.
Remember, the digital world has its benefits; it facilitates access to information and resources, but as with everything else, too much of it can be harmful. You can try a digital detox to protect your mental health, increase your satisfaction and enjoyment of life, harmonize with the real world, and spend more quality time with yourself and your loved ones.