We don’t have to tell you that we live in a technology obsessed world. You can do almost everything online now from ordering groceries and earning your master’s degree to watching the live stream of an awards show and facetiming your best friend in another country.
We spend most of our day glued to our phones, laptops and tablets. We are constantly refreshing our Instagram timeline or obsessively checking our email every few minutes. It is getting increasingly harder for people to 'unplug' from technology. The Pew Research Internet Project says that 44% of cell phone owners sleep with their phones beside them because they don't want to miss any texts or updates during the night and 67% of cell phone owners check their phones for messages even when they didn't hear it ringing or vibrating.
So how do we learn how to take a step back from all of our devices and live in the moment? Below, we share three tips to get you started on your digital detox:
Shutdown at Night
No more watching Netflix till you fall asleep. Looking at a screen right before bed has been found to be disruptive to your sleep quality and melatonin production according to researchers at Harvard University. Set a time in the evenings that you shutdown your devices for the night and stick to it. Ideally, it should be at least be an hour (or more) before you go to bed. You can finish reading the book you’ve been promising yourself you’ll finish, spend time with your family or just relax and meditate. If you find it hard sticking to the shutdown time, try giving your devices to someone to keep for you till an agreed upon time. Live alone? Put the devices away in a cupboard or drawer where you don’t see them.
No Phones at the Table Please
Next time you are at a restaurant, look around and take note of how many people are ignoring the people they came to eat with and are just staring at their phones. When you go out to eat with someone next, make a conscious effort to leave your phone in your bag and enjoy some face to face time for once. Placing it at the side of your plate face down does not help because you’ll be tempted to pick it up during lulls in the conversation.
Say No to Push Notifications
No wonder we always feel the need to check our phones when apps like Facebook are constantly alerting us on updates throughout the day. Turn off push notifications on your apps so you don’t feel the need to check your phone every time you get an alert. You get to decide when you want to check your phone. After work hours, try changing the settings of your mail to only fetching new mail every hour as opposed to immediately to give you a chance to really decompress from work and enjoy your evenings.
Tell us, have you ever tried a digital detox? How did it go?