6 Steps to planning your next digital detox
6 Steps to planning your next digital detox
We have all come across the word “detox,” one too many times, often in situations where we see stray lemons floating in bottles of water as detox water. The purpose of this water is typically to rid the body of harmful toxicants and leave us rejuvenated. Similarly, a “digital detox” aims at encouraging us to abstain from the use of our gadgets and let go for a while, instead of focusing on the more organic aspects of life.
In this age, we happen to be avid users of social media and the web, vastly invested and sucked into the spiral, falling victim to most of our lives spent in front of screens. From college applications to books, everything is only a click away. It has become a way of life.
The advent of social media has had a dire effect on things like concentration and social anxiety; our attention spans have become shorter, and new manners of concerns and disorders are popping up because we have replaced real-life interactions with a screen. We can’t handle the pressure of an awkward conversation and are quick to hide behind our phones to avoid it; we look for instant gratification in terms online, rather than make the effort of getting to know someone offline.
It has become necessary to detoxify ourselves from our digital worlds to function as rational human beings fully. The steps are simple; committing to them will help you in the long run, even if they feel like the most challenging tasks.
Start by taking baby steps
Don’t check your phone when you’re hanging out with friends, see how long you can last before your mind tells you to pick up that phone. Put your phone on silent and fully engage in real-life conversations, and see if you still find yourself checking your notifications.
There are countless benefits that you’ll notice when you minimize your use of social media. Let’s go through them:
Better quality of sleep
Your phone screen mimics sunlight and tricks your mind into thinking that it’s still daytime, even if it’s the dead of night. At night, we’re relaxed and often lying in bed with the lights off, phone screens close to our faces. We see nothing other than our screen, and our brain continues to release chemicals that keep us alert. However, once we let go of these devices, winning our inner monologue, we can invest those hours in a goodnight’s sleep.
When you are going through detoxification, you have fewer distractions. If you are at a concert, you’ll enjoy the concert rather than worry about recording every moment of it. If you are in class, you’ll be able to focus on your teacher’s lecture instead of texting your friend on the other side of the room.
More real-life social interactions
Thanks to everyone’s social media presence, you get to know what your friends are up to all the time without having to talk to them, so when you do end up meeting, you don’t really know what to talk about. Without the aspect of having the online track, you will easily find topics to converse on, enjoying face-to-face interactions. Another important aspect of interacting with people in real life is to build on your communication skills. Too many of us are scared of giving presentations, or going to interviews, or even talking to our neighbors in a lift because the social anxiety levels of our generation have reached an all-time high. Practicing social interactions helps to reduce this anxiety.
Spend Time on Your Hobbies
The amount of time that you save when you’re detoxifying could be used on being productive; rather than losing hours scrolling through Instagram, you could take up classes to learn your favorite instrument, or teach yourself a new skill. We often see things on social media that we would like to try, such as cooking or baking, claymation, or even makeup tutorials, yet we keep making the excuse of not having the time to try them out. Here’s your chance!
Courage to Face FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
FOMO is the latest affliction for millennials and Gen Z. We are always connected to the world, both locally and globally; we see people who we don’t even know living their best lives on social media, and feel like we’re missing out and need to be doing the same things to enjoy our lives fully. The fear of missing out is simply an illusion created by the fantasy that is created surrounding digital identities, where we assume that everyone is living their lives to the fullest except for us. Without the pressure of social media to portray our best lives, a digital detox can instead help you focus and build one.
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