Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are living in front of the screen more than ever before. Work, school, news, shopping, socializing, nowadays everything is digital. Technology brings many benefits and we rely on it for every aspect of our lives. However, at some point, it can also become tiring and even harmful. If you feel that you need a break away from the screen, now it’s the perfect time for a summer digital detox.
There is so much to do outside that staying away from screens shouldn’t be unbearable. Keep reading to find out why and how a digital detox might be exactly what you need to feel rejuvenated this summer.
Why you should do a summer digital detox
According to WebMD, over 60 percent of people admit they are addicted to their phones and computers. Too much time spent online can cause issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, weight gain, difficult time management, and many others
The average American watches TV about 56 hours per week and checks their phone no less than 262 times per day. About 48 percent consider themselves addicted to their phones and a shocking 40 percent use their phone while driving. What’s more, 83 percent feel uneasy if they leave their home without their phone.
Technology addiction is higher than ever before and many people are trying to limit their use. More exactly, 1 in 5 people has been on a digital detox, while 7 in 10 have tried to limit their digital consumption.
So why should you do a summer digital detox? Will it be even better than done during any other season? Here are some of the benefits.
Staring at a screen for hours in a row can cause headaches, migraines, vision problems, and neck pain, among others. Taking breaks from technology now and then gives your body time to fix itself.
Staring at a screen before sleep keeps your brain active and delays the release of melatonin, a chemical that helps you relax and fall asleep. So if you suffer from insomnia or sleep disturbances, stay away from screens before bedtime.
Be more productive
Americans spend an average of 3 hours and 19 minutes on their phones every day. Smartphones are the most distracting items for working adults.
If you want to get more things done, turn off notifications and take the phone out of your sight so you won’t be tempted to pick it up every now and then.
How to do a digital detox
There are several strategies you can choose from for a summer digital detox done right. Here are our favorites. Pick whichever you prefer or mix and match 🙂
The first step for a digital detox is installing some apps that track your phone usage. Seeing how many hours you spend on social media every day and every week will help you become more aware of the problem. Some of these apps can even block access to social media at all, or just limit the time you spend each day.
So if you don’t want to use Facebook for more than 30 minutes per day, the app will notify you and block access when your time is up. To get more time you would have to change the app settings, which means you would need to make a conscious decision instead of acting on impulse. This makes it more likely for you to actually respect the self-imposed boundaries.
Schedule tech breaks
Scheduled tech breaks can work in two ways:
1. Designated breaks in your daily schedule for the use of technology. Instead of checking your phone every 5 minutes, you should schedule breaks specifically for that. Take 5 or 10 minutes every two hours to catch up with technology, check your notifications, read personal emails etc.
2. Breaks from technology at given times. For example, make your evenings tech-free. A couple of hours before bed set your phone aside, turn off your computer and TV, and just do other activities. Take a bubble bath, read a magazine, complete a crossword puzzle, talk to your family, try finding Waldo 🙂 or whatever suits your boat. All these will help you relax and provide a good quality sleep.
Read a book!
Old-fashion book reading is a great way to do a digital detox. Put down the tablet, turn off your screens, get a book off the shelf and start reading. If you think (like many others) that you don’t have time for that, keep the book at hand and pick it up each time you are tempted to reach for the phone. Even a few pages per day can bring you satisfaction and save your eyes from looking into that bright screen, so it’s a win!
If you are one of those persons who use their phone in bed before going to sleep, you have a great chance to make a change. Read a few pages from your book and it’s almost guaranteed to fall asleep much faster.
The 24-hour digital detox challenge
Can you stay away from technology for 24 hours? Most people wouldn’t be able to do it. Actually, it’s unlikely for people nowadays to make it 24 hours without any type of tech. Reviews.org offers a reward of $2,400 to the brave souls who can commit to giving up technology for just one day. That means no cell phone, TV, gaming consoles, computers, smartwatches, or smart home devices.
Even if you won’t take part in the official challenge, nothing stops you from doing it on your own. Put together a tech-less survival kit: books to read, paper to write, or even a coloring book – whatever makes you happy! Instead of video games, dust off the old board games and play some Monopoly with your family. At dinner, talk to each other instead of watching TV. Do you think you can do it?
Sharing is caring
Have you gone through a digital detox this summer? Did you use any of the strategies discussed above? How long have you been able to survive without screens?
Share your summer digital detox experience in the comments section below.