Do you look at your phone as soon as you wake up? Do you watch your phone, tablet or ipad on the commute to work? Do you find yourself relaxing in front of your laptop or TV at home most, if not every evening? If you answer yes to any of these, it may be time to give yourself a digital detox. But don’t worry you’re not alone.
In fact, a recent survey found Aussies are spending more time in front of screens than the amount of time spent sleeping. What’s more alarming, the nation on average spends more time on screens than time spent eating, commuting, exercising and getting ready for the day combined!
More than one third of each day – 9.4 hours – is being spent in front of a blue light emitted from screen, which equates to 143 days of the year.
If you’re like the 58% of Australians who express concerns about health and wellbeing impacts from the amount of screen time they experience, then we are happy to share with you five simple ways to lessen your digital intake (we said simple, not easy!):
1. Let your friends know your online presence and phone activity may be a little unusual this week. Prepare those in your digital life and set expectations. It’s a great time to share with them what you’re doing and why. Perhaps you can encourage your friends to join you on the digital detox, then you can support each other and make everyone involved accountable.
2. Get yourself an alarm clock. Remove the phone from your bedroom; leave it in the kitchen or living room. This will help you limit the time spent on your phone in bed both at night and in the morning.
3. Delete all social media apps from your phone; check these only from a desktop computer. This will help you resist the urge to check social media during a meal, especially meals with family and friends.
4. For the commute to work, grab yourself a real book, newspaper or magazine and get your fingers ready to flick some pages.
5. This might be the toughest one yet, re-learn how to entertain yourself. Or better yet, try simply quieting the mind. Meditate without the help of an app. It doesn’t have to be for long, just a few moments throughout your day. Perhaps you could close your eyes and try breathwork, which we wrote about here.
Regardless of how many of these you can achieve, make sure you are giving them a go for at least one week. It may feel a little scary at first, but a digital detox will force you to connect with others and with yourself, which sounds a lot better than a like, share or comment, don’t you think?