It’s hardly a secret that the majority of us spend most of our days with our phones in hand, or our eyes glued to a computer screen. But while days without the ability to Google your burning questions or Instagram your lunch seem like an unimaginable thing of the past, the occasional break from any and all things tech can have a pretty positive impact on your mind, body, and overall wellbeing. Whether your digital detox a couple hours long, an entire Sunday, or (for the truly committed) a whole week, the break from your phone, computer, tv, and other devices is sure to offer up some major benefits. Here are just a few of the ways the digital detox is sure to improve your life.
Your relationships will get a lot a stronger.
It makes sense that when you start communicating less with people through text and messaging apps on your phone that you’ll start to communicate with them more in real life. And with that switch to in-person conversation, you’ll find yourself connecting with the people in your life – friends, family, coworkers, etc. – on a way stronger and more personal level than you were before. There are even studies to suggest that too much time spent watching tv shows or movies – i.e. too much screen time – can lead to the development of parasocial relationships with fictional onscreen characters, which makes your real-life relationships even less substantial as a result.
You’ll get a better night of sleep.
Research has shown time and time again that too much not-so-quality time with your phone – and the likes of things like social media – tends to lead to spikes in you anxiety levels. And it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that when you’re anxiety levels go up, the ease with with you can doze off tends to go down. You’re also sure to feel more comfortable in bed at night when you start spending less time hunched over a laptop screen or with your neck staring down at your phone during the day.
You’ll start to live in the moment a lot more.
Think about it: how much of your day is spent in a kind of disconnect from what’s happening around you while you scroll through your Instagram feed or peruse Facebook? Chances are, it’s a lot. But taking the time to break away from your phone, your computer, or any other devices that might be distracting you is one of the simplest ways to ensure that you become more in tune with everything, and everyone, around you. You’ll suddenly find yourself struggling less with FOMO – a break from Instagram means no time to compare yourself being stuck at home to your friend’s vacation to Greece – and embracing a bit of the lesser known JOMO, or joy of missing out, which is all about taking things slow and enjoying the present moment to the fullest. And mark our words: the more that you start to embrace living in the moment sans technological distractions, the more you’ll crave that tech-free connection to the world around you from time to time.
You’ll start to appreciate the technology a lot more.
Consider this a practice in gratitude, my friends. The reality of how – or rather, how often – we use technology nowadays has taken us to a point where we basically take our phones and computers for granted on a daily basis. But taking even just a day (better yet, even longer, if you can) away from any and all screens will help you develop more of an appreciation for them the next time you hop on your phone or turn on the tv. Not to mention, the break will help you become more appreciative of the things you truly need your phone for – let’s face it, Google Maps and phone calls are modern day essentials – while allowing you to recognize the value in putting the phone down for things that don’t call for screen time (i.e. a coffee date with a friend where staring at Instagram just isn’t that big of a necessity).
You’ll suddenly find it easier to make other big changes in your life.
Less time spent mindlessly on the internet or watching tv means that you can spend more time thinking about more substantial things that you want to get done. Without the distractions to consume your mind and time, you’ll suddenly find that your mind is able to process and think through things a lot more clearly on a regular basis. Been thinking about a career change? The digital detox may give you the clarity you need to sit down and map out what you need to do and when you need to do it to achieve your professional goals. Have you been frustrated with the direction that your physical health has been going in? Breaking from the internet and from your phone can help you make working out and meal planning a priority. Whatever changes you’ve been hoping to make, the break from technology ultimately helps clear your mind so that you can focus on making those changes a priority.