Has it ever happened to you that you go on your phone or computer to look up one thing or finish one small task. Then, unbeknownst to you a couple hours of have passed and you are deep in a completely unrelated content to what you were initially planning on attending.
If this sounds like something you are familiar with, then you are on board with many other people complaining about facing a similar issue. Whether or not screen addiction can be classified as a mental disorder is still subject of further research, the worrying amount of time we spend locked on our screen is an issue we personally need to address.
Excessive screen time, backed by research, is proven to cause a multitude of harm including decreased attention, increased aggression, as well as depression.
The need for external affirmation and comparing also seems to be fueled by our social media usage. A lot of people have complained about how excessive digital usage actually strains their real life relationships.
Unfortunately, the current situation is that most of our daily activities are tied to on-screen activities. Getting work done, researching paper topics, interacting with people, finding out recipes. All require digital interaction of some degree.
Thus, fully omitting internet or digital devices from our daily lives is simply unrealistic. However, what we could do is instead of fully going digital-free, we could advocate and work towards more productive and mindful digital usage.
The goal is not to fully dissociate oneself from the digital world but instead lead a more productive, focused, and well-rested life while utilizing digital devices only to assist us but not to control us. Here is where the digital detox comes into play.
Ever since the dangers of excessive screen time had been realized there had also been countermovements advocating against it. The digital detox, a form of digital withdrawal similar to other forms of addiction had been popularized by those concerned with what technology does to the human brain.
A first step to digital detox begins by limiting your screen time. This means only utilizing your digital devices when deemed absolutely necessary. This could be done by setting a timer for a certain period of time for applications or websites deemed to be most time consuming. If this still doesn’t hinder you from using your phone, it might be a good option to leave your phone once in a while when going out.
Additionally, you would want to replace digital habits with real life habits whenever the urge for mindless surfing occurs. Perhaps there is a book you have picked up but have not yet finished due to being too occupied by your phone.
Replace online interaction with real life interaction. Make a point of spending more time with your family. Working out also is an effective solution by giving similar pleasure to that obtained from internet usage, but with a more rewarding sense in addition to being good for your health
While this is not easy in the beginning due to the addiction being deeply rooted in our day to day lives, you will realize that over time you start seeing evident benefits to the digital detox. Slowly you will regain the attention span that you lost, as well as improved overall mood, and higher quality of real life interactions.