Smartphones, tablets, and laptops have recently become major parts of everyday life. With a wide range of apps for pretty much everything, you can live your entire life through your phone nowadays. From apps to help us cook, monitor fitness, capture pictures, and map the best routes through our cities there really is an app for everything to make your life that bit easier.
But at what cost?
While smart devices, modern technology, and apps are designed to improve your life; are they really? Would disconnecting from your technology and reconnecting with life actually improve your well-being?
It may sound like a foreign concept but there are a wealth of benefits that can be derived from a digital detox and shunning technology for a week or two.
Do You Need A Digital Detox?
You may not be aware of this but the technology found in smartphones can actually have a physical effect on your body as well as time spent online affecting your mental health:
- The blue light on the screen of your smart device encourages brain activity meaning that spending time on your phone or tablet in the evening can make it much harder to fall asleep at night.
- Once you do finally fall asleep, your brain being over-stimulated can prevent you from falling into the deep sleep cycle which is paramount for good rest. Not sleeping well can have detrimental effects on your mind and body.
- Being addicted to checking social media apps on your phone can hurt your confidence, self-worth, and your overall mental health. Unrealistic representations found online can make you feel bad about your own life.
- Smart devices may have made working on the go easier but never being able to step away from work can also hurt your mental health.
A digital detox can help both your body and mind recover from long work hours and social media’s input into your life. Living a more mindful existence in the present rather than on your smart device is ultimately going to improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
This will impact the rest of your life as you can process your choices and actions with a clear mind.
Live For Today
If you always have your phone or tablet in your hand then you’re more than likely missing out on the important things in life. Interactions with friends, family and the simple wonders of the world around you can pass you by as you stare mindlessly into your gadgets.
How many times do you sit in a restaurant and look around and see at least one person on every table looking at their smartphone? When did this become the norm?
Digital detoxing will help you to live for the moment and engage with those around you. Encourage friends and family to put away their mobile devices and share some proper interactions without the constant distraction of work emails or social media apps.
If you have children, give them your full attention rather than them competing with your smart device. Kids don’t ask for much and spending time with your child will not only make them happy but it will give your mood a boost as you enjoy the simple innocence and joy of a child’s mind.
The Cost to the Environment of Always Being Online
You may think nothing of having to charge your smartphone or tablet several times a day. It has become so ingrained in our daily lives now that just plugging it into the wall is second nature. Most people charge overnight, a full 8 hours or more, as well as topping up their battery several times a day.
While this may now be second nature, what impact is it having on the world around us?
Every time you need to charge your mobile device or laptop you are using electricity to do so. Not only are your electricity bills going to be on the rise but so is your impact on the environment. You wouldn’t leave the TV on all night or all the house lights but many people think nothing of how long their phone is on charge for.
Going on a digital detox and restricting, or altogether abandoning, the use of smart devices will see you cut down your electricity usage by a considerable amount. Now imagine if you could get everyone in your house to do the same!
Make a pact with your family and even friends to ditch the devices for a week and see how much your household electricity usage comes down. Then perhaps organize a meal out with the money you save, without the phones, to spend some quality time together.