I scream, you scream, we all scream for less screen.
We're a generation that's overstimulated by devices pinging all around us. Most of us have considered going on a digital detox - that is, some time away from devices or certain apps. A digital hiatus is said to improve sleep, focus, and mental health.
In theory, a digital detox sounds great. But it's easier said than done. Most apps today are habit-forming and going cold-turkey isn't that easy. Nor is it useful. These devices are a part of the modern world. The need isn't to cut them out, but to learn to live with them better.
So instead of going COMPLETELY screen-free for a short period of time, we recommend a more 'sustainable' approach towards the classic digital detox.
Here is how you can make your digital cleanse more long lasting, and effective:
1. Ease into it
Don't go on deleting apps or locking up your phone. Start simple. Turn off notifications and set screen time reminders. Your phone actually can help you use your phone less.
2. Create tech-free times zones and spaces
This is basic. Chalk out certain hours through the day that are completely gadget free. As well as certain spaces in your house. Could be the living room, or the bedroom, or even the dining table.
3. Focus on what you're doing vs what you're not doing
The focus of going digital-free is not just to go digital-free, but to actually use that time better. Pick an activity you want to replace your screen time with. Reading, working out, crafts or even sleeping. Whenever you feel you are overshooting your screen-time, do that activity instead.
4. One app at a time
If you want a social media cleanse, go one app at a time. This will make it easy for you to break that app's habit easily and you're less likely to succumb to temptation. You can also replace social media apps with more games, puzzles, reading apps so even if you're on a screen, it's at least not social media or bingeing.
5. Before you pick up your phone…
Ask yourself, what’s the purpose. If you’re picking your phone for a reason - Check time, write an email, buy groceries, then by all means go ahead.
If you’re picking your phone without anything specific in mind - just to scroll, watch something, you’re bored, then keep the phone back and find another activity. Turn off notifications from social media to avoid getting distracted.
6. Plan for it
A digital detox isn’t easy. You are going to want to hit the gram or binge - watch shows. So plan ahead and make sure you are ready with alternatives. Plan a day out with friends, join a class, find a walking track, get books, board games etc. The less ‘bored’ you are the more likely you are to stay away from devices.
Tell us your digital detox experience in the comments below :)