Do You Need A Digital Detox?

If You’re Spending Too Much Time In Front Of A Screen And Suffering Tech Burnout, Consider A Digital Detox.

If You’re Spending Too Much Time In Front Of A Screen And Suffering Tech Burnout, Consider A Digital Detox. Many of us have seen our working days lengthen since our homes also became offices last year. Add in to that the constant urge to check news headlines to catch up on the latest developments surrounding the pandemic or visit social media pages to see what friends are up to, while also scheduling various virtual catch ups with loved ones. Tanya Goodin, founder of digital wellbeing movement Time To Log Off, has offered advice on finding the perfect tech balance:

Understand how persuasive tech works:

Persuasive Tech was designed in a lab in Stanford University in the 1990s. Behavioural scientists and attention engineers studied which tricks and tools could be developed to keep us clicking, tapping and scrolling on computers for longer. These techniques have been honed and developed further for smartphones. Don’t beat yourself up when you find it hard to put your phone down; it’s designed to be addictive.

Set boundaries:

The problem with the digital world is not that we’re using it, it’s that we’re using if for too long. In many cases we’re neglecting important aspects of our lives. Even in lockdown, partners complained their other halves have spent too much time on their phones in front of them. Setting clear boundaries around screen use is incredibly powerful.

Boundaries around time: Set specific times of the day or week where you’re not on your phone. They could be something like ‘I never check my phone until I’ve eaten breakfast’ ‘Sundays are screen-free’ or ‘after 8pm I log-off work email’.

Boundaries around places: Agreeing physical places where your phone absolutely doesn’t belong are a deceptively simple way of cutting back on idle screen scrolling. Meal tables and in the bedroom overnight are favourite locations to ban phones from. Bathrooms are particularly effective too. Be creative!

Deal with distractions:

Because of persuasive tech techniques, smartphones have the power to distract us. One study at Chicago University found that even if our smartphone is face down and switched off on our desk, its presence reduces our IQ by about 10 points.

You can switch off notifications, but really the single most effective thing is to leave your phone in another room. And don’t think hiding it in your bag or drawer is just as good. Those researchers at Chicago found that even if you can’t see it, if you know it’s in the same room as you, its presence still reduces IQ.

Use tech mindfully and meaningfully:

Keeping an eye on mindless screen use is one aspect of living healthily with tech. Making every moment that you spend on screen count is equally powerful. One study found that those who actively engaged on social media, through commenting and liking, were happier than those who scrolled through feeds without joining in. Set a clear intention for how your time on screens will benefit your relationships, your work, or things that are important to you.

This news was originally published at MSN.

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