5 Good Reasons to Introduce Regular Digital Detox into Your Life
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If you think the entire world might just blow up if you took one second to go off the grid, here are five good reasons to introduce regular digital detox into your life.
We are trapped in the endless ocean of information. From our cellphones to laptops and televisions, it is practically inescapable, but not necessarily as bad as it sounds. After all, information technology, the internet of things and accessibility of knowledge now lies at the tip of your fingers .
Although it can become very easy to get trapped in an endless cycle of checking emails and mobile notifications, we all need some time off the endless slideshow of binge watched shows, social media, and other apps. So if you’re looking for a reason to unplug and get away from it all for a while then read on!
1. You will be calmer
This is your mind on a slideshow of LCD screens – a cluttered mess of half-finished thoughts and semi-forgotten sentences. This new strain of electrical white noise that rattles in your mind seems like a rush hour that doesn’t show signs of stopping. If you take a close look at the effects of this inescapable part of your lifestyle, it garners immediate benefits – something along the lines of satisfaction, (illusory) self-worth and small dopamine influxes in your brain.
However, in the long run, the effects are far more detrimental and they can even be physical. For starters, due to the constant bombardment with information, most of it superfluous, the state of anxiety and agitation become the norm for your body. Over time, this can cause the rigidity in your musculature which can lead to a development of postural disorders. In addition, due to the increased anxiety, there is a greater chance you will get allergies or, if you already have existing allergies, see the noticeable increase in symptoms.
If you take your time to do a proper digital detox and occupy yourself with physical activity and other tasks, you will definitely notice one pretty big change – you will become calmer. As your metabolism gets used to the absence of intrusive screens, you will discover the patience for the mundane in the best possible way. This can be especially useful when you stand in lines.
2. You will be more efficient
In addition to the newfound patience, you will also finally find time to micromanage your life in a very efficient way. For one, your calmer mind will be focused on finding solutions for immediate problems as the concern for the physical environment that surrounds you increases. People who decide to do a digital detox show a staggering increase in cleaning activities, and during that period, their living space can be impeccable.
The same goes for all those little tasks and pesky jobs that were always in the back of your mind, yet you never got around checking them off the list. In all honesty, there is always at least a single task that waiting to be solved, yet it never appears to be important or big enough to warrant your full commitment. Well, when you spend too much time glaring at the screens, these small and seemingly banal tasks tend to compile.
After a while, they can form a mountain of obligations that begin to influence the quality of your life. Here is where the additional layer of problems lie – if not tackling these tasks makes you feel guilty, there is a great chance you will immerse yourself with social media or other vacuous fun (binge watching shows or playing video games) to drown out the guilt. If you took a week off the purposeless screen staring, you are guaranteed to get more things done in that week than you would have in four months or even six.
3. You will rediscover reading and writing
There is a famous quote from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies […] The man who never reads lives only one.” Unfortunately, one of the side effects of the digital age is the fact that it encourages instant-gratification, which usually excludes the “arduous” process of reading long-form prose. We are addicted to bombastic article titles and cheap hooks. It has become so easy to simply scroll through a bunch of superficial information and create hollow opinions.
It might sound funny to an adult who was not born into this brave new world, but reading books is turning into a lost art. Now, one can argue that the ownership and handling of books has actually become easier due to digital copies, but we all know the truth – reading on paper and off the tablet screen simply isn’t the same, no matter how long you tweak those settings for an eye-friendly performance. If you embark on a digital detox, pick a hardcover or paperback edition of a book and enjoy reading it before bed. Take a chance to live one more life through the pages.
Furthermore, if you get the chance, recapture the magic of those high-school years by getting a nice pen and a nice notebook. Writing a journal every night before sleep will help you form thoughts and opinions better. A “dear diary” session, marked down by a hand after a relaxing reading session can be a perfect way to end your day.
4. You will rediscover nature
Did you know that thirty minutes among the calm greenery of the woods and tall grass boosts your immunity significantly? Humans have spent thousands of years surrounded by nature, yet we forgo this privilege in order to look at pictures or recordings of it.
Do you want to see tall grass swinging in the breeze in killer 4K? Then why not just collect your family and friends and go straight to the nearest park? If it’s too far for a bike ride, using a car may be necessary, but a grand patch of greenery is usually not so far that you cannot put your foot to the pedal and enjoy the wind in your hair as you work your muscles.
If you have enough time on your hands, you can even organize a picnic. The chirping of the birds and the sudden influx of Vitamin D under the warm embrace of sunshine can heal both mind and body. This wonderful experience is not necessary for a digital detox, but it can be a welcoming part of it.
5. You will appreciate family and friends more
This is by far one of the biggest perks of digital detox – you begin to rediscover your appreciation for family and friends, and meaningful conversations. There is one specific pattern of behavior of people hooked on their main digital apparatus – which is in most cases a touchscreen phone.
Here is a situation you can probably relate to: Your friend agrees to meet you in person for a conversation or a plain hangout, and as soon as they arrive, they put their phone on the table. No matter what you are doing or where you are in the conversation, whenever the phone pings, their hand flies to see what it is all about. When your friend spends more time looking at the screen than you, it is not only disrespectful, but it also communicates you are not that important. It bears all the hallmarks of addiction.
Recommend a digital detox to the friend or a member of your family who does this chronically. Once you spend some time away from the screens, your appreciation for real people and eye contact increases and you won’t be able to relate to that person you were only a week ago – a person who appreciates a like more than a kind word.
Doing a proper digital detox is not easy these days. In fact, as you will encounter difficulties and irresistible urges to light up the screen, you will be forgiven for thinking we are living in a dystopian society governed by a constant encouragement to click away. However, in order to do whole nine yards of digital detox, you have to learn that the process begins within – the pressure to conform is an illusion as long as you are determined. As you get into the hang of the screen abstinence, you will be shocked at how efficient and productive you have become.
If you’re ready to take the digital detox plunge, then take it a step further and enrich your mindfulness break with a meditation retreat.