30 Jul Why do a digital detox?
There’s no denying that our phones have become so much more than phones – we feel increasingly reliant on our gadgets, and smartphone manufacturers are unsurprisingly keen for this to carry on so continue to add more and more functionality to our devices.
We at Time To Log Off are firmly convinced we’ve found the solution to the problems of our increasingly connected lifestyles: a digital detox.
Our founder Tanya went off-grid for eight weeks and as a result learned to focus on which aspects of life she really appreciated and which she could probably do without. You needn’t go offline for two months to reap the benefits from a digital detox though – even just a few days here and there has huge benefits for the brain.
It’s a question of wresting back a bit of balance after letting technology dominate for rather too long.
If we haven’t already convinced you, here are 11 reasons to do a digital detox.
1. You’ll gain an extra two hours each day. According to research, the average smartphone user checks their phone over 110 times a day! If we assume one minute is spent each of those times, that’s about two hours a day in total. Just think about what you could do with all that extra time! (We recommend a spot of colouring.)
2. It’s rewarding. Switching off may not be easy at first but challenging yourself is good for you and will leave you with a sense of accomplishment.
3. You’ll sharpen up your brain. When was the last time you had to remember a phone number? Exactly.
4. By not mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeeds when bored you’ll notice and appreciate your surroundings more. Who knows what you might see?
5. You’ll stop compulsively checking for emails, messages and notifications and will feel less anxious as a result.
6. Your attention span will improve. Our attention spans are now worse than those of goldfish. Really. And we think it’s pretty obvious what’s to blame…
7. You’ll realise you don’t have to record, capture or document everything to prove that it happened, and will probably find your own memories become much more vivid.
8. You won’t get “tech-neck”. Back and neck injuries have become increasingly common amongst young people in recent years (there’s been a 60% year on year increase in the 18-39 age group) due to the amount of time spent hunched over digital devices. Do your future self a favour and look up rather than down at a screen once in a while.
9. You’ll sleep better. Using a mobile phone before bed nearly doubles the risk of having a bad night’s sleep (which we explained in a previous post) so we recommend banishing gadgets from the bedroom.
10. You’ll feel happier as a result of having slept better. Shawn Achor, head of Goodthink and author of The Happiness Advantage told the Washington Post: “If you sleep eight hours, you can remember positive and negative words around 80 percent of the time 24 hours later. But with five hours of sleep, you remember 70 percent of the negative words, and 20 to 30 percent of the positive. So your reality literally shifts based on whether or not your brain feels overwhelmed.”
11. Your relationships will improve. By removing gadgets you can give people your full attention – in a recent study, it was found that removing all screens for just five days ‘substantially’ improved children’s ability to detect and read emotions.
It’s about rebalancing your life, re-ordering your priorities and refreshing your outlook.
So what’s the next step? Why not come on one of our digital detox retreats to get the ball rolling? Find out all about them here.