Digital detox: we cleanse the body of digital toxins

Detox or detoxification is the cleansing of the body from various toxic substances and stagnant metabolic products. But over the past couple of decades, the phenomena of the digital world have also been added to the list of things that pollute our body and mind. Social networks are addictive, the abundance of notifications weighs on the psyche, and the endless stream of information provokes anxiety. Digital detox is designed to combat this – that is, a complete or partial rejection of gadgets and the Internet. We figure out whether you need it, how to decide to put your smartphone aside and how to use the free time.

How do you know when you need a digital detox?

Here, as in the case of a regular detox, it is worth listening to your body. If you understand that you feel tired of the amount of information that gets into your life from the Internet, then this is the first bell. Watch out for those situations when you feel irritated, seemingly for no reason: perhaps the reason lies precisely in the fact that your brain is overloaded with various stimuli from the digital world and can no longer cope with stress.

There are also more indirect signs. Do you carry your phone with you when you move around the apartment? Are you comfortable walking down the street without headphones with music or podcasts? Do you grab your phone first thing in the morning? Does it happen to you that you close a social network application because you are tired of scrolling through the feed, and a second later you open it again because you are bored? Do you jump from headline to headline and don’t read the entire article even when the topic interests you?

If you answered yes to these questions (at least partially), the detox from the Internet and smart devices will definitely not hurt you.

Trying to organize a digital detox

If you decide that it is time for you to take a break from the virtual world and concentrate on the real one, then turn off your phone for a few days. Like this. It’s that simple.

In fact, this solution to the problem will really work. But not always and not everyone has the opportunity to remain without communication, even for a short period. Work, commitment, urgent tasks – all of this requires us to go online. A good reason to disconnect from the Internet and put off gadgets can be a vacation or a long weekend. A few days of isolation will help to put your thoughts in order and “reboot”.

But the effect of such a detox, especially if after a couple of days without the Internet, you suddenly return to your usual way of life, will be short-lived: after a couple of weeks you will start to feel tired again.

Therefore, it is better to approach the solution of the problem in a different, more complex way.

Digital detox by science

Most modern smartphones have a function hardwired into the operating system that keeps track of how much time you spend on certain applications during the day. Take the time that you spent on different social networks and services, add it all together – and you get the number of hours that you spend daily in a less efficient way. Just imagine what this time could be spent on: hobbies, meeting friends, playing sports, etc.

A simple and effective solution would be to simply uninstall all those apps that you think are negatively affecting your mental state and quality of life. But getting rid of social media and other apps for good is too harsh. Not everyone will be ready for this, plus all the same in the modern world to be completely without social networks is also strange. The latest versions of mobile operating systems allow you to set restrictions – the limits of the time that you can spend in a particular application during the day.

Set yourself a limit of 20-30 minutes for each social network per day: this is enough to check messages and the number of likes, as well as view the most important posts of friends. At the same time, you will not be tempted to flip through the tape until your finger hurts.

Another tip: limit notifications from those apps that you would like to use less. It is unlikely that you need your phone to signal every live broadcast of a blogger that you once subscribed to and have already forgotten why. You can turn off notifications from many applications completely, and leave only the most important ones for some. You will immediately feel that you have become calmer when the annoying “bzz-bzz” stops ringing from the phone every couple of minutes.

Getting rid of your smartphone

And no, not in the sense mentioned above.

Try to give up your smartphone on a regular basis: for example, make it a rule that you do not pick up your phone for an hour after waking up and two hours before bed. Your brain will thank you: the bluish glow of the screens makes it difficult to fall asleep, and the stress of diving into the news and messages in the early morning affects your ability to concentrate and stay efficient throughout the day.

Alternatively, don’t use your smartphone on weekends. In order to stay in touch at the same time, buy yourself the simplest push-button phone – one so that you can call your family or friends, or send them an SMS if necessary. You still don’t need any additional chips and bells and whistles: this is “against the rules” of detox. Any low-end mobile phone will do, for example, Philips Xenium E111 or Nokia 105. These phones are usually small in size, so they can easily fit even in the smallest purse or pocket.

Try to spend time usefully without a smartphone: visit interesting places, play sports, walk, chat with friends. This will make it easier for you to adapt to the new lifestyle-without-the-internet-and-gadgets.

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