Digital detox. What is it? A digital detox is a period of time when you refrain from using devices and technology such as smartphones, laptops and TV. It's a voluntarily withdrawal of screen time to become more focused, less distracted and present in "real life"
A digital detox isn't just for phone and social media addicts. UK adults spend an average of 8 hours 41 minutes a day on screens - that's more time than you're asleep. And we love sleep.
A media detox isn't about being unplugged from the world entirely, but instead about becoming more mindful of how we use our phones, computers, and other devices. You can digital detox for an hour, a day or in our case - 3 days is the perfect amount of time to be offline.
A digital detox means taking a break from technology
A digital detox is a (much needed) break from technology. It can mean anything from abstaining from social media to putting your phone away at dinner time. While the idea of taking some time away from our devices has been around for years, it's only recently become a trending topic due to the increase in social media anxiety and our ever decreasing attention spans. We all know it too - 62% of UK adults say they hate how much time they spend on their phone.
A digital detox isn't just to reduce anxiety or increase focus, but to change your perspective on how much time we spend looking at our phones and computers.
Your digital devices are messing with your brain chemistry and ability to focus
Technology is changing the way we think and feel. Digital devices are designed to be addictive, keeping us distracted so that we don't have time to focus on things that matter. 80% of us check our phones within 15 minutes of waking up. This is priming your brain for distraction, gets you hooked on dopamine kicks from notifications and gets your brain craving more and more throughout the day.
Our brains shouldn't be able to handle the amount of information coming at us through our screens every day. We've evolved over thousands of years taking in visual cues from our environment in order to navigate it safely and efficiently; this new way of interacting with technology doesn't leave much room for what makes us human: creativity, imagination and empathy. As our tech habits deny our brains important downtime, our ability for deep-thinking and maintained focus is reducing.
5 signs you might need a digital detox
You may not even realise you're addicted to your phone, but they're literally designed to keep you hooked (like gambling). Symptoms of social media anxiety and phone addiction aren't commonly listed commonly listed on health websites, but you may need a digital detox if
You feel anxious and pressure from your phone and social media
You struggle to focus for more than 10 minutes at a time
You feel unsatisfied and always feeling like you're missing out
Your productivity and energy levels are low
Feeling disconnected from friends and family IRL
Benefits of a digital detox
Taking a break from screens is good for your health. We're all aware that spending too much time on the internet or looking at our phones can be addictive (in fact 62% of UK adults say they hate how much time they spend on their phone).
Here are three reasons why taking a digital detox will benefit you:
- It helps you focus. It's hard to resist the temptation of checking messages, emails and texts when they pop up on your screen, it feels like we have to respond immediately. Taking a break from technology gives us more time to focus on what we're doing right now - whether that's work, conversation or reading a book.
It helps you sleep better. We've all done it - late scrolling through social media posts instead of getting ready for bed at a reasonable hour. A whopping 47% of adults miss out on sleep due to phone usage. Artificial blue light emitting from screens increase alertness and suppresses the hormone melatonin by up to 22%.
You'll connect with people, rather than wifi. More than half of UK adults admit that connected devices interrupt face-to-face conversations with friends and family.
Time for you to take a digital detox
There are so many benefits to taking a digital detox: improved sleep quality, sharper focus, reduced stress and anxiety, better human connections and boost to general happiness. It's not hard either - start with 30 minutes a day offline or take a 3 digital detox at a beautiful Unplugged where you can physically lock your phone in a box.