Our phones are often the first thing we reach for in the morning, and the last thing we look at before going to sleep.
And throughout the day, we’re constantly flicking between screens. Whether it’s tablets, computers, TVs or smartphones, the blue light of technology never seems to be switched off.
Singer Alicia Keys tries to combat this ‘always-on’ mentality by having one device-free day a week. It’s not always easy to be without your phone though. In an interview with Allure Ms Keys said: “Last night, my kids were in bed. I was sitting on a couch and I was like, ‘What should I be doing? Should I be doing something? Listening to music? Writing in my journal? I should be doing something.’ That idea of sitting with yourself is just not something that we’re taught.”
We’re so dependent on our devices that cutting them loose – particularly for a whole day – is no mean feat. If you are considering a digital detox, it’s worth building your way up to it – maybe ditching the screens for a few hours before attempting a full 24 period.
The prospect might be daunting, but why should you try going device-free for a day each week?
1. You’ll have more free time
It’s scarily easy to sit on the couch and start scrolling, only to find two hours have passed without you even realising it. Social media has the power to suck up your free time. Do away with the temptation of checking Twitter and you might find yourself with a bit more time on your hands to devote to a new hobby – or you could just sit and practise being with yourself.
2. It might improve your sleep
We all know we should probably switch our phones off an hour or two before bed, but who among us actually does it?
Research suggests excessive technology use “may lead to several sleep problems”, so limiting your screen time, even just one day a week, could have a positive impact on the quality of your sleep.
3. It could help improve your work/life balance
Particularly if you’re now working from home, or spending a lot of time at home, work/life balance can seem unattainable. With your kitchen transformed into your office, it’s easier than ever to finish up work outside of your normal hours.
Taking a day off technology at the weekend might help improve your work/life balance and reduce the temptation to check your emails.
4. You might feel less stressed
With our phones perpetually in our hands, we’re pretty much always connected to the news – and this can be exhausting, particularly if you find world events triggering.
Taking a break from the overwhelming news cycle might just reduce your stress levels, and help you feel a bit more refreshed when you do switch your phone on again.
5. To combat tech neck
Tech neck is real – whether it’s due to being hunched over a laptop or peering at our smartphones, our muscles can feel stressed from being tipped over for long periods of time.
Ditching tech can provide a chance to reset your neck and shoulders – and you might even find you have time to do a bit of yoga or stretching, to help counteract any soreness from the rest of the week.
6. To prove to yourself you can do it
There are no two ways about it: ditching technology is tough. But successfully doing so – even if you fail the first few tries – will prove you’re not entirely dependent on screens, and with that comes a real sense of pride.
Do you track how much time you spend on your devices? What would you do with that extra time each day?
– With PA
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