Suppose the current pace of life has forced you to be connected to phones and computers all the time and want to share everything. You may need a “detox” or “digital detox.”
We live in a world where the first and last thing we do every day is to see our cell phone. Being aware of social networks and wanting to share everything, from where we are, what we do, how we feel, and even what we eat has become something (too) every day. Notifications, groups, emails, messages. We are glued to screens all the time. Would we survive a few days without them?
Dependence on our cellphones, computers, and the need to always be connected has become an addiction, as powerful as a drug and as harmful as well.
As an “antidote” to this modern addiction, the practice of “Digital Detox” or “digital detoxification” has become popular.
What is digital detoxification?
Digital detoxification is a rest, a pause, a moment to disconnect from your phone, your tablet, computer, and social networks. It is to abstain from using technological devices connected to the internet for a defined period.
The duration depends on the period that each person establishes, and the will power to fulfil it. You can start with a weekend, advance to a week of vacation or extend it up to a month free, because the idea is not to affect daily life, nor the responsibilities and duties of people, so it is recommended to do it in times free from work and study.
Detoxification can be progressive. You can start small, with actions like not posting on social networks for a few days or eating and going to the bathroom without taking your cell phone.
Things you should know about the detoxification process
- Set the start and end date: a weekend, a week, 15 days, or a month.
- Define the scope of your detoxification: It will be only from social networks, or you will completely disconnect from the internet, you will not be able to use the cell phone, but you will be able to use the computer. You decide what to do.
- Follow your limits and stay firm: In case you feel that the regime you set yourself is too strict, you can define free time in the day, and during that moment, you can check your phone, tablet, or computer in case there is a critical message, call, or email.
Benefits of digital detoxification
- Rediscover your priorities: By not having to share everything, all the time, you can focus on the things you did before when you didn’t spend all your time “connected” to a screen.
- Take advantage of free time: riding a bike, going for a walk, walking your dogs, taking swimming lessons, learning to dance or whatever you want, the time you regularly spend watching viral memes, series and videos you can invest in some relaxing activity.
- Decrease stress: not having to keep an eye on whether you got the email you expected or if you have so many notifications and unread messages reduce the burden of daily stress.
- Enjoy life: in the desire to share everything, we have stopped enjoying things. Now you can chat with your family, watch the movie with your friends, dance at ease at the party, sing at the concert of your favorite artist without having to pay attention to make a video for your Facebook or take a good photo to share on Instagram.
Why You Should Consider Detox
- Living based on what others are doing: If you live your life based on what your friends on social media are doing, you need a break from social media. At this point, you go as far as comparing your lives with the lives of people who are within your social media space without knowing their realities.
- Always having mood swings while using social media: if you find yourself in a situation whereby you begin to switch between moods when using social media, one minute you are outraged, the next minute you are more enraged, then it is high time you take a break. Or you feel depressed, anxious, or stressed out when using social media. This is to prevent you from affecting your mental health.
- You don’t have physical friends: a lot of us nowadays are so engrossed with our phones that we don’t know what is going on around us. Many people don’t have friends outside social media; this is a worrying sign, and you should take a break to establish physical contacts.
- You are stalking the past: are you constantly still checking out the memories you created years ago with certain individuals who you no longer speak with? If this is your reality, you should consider going on a break.
How to Carry Out Detox
Having established the meaning of social media detox, the things you should know about detox, why you should go on a break from social media and the benefits of social media detox, it is now time to list out steps to follow in achieving your aim:
1. Follow select people and mute posts
Take 10-20 minutes to sort out all the people on your social media platforms who don’t do you good. What do we mean? With each profile, you ask yourself: What feeling does this person give me and above all the content of this person? Do I feel strengthened, motivated, or inspired by the content of my personality, or do your photos trigger negative thoughts? You also have the option to mute posts from certain people without following them.
2. Schedule fixed social media times
Try not to stare at your smartphone constantly and at every opportunity, but instead plan for fixed times a day that you spend on social media. How about in the evening, for example, after you come home from work or university and just chill comfortably on the couch for half an hour anyway, and you don’t have to do any mentally difficult things at this point. We also recommend that you set yourself a limit, because otherwise you are often too easily carried away by the pull of social media. And whoops – you are already 3 hours surfing social media.
3. Delete apps
You can do that right now! Which apps are really in use? Which one is very tempting to click straight up every time, although they only distract you? Also, you can organize your apps. For example, it will help a lot if your entire homepage is free of apps – this is ridiculously liberating!
4. Disable push notifications
You don’t look at your smartphone for an hour, and 20 new messages appear again. And how do they identify themselves? With small red signs. Unfortunately, this can cause extreme mental stress, even if you are not stressed out. Nevertheless, you subconsciously feel that you have to click on it immediately and react in some way. However, if you deactivate push notifications, you have full control over when you want to process the messages.
5. Replace habit
You can only get rid of bad habits if you replace them with another occupation. That is, you can’t just get out of a bad habit out of the sheer will. Ask yourself: Why or in which situations do you use a smartphone? Whenever you’re looking for a distraction when you’re bored? If you recognize the conditions in which you spend time on social media, you can also deliberately think about what you could do instead!
6. Realize that you are not missing anything
One of the most common reasons for using social media is the fear of missing something. What are my friends doing now, what’s happening in the celebrity world? But truth be told: the world keeps turning when you take a break from social media. Instead, maybe focus more on your real life.
7. Realize that you are harming yourself
How do you harm yourself? Many people have observed that energy level drops, they tend to move less, they start to compare themselves with other people, emulate surreal beauty ideals, and most times, this leads to headache and tension.
8. Realize that you are harming others
Relationships can also be negatively influenced by time spent on social media. Wean real-life relationships. How often do you see groups of people sitting together, where at least one of them always stares at the smartphone? The relationship with the partner can also suffer – It is now a common occurrence when many spend more time on social media when they are their partner.