Do you have the question inside of you that asks “Is it time for a digital detox?
How would you feel if the world came together and said “Ok, it’s time! It’s time for a world wide digital detox! For the next 24 hours no one is allowed to go onto a computer, iPhone, iPad or any device that is a digital device!” How would you feel?
Would you feel panick, fear, excitement, curiosity, worry or relief? What would you feel?
I would love to know if you have the question inside of you of, “Is it time for a digital detox?” If you do have this question I would also love to know why you have this question?
Are you –
Feeling you need some grounding
Feeling trapped or controlled
Are you feeling you are just not feeling so much anymore and numbing out?
I feel we all go through this at some point along the way. The world has progressed so fast in regards to the ‘digital world’ and how much it really can have control of our entire life! I feel it is natural for any human to get to a point of wandering “How the hell did I end up being a prisoner to my Cell Phone?”
Do you see the hidden message in that question? The two words of ‘cell’ and ‘prisoner’? WOWSERS!
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LEFT YOUR PHONE AT HOME FOR A WHOLE DAY?
The last time I had the question of “Is it time for a digital detox?” was about 6 months ago and I took some great action on that to see how it would feel to not be so connected to my devices. It was liberating, grounding and awakening to say the least and it has changed my personal life immensely.
I had got myself caught up in a habit of always checking my phone every time it made a sound that I had a message, checking my social media messages anytime of the day, checking my emails anytime of day and always having my phone within reach no matter what I was doing, until one day I felt like a prisoner to my ‘cell phone’! I felt disconnected, wired, tired, like my eyes were always focused and I really was not present with my kids at times when I would have preferred to be totally in their presence.
WHEN I HAD MY DIGITAL DETOX MY ABILTY TO CONNECT WITH MY KIDS INTENSIFIED AND THEY FELT MORE IMPORTANT AND ACKNOWLEDGED IN EACH MOMENT.
I really feel for our kids in todays age. There are so many more distractions for us adults that take our focus off them and their focus off us. Spending time to connect deeply with my children has become one of my upmost priorities and it was the reason for my digital detox! If I feel I am disconnecting from them I soon start to ask myself “Is it time for a digital detox?” and not only for me but also for them.
Some of the negative effects digital devices have on our sensitive but also robust human bodies has me concerned too. There are many effects something as small as a smart phone can have on our health and well being and the scary thing is the ‘smart phone’ has kind of become an extension of the human hand!
Here are some known effects the digital world is having on our well being.
1 – Disconnection from the ones we love – They are no longer the first or last thing we connect with in the morning or night. So many will now be looking at their screens in bed until they fall asleep and will pick it up as soon as they wake up. Before smart phones with in built screens existed we would lay and look at our partner, children or chat on the phone with a loved one late at night or in the morning or we would be still and connect with ourselves. This I am guilty of in my past and well aware of the effects it has had.
2 – Living in the past or future – When we are on digital devices we are either reading or watching something that is from past tense or the future. We are not actually in the ‘now’ experiencing what is happening in our true real life. We may be checking emails that require us to do something in the future, watching a youtube video that was created in the past. This has been scientifically proven to create a level of stress and dis connection in the human brain and body.
3 – Less productivity in your life/the sense of not getting anywhere – Let’s be honest here. How many of us spend too much time ‘scrolling’ through social media to then only find that a whole hour has passed by and we have missed the opportunity to get the dishes done, the work project finished, the essay written or time to even just go for a walk with the dogs? I’m pretty sure we have all done this. What is scary is how often we have done this and how much it really is hindering our progress in life with the amount of less productivity.
If I find my productivity is falling down I will ask myself “Is it time for a digital detox?” and usually the answer is a BIG FAT YES!
4 – If you are on a digital device you are most likely sitting or laying down (unless you are one of the crazy people I see walking through busy shopping centres or crossing roads and looking into a smart phone risking your life!). Obesity is one of the fastest world wide health epidemics and especially here in Australia! Yep here in OZ where we have the most amazing summers and outdoor lifestyles, we are seen as one the highest ranking countries of obesity.
