Thursday, 01 Feb 2018
Why you should consider a digital detox
By Dr Becky Spelman
As a regular user of social media and a person who has to use my laptop and phone constantly for work including Skyping many of my clients I have become really aware of the impact that being glued to my digital devices can have on me.
Communicating with friends on social media can be a lot of fun, and a good way to stay in touch with people in far-flung places, but it’s important to remember that nothing beats face-to-face interaction with the people we care about.
The challenges of a Digital Detox
No matter how busy you are, your emotional and physical health will both benefit if you schedule time with your friends in real life. But a real challenge is the fact that, nowadays, our mobile technology can accompany us everywhere. How often have you gone out to a pub, restaurant, or even a park, and seen groups of friends, or couples, or
families, physically together, but mentally removed from one another, as each person devotes their focus and attention to their mobile phone or iPad?
What can I do about it?
Nobody’s saying that we should dispense with modern technology completely, but how about setting yourself a weekly challenge, when you meet up with someone you care about, or perhaps a group of friends, and leave all the devices behind? Even better if you can make this date with reality also a date with nature: A walk in the forest or on the beach, a run alongside a canal or river, or just a game of frisbee in the park.
Spending physical time with people we care about, out of doors, and engaged in an activity that everyone enjoys, is good for us in more ways than we can count. Our serotonin levels increase, and we feel a genuine sense of well-being when we are having fun with our friends and can see their smiles and hear their laughter without a digital
Going cold turkey, even for a few hours, can be stressful for the technology addicted, so you might want to consider starting small. Have some mates over for dinner, and get everyone—including yourself—to turn off their phones and leave them in a bowl near the door for the duration of the meal, or pre-arrange to meet up at a park, and leave the phones at home. You may find yourself endlessly patting your pockets at first, checking for a device that isn’t there, but you’ll adjust, and soon rediscover the joys of a technology-free life, at least for a little while!
Who can I speak to about getting a Digital Detox?
If you would like more information about how a digital detox works, you can contact one of our therapists at the Private Therapy Clinic for a free initial chat.