We are forever connected to the Internet and social networks, and if we split more than two meters away from the mobile, we feel that we are missing a part of us. This dependence is real, and in the opinion of the experts, it is getting worse.
We depend on screens for everything: in the field of work, with emails, the agenda, Google to solve every doubt …, and during our leisure time, with WhatsApp groups, Facebook or Twitter updates or uploading everything what we do in the form of photos to Instagram. But we must prevent technology from taking over us because abuse of it can cause damage to physical and mental health.
A solution that can be effective to reset, unhook before it becomes an addiction, establish new habits to make a digital detox, which consists of a total temporary disconnection of electronic devices to learn how to make responsible use and reasonable of the technologies.
How to know if you need a digital detox
The best way to see if you need a digital detox is to stop and think about your daily habits regarding the use of new technologies. Some of the signs that may indicate that your body needs a break are visiting social networks more than ten times a day, that is the first thing you see when waking up and the last thing to go to bed, that you answer work emails outside of your workday, or that you can not stop checking the phone when you go down the street or are with other people.
If you feel identified with this type of behavior, it is time to consider a digital detox. This does not mean that you do not have to use your mobile or other electronic devices anymore, but rather that you have to stop and start using them responsibly. Remember: the bad thing is not the use, but the abuse.
Adverse effects of the dependence on technologies
Being stuck on the mobile phone has severe consequences for our well-being. Among these adverse effects is the so-called text neck syndrome- a misalignment of one or more vertebrae caused by keeping the head tilted down for long periods of time-hand problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendonitis in the thumbs for the unnatural position that we adopted when holding the device.
To this we must add that the light emitted by the screens of the devices from a short distance can cause damage to the retina, worsening our vision. It also influences our circadian rhythms, since it is proven that handling electronic devices before sleep deteriorates the quality of sleep.
But the psychological consequences are even more critical, and that is people who do not leave the phone have higher levels of stress and anxiety than those who make responsible use of these devices. It is increasingly common for friends to be left with several who do not take their eyes off the screens, something that in the long run can deteriorate social and couple relationships.
Social networks have generated a problem called in psychiatry as the factor of comparison and despair, which is to compare our lives with those we see in other people’s social networks, which seem perfect. That is when we judge ourselves, which can generate anxiety and even a problem of low self-esteem.
10 Tips to Break Your Technology Addiction
Getting rid of your mobile phone, your faithful companion is not an easy task. To make this process more enjoyable and productive, here are some tips to start your smartphone detoxification :
- Set your time for digital detox: This will depend on the level of dependence on the mobile, although it is recommended to last between three days and a week. In this way, the person can completely disconnect and start good habits. Ideally, do it during a vacation.
- Establish schedules: In many cases, for work or personal reasons, you can not be without a phone, so it is best to establish a schedule in which it is allowed to look at emails and social networks. You can also choose to look for a weekday if you can completely disconnect, and you can do it by turning off the phone or putting it in airplane mode.
- Keep calm: It is normal that the first days you feel tempted to look at the phone and this will generate some anxiety, but over time you will see that it is not essential; it is best to take it easy.
- Search for partners: One way to get the best results and motivate yourself is to share the challenge with a friend, family member or partner. Remember to inform people that you are going to make this disconnection; this way they will be able to know the hours they can contact you, and you will avoid unnecessary scares or worries.
- Create some rules: Establish some rules, such as putting the phone in airplane mode when you get home; if you meet them, you get a reward, if not, a little punishment. It will motivate you to do well.
- Do things that you like: Find your hobbies and practice them, the only condition is that they do not have to do with technology. Go for a walk, practice running, yoga, reading, cooking, or painting, and if you think you do not have any hobbies, stop and think for a moment, sure you have it, but forgotten in the meantime byte.
- Avoid the mobile during meals: Keep the smartphone away while you eat, either alone or with a company. For this, there is a well-known game that consists in leaving all the phones stacked on the table in a meeting with friends, and the first one who takes it is the one who pays.
- Application cleaning: Think about the use you give each application and then assess if it is necessary. Uninstalling applications can help you more than you think; In addition to avoiding the bad gulp of seeing the great vacations of your friends while you are working, you will also get rid of minor notifications that distract your attention.
- Do not keep your mobile nearby: One way to avoid falling into temptation is not to have it close by. Therefore, avoid having your gadget close at work, during your time of disconnection, and while you sleep, because the luminescence of the screen and notifications can interrupt your sleep. An excellent way to carry out digital detox is to give the phone to another person during that period, so it will not be within your reach.
- Outside notifications: With the deactivation of the notifications with light or pop-ups of all the applications you will consult less the smartphone.
There are other options to make the digital disconnection, that is rural escapes in which mobile phones are prohibited, and in which explorers can only connect with nature. This is an excellent way to meet people, rediscover what we have around us, dispense with phones and computers, and realize that the important thing is that we control technology and not the other way around.
After spending the time of total disconnection, you will feel less stressed and more vital, you will improve social relationships, and you will feel more vital. But, to avoid relapsing into bad practices, it is essential to establish new habits in the use of the telephone to prevent the situation from recurring and thus protect our physical and mental health from the effects of the abuse of new technologies, a weapon with a double edge.