Why should you simply do without your smartphone and tablet for a while? Digitalisation is an essential part of our lives nowadays. But the constant accessibility and distraction of social media can throw us off balance. That’s why more and more people are doing a digital detox regularly.
What is a digital detox?
We spend hours scrolling on our smartphones, checking our emails and hanging out on social media. A digital detox means consciously doing without exactly that for a certain period of time, i.e. simply switching off the smartphone, tablet and laptop for a period (a day or even a week) and going without digital devices.
This allows the mind and body to relax, you have more time for yourself again and can find inner peace and balance.
If this is too much for you, you can use a softer version of a digital detox, i.e. not completely going without digital devices, but simply using your smartphone, tablet, laptop and so on less, more consciously and more purposefully.
Whichever option you choose, there are plenty of reasons for a digital detox.
24-hour availability, being constantly online, messages all day via WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, email and numerous other messenger apps can take a toll. Whether via smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC or smartwatch – the more digital devices we use, the more stress it causes us.
By taking a break from all these tools and technologies, we can (re)focus on the essentials, relax and pursue the things that are really important to us personally.
Are you checking the news on your mobile, or streaming a video before falling asleep? This has become a habit for many. Studies show that it literally robs us of sleep when we use our smartphone, tablet or laptop before going to bed.
The reason? The bright display light inhibits the production of melatonin in our body – and we need melatonin to fall asleep. But even if we don’t use the smartphone or tablet and have it lying next to our bed, these devices can have a detrimental effect on our sleep and thus on our health. This is because smartphones, laptops and tablets generate electrosmog around the clock – even in flight mode or when they are on standby.
Digital technology can limit our creativity in the long run by restricting us to certain patterns and ways of thinking. Through a digital detox we can open our minds and bring forth new ideas.
Increasing physical and mental health
By taking a break from digital devices, we can do our bodies a lot of good. It is not only constant accessibility that causes us stress, but also the permanent electrosmog. WLAN, 5G and Bluetooth as well as all digital devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop / notebook, wireless headphones, smartwatch / Apple Watch, fitness watch, Alexa and many more) generate electrosmog even when we are not using them. Electrosmog therefore affects us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Improving concentration and productivity
We sit in front of the computer and try to be productive, but our concentration can leave much to be desired. Constantly checking emails, social media updates and messages on the smartphone can disturb our concentration and does not allow us to work effectively.
By detaching ourselves from the distractions of the digital world, we can better focus on our work again and are therefore also more productive. It’s probably better to use the time we normally spend with our smartphone to focus on our tasks and goals.
More Quality Time
A digital detox can be the key to more relaxation and free time. By limiting digital use, we win back time that we can use for other things. Instead of staring at our mobile phones for hours or scrolling through social media, we can relax, exercise, read or just spend time with friends and family. By detaching ourselves from digital distractions, we can be more intentional about our lives and focus on the things that really matter to us.
How can you digitally detox?
There are various measures that can be taken to perform a digital detox. Here are some ideas:
Anyone who has resolved to declutter their digital life and free themselves from permanent sensory overload should also consider how they can limit their access to social media. Because it is often the social networks that tie us up for hours in front of the screen and keep us from more important things. One way to restrict access is to disable notifications. This way you are not constantly distracted by new messages and can concentrate on your actual tasks.
It is best to set clear limits on the use of your digital devices. For example, you could define certain times of the day when you don’t look at your mobile phone or computer.
Setting fixed times when you use social media can also help to reduce consumption. And when having dinner together with your partner or family and friends, mobile phones should really be prohibited at the table.
Ban smartphones and tablets from the bedroom
Even if it is difficult, smartphones, tablets and so on have no business in the bedroom. Digital devices in the bedroom – even on standby – can have a negative impact on our sleep and thus on our health.
Mobile phones, tablets, laptops and all other digital devices should be removed from the bedroom and switched off completely overnight for maximum health benefits.
Leave the smartphone at home
Whether you’re doing sports, going for a walk, shopping or going to the mall – why not just leave your mobile phone at home? Isn’t it nicer to enjoy nature while jogging, cycling or walking?
And when shopping or going shopping, you can concentrate fully on what you wanted to buy without a mobile phone – without being distracted by calls or messages.
Avoid unnecessary use
Ask yourself which devices you really need and which you use simply out of habit. Try to do without devices that you don’t absolutely need, in accordance with the the motto: As mobile as necessary, as safe as possible.
Take an offline day
If you want to go one step further, you can choose one day per week on which you completely do without digital devices and gadgets. To do this consistently, it is best to switch off your smartphone, tablet and notebook, put your smartwatch in a drawer, switch off Alexa or other voice assistants and also put them away.
Try it out. The peace and quiet and the extra time it gives you are wellness for body and mind.
The benefits of a digital detox are manifold. The following are just a few of them:
When you free yourself from the constant overstimulation and distraction of digital media, you suddenly have much more time and energy for other things. You can concentrate on your hobbies, meet up with friends and family, do sports or simply relax.
This way you get to know yourself better and can focus on what is really important to you. A digital detox can also help you concentrate and focus better. This, in turn, can help you be more productive and achieve better results at work or in your studies.
Improving interpersonal relations
Digital technology can cause us to distance ourselves from our fellow human beings. By taking a break from technology, we can refocus on interpersonal relationships and build deeper connections.
Improving mental health
Digital technology can lead to brain overstimulation and contribute to poor mental health. A digital detox can help us focus on ourselves and our needs.
Spending time in nature
Regular outdoor sports, hikes or even just longer walks not only keep us fit, but also help us to recover and relax from technology. And what’s more, the fresh air is a natural cure for our lungs.
More time for meditation and mindfulness
Less time on digital devices means more time to try and incorporate meditation and mindfulness (e.g. through yoga exercises) into your daily routine. This helps to better cope with everyday stress and reduce the additional stress that digital technology can cause.
More time for reading (a book!)
Instead of scrolling through content on a digital device, there’s more time to read (an actual, analogue book!) This not only relaxes our eyes, but also our brain. And it provides a level of immersion and concentration which can be hard to attain on a digital device.
Have you got any other suggestions, or ways in which you already digitally detox, that you can share with others around you?