By Courtney Tink
Have you ever hopped onto your phone and lost 3 hours? It starts off small; you “quickly” check on instagram to see how many likes your last post got and if there are any new stories worth taking a look at…okay then you stalk your ex and his new girlfriend for 20 minutes, it’s no big deal! We both know you can stop at anytime. Then it’s onto Facebook: a couple dog videos here and there, and Whatsapp in between of course. Next thing you blink and you’ve clocked 3 hours on your phone-your eyes are dry, your head is pounding ever so slightly and you totally didn’t do that thing on your list you meant to do 2 hours and 30 minutes ago.
While all of our devices have opened up doors, opportunities and Pinterest (hello outfit inspo!) for us, we also find ourselves in a generation that faces digital addiction. So before you have to check yourself in to a padded room-fingers itching for a screen, I propose a digital detox for the mind, soul and most importantly thumbs.
Here are 5 quick tips to get you started on your digital detox:
- Screen Queen:
If you’re not ready to stop cold turkey then the next best thing is to limit the amount of screens you use at a time. Yes, that means put the phone away while you’re catching up on Netflix. Not only will you enjoy each screen individually, but you’ll also reduce your blue light exposure. Trust me, your eyes are gonna thank you!
- No glow zone:
Completely eradicating all screens from your life is next to impossible, limiting and reducing your exposure to screens? Easy-peasy-no-screen-squeezy. Have dedicated rooms and domains that are screen-free zones. I would suggest your bedroom, bathroom and dining room. Why? Firstly sleeping with a phone next to your bed is bad, waking up and instantly popping over to instagram-worse (we all do it though.) If your phone is your alarm keep it just outside your room or invest in an old time-y battery operated noise machine.
- Sorry but I’ll have to check my schedule…
The best way to digitally detox is to schedule app interactions. By this I mean actually pulling out your day planner (no, not the one on your computer) and actively scheduling in some social media “me-time.” Say an hour a day, during your lunch break, you scroll and celeb gossip to your hearts content, but when your hour is up-it’s back to work. Schedule in-say four sessions in a day and spend the rest of it being super productive and efficient. That’s right, we’re saying adios to procrastination station.
- Face to Face it:
This tip isn’t only a great detox ‘how-to’ but it also allows you to get some human decency under your belt. If you’ve ever had to say “don’t worry, I’m listening I promise”, honey you weren’t listening. Stand up your screen date for some real old fashioned face-to-face communication. When someone tells you a story, don’t play Toon Blast while they do it. While John stops at your desk to chat at work, don’t let your eyes dart to your PC to do list. If someone calls you on the phone, don’t check your emails while you talk to them. Most importantly use your phone to set up social interactions instead of it being your social interaction. Besides, it’s a chance to wear that totally cute outfit in public instead of just instagramming it.
- Such a push over:
Social anxiety and FOMO are a real thing! Have you ever sent a risky text or friended someone and now you wait for that satisfying ping? Your heart thumps and your eyes dash to the screen frequently. Solution? Turn off all push notifications. Initially it’ll be a toughie. How will you know when someone likes your post? Or thinks your Facebook updates are such a ‘heart react’? Bear with me, because it’s proven that without being constantly notified-your anxiety reduces and you begin checking your social media at your own pace. So make peace with the push.
These 5 tips are here to remind you to take a breath and connect with your surroundings and personal needs. A digital detox won’t just bring you health (bye blue light), wealth (saving data? Yes please) and happiness (say woah to FOMO), it’ll also bring you peace of mind. You wont have that knot from email notifications, or start sweating profusely because your crush didn’t message you back; more importantly you’ll learn to set digital boundaries, which are quickly becoming a growing concern in our booming digi-sphere.
These tips wont stop you from learning about who said what in the Kardashian drama, or who wore what to the Oscars-it’ll just limit it all.
If you suspect that you have a digital addiction or you’re just really into quizzes then check out these two online tests:
So remember to make some time where you relax, refresh and reconnect.