What better opportunity than the holiday break to consider a digital detox? As our lives are increasingly infused with technology, here’s how taking a break from your devices can bring transformative benefits for your overall well-being.
Research found that technology is a major contributor to stress levels in today’s world. Always comparing ourselves to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy, and the constant buzz of notifications, emails, and messages may often leave you distracted and anxious. Disconnecting, even briefly, can help alleviate this digital tension, giving your mind a break from the demands of the online world.
More productivity and creativity
According to experts, the fact that devices keep us continuously entertained and stimulated is detrimental to our creativity, because we’re inundated with information. That’s why, every now and then, it can be a good idea to step away from the screen and take some time to be with your thoughts. When used well, tech can help us be more productive, but it needs to be a balanced relationship.
Improved quality of sleep
Using digital devices in the hours leading up to bedtime can hinder your sleep quality, multiples studies have revealed. The culprit is the blue light emitted by the screen, which affects your circadian rhythm (the 24-hour cycle that signal your body to carry out essential functions, like sleep). In short, blue light stimulates parts of the brain that make us feel alert. While being exposed during the day can actually improve our performance, it’s better to avoid it after the sun sets.
Deep, meaningful conversations require our full attention. By prioritising real-world interactions over digital ones, you can foster richer connections, improve your understanding of others, and strengthen your personal relationships. A digital detox allows you to reconnect with the world and your people.
It can be easy to underestimate the time we spend online. According to global data from Statista.com, in the first quarter of 2023, internet users spent on average six hours and 40 minutes online daily. What else could you do with that time? Whether it’s picking up a book, learning a musical instrument, or starting a new sport – the possibilities are endless.
How to do a digital detox
Ready to regain control over your digital life? Here are some steps you can take:
- Make a plan
Why are you doing a digital detox? Maybe you found you spend too much time on a platform, or you’d like to go tech-free one day a week. Make sure you understand your reasons and set clear goals.
- Start slow
Whatever your plans, shunning technology at once may not be the way to do it. Why not cut back gradually instead? This could be as simple as reducing nighttime phone usage or having a social media-free morning.
- Set time limits
Choose how long and when you want to be device-free. For example, you can pledge to be off a particular website for the majority of the day, or practise screen-free evenings. The key thing is to plan it and commit to it.
- Choose your accountability partner
Who’s going to keep you accountable? Just like having a ‘gym buddy’, having someone to share your digital detox journey can make it easier for you to stay on track.
- Embrace a digital detox app
It may sound counterintuitive, but there are apps designed to help you disconnect from the digital world. A simple search for “digital detox app” on your device's app store can introduce you to several useful tools. For example, some block social media at certain times. Others track your screen time, giving you insights into your habits and offering reminders to take breaks.
Enjoy your time off!
As we head into the holiday season, we hope you consider the refreshing benefits of a digital detox – so you can find a healthy balance. In the meantime, if you have any questions for us, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can call us on 0800 800 400, start a Live Chat or fill in this form to get in touch.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.