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Turn Off, Tune In – Why You Need a Digital Detox Now

According to Digital Detox®

  • The average American dedicates at least 30% of their leisure time to browsing the web
  • 50% of people prefer digital communication to face-to-face interactions
  • 67% of cellphone owners are “constant checkers”, constantly checking emails, social media & texts even when their device is not alerting them to
  • The average employee checks about 40 websites/day & spends 2 hours/day recovering from distractions
  • Only 2% of people can actually multi-task without a decline in performance
  • 1/3 of cellphone owners would rather clean their toilets than their inbox
  • 60% of people say traditional vacations don’t relieve their stress
  • 95% of people use digital devices in the hour leading up to bed

It’s no surprise how convenient, efficient and beneficial our digital devices can be. But, how much digital use is too much? It’s been said that social media provides the ideal narcissistic environment to lower your self-esteem! What?? How can that be?

You may have started posting on social media innocently enough – sharing a cool picture, a satisfying meal, or awesome vacation.  Unfortunately, too many people post on social media in order to compare their lives to others and gain approval through likes and comments. Ironically, this ends up making them feel less satisfied with their own life. But it’s not just social media…it’s digital devices in general that may be to blame.

Screen Addiction Studied

Kate Unsworth, CEO of Kovert Designs, recruited neuroscientists, philosophers and psychologists to study how technology impacts behavior, body language and life satisfaction.  

Her team observed participants over four nights – one with their digital devices, three in a desert without them. They concluded:  

  • Digital means less productivity, focus and adventure. Digital devices are a constant distraction from real life which affects how productive you are and how open you are to new adventures.  Memory also improves.  
  • Disconnecting means better sleep. Your devices emit blue light which decreases melatonin production by 22% affecting sleep, performance and mood. Participants reported feeling more rejuvenated in the morning.
  • Disconnect to connect. Without constantly looking down at a phone, people start to make better eye contact paving the way for deeper, more meaningful conversations.
  • Better posture. Now that there’s better eye contact, focus shifts to what is in front of you – opening up your chest, realigning your spine, and making you more approachable.
  • Less impulsivity. Checking your phone activates the frontal cortex the same way substance addiction does. Disconnecting curtails this impulsive behavior.  
  • Clarity. Without constant distraction, you can focus on what really matters. Participants experienced more intense mindfulness and a greater awareness of the importance of relationships, careers, health and goals.

While turning your device off or leaving it at home for awhile may seem overwhelming, you can start small and dedicate time each day to unplug. Try doing something where you don’t need your phone such as going to the beach, hiking, taking a nap, or enjoying a meal. Psychologists say your bedroom should be dedicated to activities associated with relaxation – this includes leaving digital assets in the hall. If you need more help, there are many apps available that can automatically carve out time for you to unplug. Need more help? Check out these all-natural, scientifically-studied supplements to help foster a relaxing internal atmosphere.

Resources

Fast Company