Do you need to do a digital detox?t

Font Size:

The digital age is an interesting paradox – we are constantly connected, yet more disconnected than ever. While it’s tempting to bemoan the rise of the machines, we have to accept that they’re here to stay. So, how do we strike a healthy balance? If you spend hours staring at a screen and twitch at the thought of losing your phone, it might be time to try a digital detox.

Switching off
Before deciding to (temporarily) ditch your devices, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions to assess your level of dependence – this will help you to create a game plan:

  • Do you check your smartphone first thing in the morning?
  • How often are you on social media?
  • Do you find yourself mindlessly surfing the internet just for something to do?
  • Have you ever had more than one screen open at a time? (e.g. television, computer, phone, iPad etc.)
  • Have you ever panicked when your device’s battery runs low?
  • Do you think you could last a day without digital technology?

Being constantly ‘plugged in’ affects the brain at a chemical level, creating an unsustainable reward cycle of instant gratification that has to be continually fed. Neuroscientists, psychologists and the medical community at large have documented the consequences of this trend, finding that it can:

  • discourage conversation and social engagement
  • reduce concentration, memory, attention span and productivity
  • suppress empathy and emotional communication
  • influence poor sleep patterns, headaches, anxiety and depression

Nasty stuff, right? While you may not be ‘addicted’, you will still likely find value from a tech break. However, proceed at your own pace – if you’re heavily dependent, try cutting back instead of going cold turkey. Here are some of the benefits of a digital detox:

1. Remember how to be ‘present’
With such constant stimulation, our brains don’t get any downtime. It’s no wonder we then experience cognitive problems. Try going for a walk, sitting in a café, riding the train … All without distraction from your default device. Just be in that moment. It’s a great reminder to be observant and engaged with the world around you.

2. Improved sleep quality and brain power
The bright light from digital devices affects the brain’s melatonin levels, which makes it difficult to fall asleep and achieve adequate rest. This has a roll-on effect to daytime concentration and energy levels. The solution? Switch off at least half an hour before bedtime. However, if you need to wean yourself out of this habit, try an app that filters the blue light from your screen at night.

3. Rediscover the art of conversation
Sometimes you just don’t feel like talking, and smartphones provide a convenient sanctuary, but there’s no substitute for a great conversation. Set yourself a challenge to talk to one new person for the week – in person – even if it’s only brief. You’ll feel better for it, and you never know who you may meet!

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


The benefits of a digital detox

Leon discusses the benefits of taking a break from technology.

Why spending time alone is good for you

We could all do with spending a little more time alone. Here are five great reasons.

Time for reflection

Many women feel constantly over-committed; juggling obligations.

Written by Louise Baxter


Total Comments: 1



continue reading

Health Insurance

Older Aussies with health insurance are being hit by rising gap fees

Did you know that out-of-pocket expenses for hospital treatments have risen by a whopping 5.1 per cent over the past...


Experts reveal the pros and cons of artificial lawn

There’s been a boom in artificial grass during lockdown, but horticulturists are urging gardeners to grow natural lawns to help...

Health news

Massive blood test trial offers hope of earlier cancer diagnoses

One blood test could detect 50 forms of cancers if the trial of a liquid biopsy undertaken by the British...


Being good at your job won't stop age discrimination

Jelle Lössbroek, Utrecht University How old you are could be more important to some employers than your experience, or your...

Centrelink News

Centrelink staff not ‘productive for customers’, report finds

A survey of Centrelink staff has revealed that staff feel pressured to meet performance targets, which often results in them...


The trends from 2020 that support a positive outlook in retirement

For most of us, the pandemic changed our lives in a big way. We were forced to dig deep and...


Consumer group finds discount service for seniors is a rip-off

Consumer group CHOICE has confirmed what the YourLifeChoices community discovered back in October, that the Senior Advantage discount program delivers...


How to keep grey hair looking healthy

Stroll down the hair aisle at any chemist and you’ll see box after box of dye stamped with the words...