Digital Detox - Part 1

In our hyperconnected world, there’s a Fear Of MIssing Out that is driving our digital addictions. It starts innocently enough… Just signing up for Facebook to keep up with your cousins who live out of town, then Instagram to keep up with what your kids are doing, and before you know it, hours and hours of each day are spent online, scrolling, swiping, liking, and favoriting. When do you know it’s taken over your life? And, are you thinking that a Digital Detox may be in order for a New Year’s resolution for you and your family?

What Is A Digital Detox?

A Digital Detox is basically “disconnecting to reconnect.” It means switching off all smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, and any other devices for a certain length of time. It includes not answering emails or text messages, not checking your push notifications, and enjoying some screen-free time doing whatever it is you enjoy doing (that ISN’T on a screen!). A Digital Detox gives you the opportunity to rest your brain, recharge your spirit, and truly reconnect with the people in your life. It’s not just about unplugging your devices, it’s about plugging back into your real life.

How Do You Know If You Need A Digital Detox?

Research shows that we check our smartphones around 150 times per day, in a fear of missing out of something happening somewhere else.

To figure out if it’s time for a Digital Detox for you (or maybe a friend or family member), think about these questions:

About Your Phone / Devices:

  • Do you lose track of time when you’re on your smartphone?
  • Do you get frustrated with spending so much time online, and accomplishing little else at work or at home?
  • Does being away from your phone make you feel agitated or stressed?
  • Does the thought of shutting down your phone / device for any extended amount of time make your pulse go rapid?
  • Do you go into panic mode if your phone dies?
  • Do you find yourself responding to emails, text messages, or instant messages constantly throughout the day or night, never truly taking a day off?
  • Is there any time in your day where your devices are off-limits?
  • Do you check your phone (or other technology) during meals? Does it sit on the table during meals?
  • Do you get agitated or angry when you’re interrupted while checking your phone?
  • Do you sleep with your smartphone next to you in bed or on your nightstand? Do you charge your phone before going to bed in case you get a late-night text?
  • Can you drive or be in the car without checking your phone? Even at red lights?
  • Do you mindlessly check for updates just out of habit? Does seeing the blinking blue light signaling notifications make you drop everything else?
  • Do friends/family ask you to put down your smartphone? Is this occurring frequently?

About Your Social Media / Internet Usage:

  • Does reading your “friends’” social media updates or blog posts leave you feeling sad, anxious, or distressed?
  • Does social media make you feel negative about your own life or family?

About Your Relationships, Your Health, & Your Spare Time:

  • Can you have an in-person conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague without glancing at your phone screen?
  • Have your favorite hobbies or pastimes gone by the wayside because of how much time you’re spending online?
  • Do you read articles that you used to be interested in from beginning to end? Or do you just read the headlines, beginning paragraph and skim the rest because there’s too much to get through?
  • Do you suffer from dry, itchy eyes? Blurred vision? General fatigue? Back or neck pain? Headaches?

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Join us next week for Part 2 as we’re going to cover the benefits of a Digital Detox, tips for an effective Digital Detox, and some other useful information about Digital Detoxes. Stay tuned!

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Smart Girl Society, Inc., is an Omaha-based nonprofit working to educate and inspire Smart & Confident girls, women, & families. Through educational workshops, civil outreach programs, and technology & social media research, we work with girls, parents, & educators to authenticity on social media and in real life. We educate how to remain safe on social media and how to avoid becoming a target of sextortion. We also inspire action for students to focus on their personal brand development, leadership, educational opportunities, and healthy social skills. Interested in learning more? Check us out!


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