04 Feb One week of smartphone digital detox [INFOGRAPHIC]
What really happens to your brain and body when you do a digital detox for a week? We loved this infographic which showed what happened when seven people gave up their smartphones for a week and recorded their experiences.
Overall although anxiety and inconvenience ended the week slightly up on the levels recorded at the beginning of the experiment, frustration, after peaking mid-week significantly wore off. Anxiety was directly linked to not being able to make calls and texts (functions of a simple mobile phone) whereas frustration was linked to specific smartphone features such as maps and search, suggesting that subjects adapted relatively easily to their digital detox life without a smartphone.
Personal comments on the digital detox experience were largely positive, including; “I would turn to technology to distract me but when I didn’t have that option I was forced to have a conversation…I think in the long run this is benefiting me”. “I was forced to do the healthier thing and just enjoy what I was doing that minute.”
We were also interested in the views of the 800 people surveyed for the research. Particularly that only 16% really didn’t think that smartphone addiction was a problem. In fact 36% said they were ‘very concerned’ about smartphone addiction with 52% saying they actually felt they had a smartphone addiction themselves.
The overall findings supported the conclusion that people have become so connected to their phones that they truly feared losing them. For a growing number this has become a real and debilitating addiction. In a previous blog post we’ve written about how our brain chemicals are supporting and rewarding us constantly checking our phones, and we know this is having a serious impact on our attention spans. Retraining the brain to go without smartphones for regular periods of time is important to reverse the damage that constant connection can cause.