As a blogger and copywriter, I can send a lot of time on my phone and laptop. I have to, it is my job. I can’t earn money if I’m not. As a result, though, I think I get ‘enough’ of it and don’t just aimlessly scroll through my feeds when I have some downtime. I schedule time for social media and try, as much as I can, to stick to it. When you are online for work, it can take the enjoyment out of it a little bit. Not always, but sometimes.
So I look for other ways to switch off. This doesn’t always happen, though. I’m on my phone in bed often too. I certainly think that it is addictive and something that we do need to monitor. A few bloggers that I know have screen-free days, usually at the weekend, to completely switch off from it all. Blogger or not, I think it is something we can all learn to do – take time out and have a bit of a digital ‘detox’. There are some reasons to start a digital detox too.
If you were going to do a juice detox or a tea drinking detox, it means giving something up. Whether that is ‘normal’ food for a few days or your phone before you go to bed. These kinds of detox are also there to make you feel healthier. Doing a juice detox can clear your skin, rid your body of toxins and even help you to lose a little bit of weight. So can a digital detox be good for your health?
It certainly can! Think about how long you are on your screens for? A lot of people are on them for more time in a 24 hour period than they spend sleeping in that period. That is a heck of a long time on screens and the damage to our health can be high.
There is a big link between using the internet a lot and depression. If you are online for several hours a day, you can be five times more likely to suffer from depression. It makes sense to me, though, especially if a lot of that time is on social media. It can leave people feeling down about their life and could affect their self-esteem. A study has also shown that the more you use your mobile phone, the more anxiety you will suffer with. The blue light of screens can stop us from sleeping and this is becoming more and more evident in teenagers at school. I recently heard in an article that teenagers that send text messages compulsively have a lot in common with compulsive gamblers. It is a truly addictive behaviour!
As a parent, I do know how important it is for us to monitor our screen time and usage. Our children look to us as examples and I can hardly tell my children off when they’re older, for using their phones late into the night, if I am doing the exact same thing.
Do you instil screen free time at home? I’d love to hear what you think about this.