Much less movement in the body is contributing to this rise along side of bad food choices and other contributing issues that are to do with health. Lets be very honest with ourselves though and put the truth out there that more screen time means less physical movement time and less physical movement time mean more laziness and the ability to gain more weight increases by tenfold. So I do believe that the use of digital devices are contributing to the obesity epidemic that we are facing.
5 – Insomnia! Sleep issues is on the rise and fast! I cannot tell you how many clients I speak to and they tell me they just cannot sleep well anymore.
Did you know that when your body is ready for sleep it will release a chemical called melatonin, which prepares and relaxes the body to go to sleep. So many of us will be looking at a screen at this time when the body is meant to be preparing for sleep and science has proven that looking at any digital screen before bed actually confuses and tricks the brain into thinking it has to remain alert and awake! This then stops the production of melatonin being released then disrupts the body becoming relaxed and ready for deep sleep! No wonder there is a rise in the rates of insomnia!
6 – Anxiety and or Depression – The social media world, the entertainment world and all of those digital worlds including games only put out there what they want you to know. You will never get the whole story and most of the time you will only get the good, exciting, fun, loving bits. This can lead people to feel anxious or depressed if they start to compare themselves to the digital world and its ‘sensored’ profile that does not ever show and tell ALL.
There is nothing wrong with not show and telling all on your social media or as movie star etc for some things in life deserve privacy and respect but what this does is leaves a feeling to some that there are so many out there with ‘perfect’ lives who are not going through hardship etc. It is important to never fully judge a person by what they post on their social media in the digital world and know there is much more depth to another human being whether they are a social media profile or a movie star. Comparing yourself to them or thinking their life is perfect is a recipe for anxiety or depression.
7 – Memory failure – when was the last time you had to remember someones phone number? I can remember as a child I HAD to know my parents home phone number off by heart and family friends phone numbers off by heart in case of an emergency etc. If I did not know it I had to physically look it up and DIAL it. Not just look for their name on a screen and press a button under their name. Our ability to remember things has become weaker for we do not have to memorise important things like this any more and there is no real physical connection we have to have to use phone numbers etc anymore either. We have gotten to a stage that we can even just ask siri to call someone for us or send them a text message…….does this mean we may even evolve to not even remember how to write a text? My goodness!!
8 – Eyesight loss – Many more people today are struggling with eye health. Losing their sight earlier in life than what they may have if they did not spend so much time in front of a screen.
Personally myself I have experienced this! In my twenties I started a job as a corporate travel consultant which required me to sit in front of a computer screen for 7 hours a day for 5 days per week. I went from having perfect eye sight to needing glasses for seeing things far away from me within months! One minute I was able to see me bosses face as she walked into the office to then only seeing a blur on her face and no eyes! It was scary and it actually made me quit my job. I knew it was the screen time and within weeks of quitting my job and going to beauty school where I was not looking at a screen all day, my eyesight returned to normal 20/20 vision! Amazing!
THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS TO ASK YOURSELF IS IT TIME FOR A DIGITAL DETOX!
So what do I do when I know it is time for a digital detox?
** Turn the phone off for the hours of 330pm until my kids bedtime if I know I am not waiting for an important call.
** Get back into blocking time in my diary for actual email checking time, social media work etc and I stick to it.
** Leave my phone at home when I go for a walk, out with my kids or shopping etc. If I know I really do not need my phone I will turn it off and leave it at home.
** Limit the kids time on their games and devices to 1 hour per day and I always miss some days in the week and make them no screen time days and fill that time will connecting with them in fun activities.
** I get more active and do more walking, yoga, meditation, swimming or anything that gets the body working and moving.
** I let my friends and family know I am off social media for 24 hours and I take a break.
** I do not take my phone to bed with me and leave it out in the kitchen turned off.
** If I am out for lunch with a friend I will turn my phone on silent or off and leave it in my bag and not put it on the table.
All of these things feel quite liberating and refreshing when you practise them on a weekly basis. You will find yourself achieving more things, having deeper connections, working out who is and isn’t really present when they are around you and even realise yourself was maybe the one not being present with your loved ones.
So let’s imagine what the world would be like if we had a glob digital detox for 24 hours!!! Would we fall apart, or could it be the beginning of the world coming back to earth and feeling connected and grounded again? Is it worth ditching the digital connections more often to re connect to what we have always been? Humans living on earth!
A great question I know!