27 Feb 10 digital habits to ditch for Lent
Are you considering giving something up for Lent this year which isn’t chocolate? How about addressing your unhealthy relationship with technology?
Time To Log Off is the home of digital detox and we’ve put together a list of ten unhealthy digital habits you could think about giving up. We want to encourage you to #LogOffForLent! We often encourage people to gradually adopt a healthier balance with technology, such as following the 5:2 digital diet. However, tackling bad digital habits during the 40 days leading up to Easter is another great way to slowly change your lifestyle, improve your physical and health and relationships. After all, Lent is often about addressing those things you do to EXCESS – so, we’re taking on selfies, oversharing and social media scrolling!
According to research conducted by a US dental company, the average millennial will take almost 25,700 selfies in their lifetime! And Feel Unique commissioned a poll to reveal yet further shocking selfie stats – the average 16-25 year old woman spends 5.5 hours a week taking selfies! This is probably due to the prep that goes in and that it reportedly takes SEVEN selfies before you find the ‘ideal’ snap to share! We think giving up selfies for Lent is a great way to kick off a digital detox as it will leave you with hours of extra time!
2. Social media
Have you considered taking on a social media ban for Lent? Even if you think you can’t bear to live without all platforms, choose ONE social app to delete from your phone and remove the temptation to check your feed. Excessive Facebook use has been linked to depressive symptons and low self-esteem, so we think going without social media is a great way to identify if you are addicted or overly reliant, and begin readjusting your tech use.
3. Using your phone in bed
We champion phone-free bedrooms at Time To Log Off. Why? Because using your phone in bed prevents the release of the hormone melatonin which tells your body to prepare for sleep. The blue light which is released from our phones keeps up feeling alert and interrupts our sleep patterns. Switch your smartphone for an alarm clock and stay off all devices at least an hour before bed. Why not grab a good old fashioned book, too?
Sharenting is the act of OVER sharing photos and updates about your child’s life on social media. Not only can excessive images of your child’s birthday party get very annoying for your friends, it may also be detrimenal to your children’s happiness. A recent survey by CBBC Newsround revealed that one in four 10-12 year olds feels embarassed, anxious or worried when their parents share something about them! Have you considered how your child feels abour your ‘sharenting’ habits? Or, how they may feel about those ‘adorable’ pictures when they start their adult lives? Remember: after something is posted online there is NO way to take it back – deleting is not going to cut it!
5. Checking work emails on your phone
Our smartphones have created an ‘always-on’ culture, whereby we’re expected to be contactable at all times. Checking your emails on your smartphone means you are less likely to switch off during non-working hours, will feel more stressed and less able to focus! Perhaps the biggest incentive to remove work emails from your phone is the fact that 60% of people admit that a holiday does not make them feel less stressed. Many of us are checking our emails on our phones even when we have the excuse of a holiday! That definitely does not spell a life of balance.
6. Dating apps
Are you addicted to checking your dating apps? We challenge you to give up apps like Tinder for 40 days (and 40 nights)! When was the last time you met someone new in real life? Our ‘swiping’ dating tendencies have created the impression that there is always something (or someone) better just one swipe away. We are looking for instant gratification: our tech habits have made us impatient in life AND in love. Tackling your dating app obsession will remind you of giving people a chance, getting to know someone face-to-face and the transient nature of first impressions.
A key sign of smartphone addiction is when your excessive phone usage negatively impacts your relationships. However, you don’t have to be addicted to your phone to take part in ‘phubbing’. This is the term for ‘phone snubbing’, or ignoring your loved ones in favour of your dedication to your phone’s screen. Over Lent, we challenge you to be present in your conversations with the people who matter most. Take the time to look UP and give people the real-time attention they deserve.
A Statista survey revealed than on average, those aged 16 and above spend 11 hours playing games each week. For some of us, the figure is probably a lot higher! If you find yourself hooked to gaming on your PC, tablet or phone, why not try and cut back? We often find ourselves reverting to gaming apps whilst on the move or when bored, but could it be impacting your health? A US survey found that more than 73% of young adults suffer from symptons of digital eye strain, including neck pain, blurred vision and headaches!
9. Online window shopping
How much time do you spend scrolling through e-commerce sites but never actually buying anything? When you think about it, it’s the most illogical process! Sure, check out a product’s details before you make a trip to the shops, but spending hours filling your virtual shopping basket with items you just can’t afford? That’s got to be bad for your wellbeing AND your bank balance…
10. Using your phone during meals
Similarly to ‘phubbing’, using your phone whilst eating distracts you from the here and now. Whether you’re posting photos of your food or checking your social feeds, there are a whole host of reasons to enjoy phone-free food. Giving your mind some downtime whilst eating alone is just as important as taking notice of the person you’re with. Try leaving your phone in a different room whilst eating at home, or in your bag when dining out – you’ll soon find a new appreciation for mealtimes.
We hope to have given you some great ideas to improve your digital lifestyle long after Lent finishes! Which digital habit would you most like to tackle before Easter? Let us know how your digital detox is going on Twitter with the hashtag #LogOffForLent. Unless you’ve given up social media for the next 40 days, that is!