03 Dec 5 great reasons to do a family digital detox
The need to do a regular digital detox for personal physical and mental health is growing. But how about doing one as a family? What are the benefits and reasons for everyone doing one together?
Your children want you to do it
In this video kids talk about how much time their parents spend on their phones and how ignored and unimportant it makes them feel. The children were speaking to researchers about who uses digital devices the most in their family. Two small girls say that their father doesn’t listen to them when he’s on his phone and they have to repeat themselves to get his attention, and one girl adds: “My mum spends all day on her computer and I feel sad because I won’t get to play with her on a board game or something.”
Children’s sadness at the time their parents spend on mobile phones is the number one reason why you should plan a family digital detox, to focus on each other and give your full attention to your children. They want you to do it.
You will all sleep better after a digital detox
A recent piece of research showed that teenagers who were on digital screens for more than four hours per day were 3.5x more likely to get poor sleep – sleeping fewer than five hours at night. The same sleep disturbance is also seen in adults after using screens excessively. All these sleep problems result from the blue-light emitting from digital devices which suppresses the production of melatonin (the ‘sleepy hormone’) in the brain.
Anyone who’s part of a family knows that when one family member doesn’t get enough sleep it’s not much fun the next day for everyone else. After a full family digital detox you will all be sleeping a lot better and many of those family irritations and squabbles caused by poor sleep will disappear.
You will all be happier after a digital detox
Recent research showed that staying off all social media for a week resulted in an increase in happiness and more life satisfaction. And on the flip side, there’s been shown to be a strong link between heavy internet use and depression, with heavy internet users 5x more likely to suffer from depression than non-heavy users. If you manage a family digital detox for a whole week there’s no doubt your overall happiness levels will increase. But even a weekend digital detox will cut down on your overall family internet use and reduce the chances of any depressive symptoms.
You will all prefer the way you’re communicating
More than half of all adults in the UK adults now say they use text messages at least once a day to communicate with family and friends, while only 49% meet people face-to face on such a regular basis. However, the majority of of UK adults say they would actually prefer to meet (67%) or speak on the phone (10%) than communicate by text. It seems we are all crying out to make proper connections with those dearest to us, whilst admitting that texting those same people has come to dominate our lives. During a family detox detox you will be communicating far more face to face, which you will all greatly prefer.
You will be teaching your children good habits for life
Perhaps the most important reason to do a family digital detox is to teach your children that good boundaries with technology are a lifelong skill. Just as your children learn from you about all other kinds of healthy lifestyle habits, they pick up far more on what you do rather than just what you say. Showing them you are joining in with them in putting down all your digital devices will give them a powerful message and teach them that they can and should do this. And it’ll be a lot of fun.
We’d love to hear from you about your digital detox experiences as a family so do please let us know how you got on!