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Do I Need a Digital Detox?

Health Tips
Last Updated Jul 21, 2020

Do you own your devices, or do your devices own you? If it's the latter, it might be time for a digital detox! And if you get anxious when you leave your phone or tablet at home and have to do without it for a few hours or more, then you really need to switch off. What are some other signs that you need a digital detox? And how should you go about it?

Why Do a Digital Detox?

The experts have warned for a while now that addiction to digital technology could be harming our mental health. It's so prevalent that detox camps have cropped up across the world, with the promise of helping people unplug and be free from digital distractions.

If you have the willpower, you may not need to take yourself away to a digital detox camp. There are a few simple things you can do to cut back on your digital activities:

  • Switch off: Do you find yourself scrolling endlessly through your Facebook feed or tweeting when you're eating dinner, spending time with friends or doing something else that deserves your full attention? Going cold turkey might be the best solution. Make a deal with yourself that you won't check your device when you're involved in another activity. You can then check it once you're done. This way, you'll be better focused and enjoy the time spent with others, rather than being mentally absent!
  • Set a time limit: It's easy to find yourself tweeting right up until you go to bed. Try setting a time limit for when you'll put the devices down and let yourself rest and unwind. This could be an hour before bed, or maybe more. If it's too tempting to check, put your devices in another room.

When should you detox? If you find yourself thinking of a clever way to describe an experience, rather than actually experiencing it, it might be time to switch off. If you don't feel connected to your friends and loved ones, it may be time to turn off your mobile phone. If checking Facebook is affecting your work, a detox might be in order.

And if you feel your devices are taking over your life, consider speaking with a counsellor or life coach.

Originally published on Aug 14, 2013

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