It is official…based on several studies, we now spend on average at least one day per week (yes it means 24 hours!) online.
Of course the rise of new technologies, smartphones, engaging apps and games is one of the reason of this high rate of connection.
The increase is spectacular for smartphones which in 10 years, from 2008 to 2018, increased their take-up from 17% to 78%.
The results are actually so high that some reports starts to talk about “digital dependency” especially when we know that “40 per cent of adults look at their phone within five minutes of waking up”.
In this context, when talking about “Digital Dependency”, it is now natural to also talk about “Digital Detox” which can be surprising when we see how fast these new topics arrived.
So, taking into account the fact that we live in a highly connected world, why could it be interesting to do a digital detox ?
- Stimulate Creativity
While taking your phone drug off, you will actually have to reconnect to your external environment, which means that you will connect the dots of this environment and not only look at it through the prism of your device / apps / social network. Connecting the dots is part of the brain thinking process and simply foster creativity. When you are always connected, you are used to receive stimulations in a very passive way, even if you will reuse this information on social networks for example. But when being “phone-off” during some time, you will need to use only your own ressources to generate creativity and find your own solution.
- Improve relationship
While the benefits of technologies, especially social networks, is incredible, it is actually fundamental for Humans to have real social interactions. Sometimes, not answering with an email to go and meet the person directly is much more efficient and create a direct solid interaction.
- Better health through dopamine hit
A recent study showed that a lack of social relationship between people is connected to an increase in the factor of mortality for these people. We know that social relationships are important and are associated with a reduction of stress and anxiety. Another study shown that some groups of neurons, impacted by dopamine, are highly linked to the social interactions. During this study, the searchers discovered that “Social interactions are no doubt important for our mental health and play a role in conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. Interestingly, these disorders are also associated with dysfunction of dopamine neurons”.
- Take time for yourself
In an interesting article published by Frances Booth on Forbes, one of the main reason to do a digital detox was actually to take time for yourself. I find this very interesting in a time where we spend a lot of time connected to look at / share with others. But being off for some time can allow you to meditate and take an higher view on what you really want to do. It may be obvious, but if you honestly think to when is the last time during which you really took some minutes for you (and just for you;), you may be surprised.
- Spend qualitative time with your family / friends
Digital detox can be contagious, and it can actually allow you to spend real time with your family and friends. If you are offline, you will actually be more available for them, and you will also enjoy the moment. It does not mean that you can’t prepare a picture for your Insta, but you will manage to not spend the entire afternoon looking at your likes!
- To break the pattern of being always available and interrupted by beeping/pinging
One last reason to do a digital detox can actually be to break the pattern of being always available. Being connected, even sometimes over-connected, can give you the feeling of being more productive. In fact it puts you in a very action oriented mode and you also give the habits to your friends/colleagues that you are always on. Take a bit of rest, manage some moments when you are actually not available…because you will become available for something else, to relax, exercise…
This is the end of the part 1 of this quick guide on the Digital Detox. I hope you found it relevant! If yes, take some time off to reflect on it and some time on to share / comment it.
To be honest, I really enjoyed to write this article and actually I will take some time off to work on the part 2 and enjoy some nice moments in between!
As a teaser I can tell you that the part 2 of the guide will regroup 10 tips to get started with Digital Detox!
Stay tuned, but not over-connected, the part 2 will arrive soon!