30 Jul 5 tips for digital wellbeing this summer
With 75% of American families and nearly half of British families planning to take a digital detox this summer, digital wellbeing is an issue spanning the Atlantic. From a full digital detox to instituting simple rules, there are plenty of ways to go about revamping your digital wellbeing for the summer. We’ve spent too long glued to our screens inside. During a pandemic we should excuse ourselves for letting unhealthy behaviour slide. But now we at Time To Log Off say it’s time to overhaul our bad habits and re-boot our screen habits for a healthier way of living.
#1 Set boundaries
Our first, and most oft-repeated, piece of advice is to set boundaries around your tech use. The boundaries that are easiest to put in place are those around space or time. So maybe you can leave your phone outside the bedroom this summer, or institute a bed-time for your phone, ideally a mix of both! Maybe, as you head back to work, you could choose to not use your phone on your commute? Instead how about you read a book or just look out the window? As you spend less and less time mindlessly doomscrolling you’ll find yourself better able to appreciate the world around you and have some time with your thoughts. You won’t just gain back time, you will gain back peace of mind – we guarantee it.
#2 Adopt analogue activities
As you continue your journey towards digital wellbeing you may struggle with what to do with all your newfound free time. The average adult (in 2017) spent 8 hours consuming media everyday. So, even if you only cut 1/8 of your time on devices, you’ll have a whole free hour daily! We suggest that you fill this hour with a productive analogue activity that you look forward to and which will keep those idle hands busy. Perhaps you could get into cooking? Or sewing? Or even puzzling? These kinds of activities will keep not only your hands, but also your mind busy – and away from tech. Choosing analogue activities from time to time will improve your digital wellbeing.
#3 Put friends before phones
Connection is a vital part of the human condition. We need support from our family, friends and colleagues to get through the day. So why is it that when we are meeting our loved ones or spending time with them, we’re often distracted by our screens? 47% of families admit to using phones at the dinner table and 36% of children say that their parents are often too distracted by scrolling to pay attention to them. Don’t phub (phone-snub) your loved ones. Choose to turn your phone off, or at least put it away, when you are with those who matter.
#4 Go green
A great way to stay offline is to spend time outside. Most devices don’t work quite as well in the fresh air, due to poor wifi and hard-to-read screens. It should help if you’re encouraging other family members to join you on the path to digital wellbeing. Being outside for just 2 hours a week can give a huge boost to your physical and mental health. Why not replace your unhealthy time online in the evening with a quick 15 min walk, or a quick stretch in the garden (if you have one)? It will do you the world of good.
#5 Stop counting
Finally, we really want to encourage you this summer to stop counting everything. Stop tracking your sleep, stop counting your steps, stop monitoring your heartbeat. Just be. Go with your circadian rhythms. Technology has taken over every part of our life from food to sleep to each and every kind of movement. Instead of tracking everything in an app; listen to your body. If you feel lethargic, eat differently, or move more. The unhealthy obsession with quantifying every part of our lives is keeping us from the mindful and intuitive lifestyles that will make us happy. Stop counting!
Focus on improving your digital wellbeing moving forward but remember there are no hard or fast rules. Pick whichever tip suits you best and have a go at incorporating it into your life. We wish you the best of success in your summer liberated from screens.
For more strategies on how to deal with phone addiction, and interviews with people from all walks of life talking about their relationship with tech, check out our podcast “It’s Complicated”