Switching Off TO Switch On By Hannah Holt

,
30

How often do you think you check your phone? I am afraid it’s more than you think, we spend on average 3 hours and 15 minutes on our phones every day. That’s 49 days per year!

We have technology making us accessible 24/7/365 reachable on multiple platforms, so it’s no surprise we find ourselves exhausted, if we are always
connected and never switched-off.

But true wisdom, real experiences and joy won’t come through those technologies. The first stages of the Internet were about data, but now we have plenty of data – in fact, we’re drowning in it and all the distraction we could ever hope for. Technology has been very good at giving us what we want, but not always what we need.

What we need to do is limit our use of technology because it is blamed for the rising levels of stress and anxiety in both adults and teenagers, who are controlled by their smartphones and social media. Because of this, there has been a rise in the number of people who choose to switch off to take a break, that use the ‘do not disturb’ function on their devices, so that they can experience life not through a screen, but first hand.

SO HOW CAN WE SWITCH OFF?

Essentially, a digital detox means disconnecting from your phone, your laptop, your emails and anything else that buzzes or pings, for a specified period of time. How long for is up to you, but we recommend you start small, find what works for you but essentially practice and repetition allows you to form new habits, that in time will become second nature.

WILL A DIGITAL DETOX REALLY
MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

The debate around a digital detox might be ongoing, but the research proving that it is beneficial, is overwhelming. There is also evidence to suggest that taking a break from social media has positive effects on our well-being, our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive.

If you’ve got the willpower, there’s no reason why you can’t delete your apps and switch off your device at home. If that sounds too drastic, try putting your phone on airplane mode so you can focus. Or at the very least, disable push notifications and put your phone on silent.

If that is still too harsh, try leaving your phone in your bag when you are out for dinner with friends, read a book on the train instead of scrolling through instagram, or go for a walk at lunch handset free. You will be amazed what you take in around you when you have your head up, not down.

To take it one step further, some people are opting for digital free holidays! If your first words when checking in to a hotel are “can you tell me your WiFi password?” then it is a sure sign that technology is hampering your hard – earned time out.

There are many digital detox holidays to choose from, with some hotels even rewarding you for leaving your smartphone in a locked box at reception.

I know what you are thinking… “It can be a little bit too much of an ask to switch off from social media, and downright scary to not be contactable. However, you will soon realise that the world doesn’t fall apart if you don’t respond to your emails within a day. Life goes on and remember everyone is concentrating on living their life and not wondering where you are with yours!