Advancements in technology have brought the whole world to our fingertips with a simple tap or swipe on our smartphone, tablet, iPad or laptop. With these technological advancements come a plethora of conveniences, such as a portable satellite navigation systems, the ability to communicate with friends and family all over the world 24/7, and of course Google, which can now settle any disputes between friends, regarding the accuracy of information!
The problem is that though advancements in technology have opened the world up, for many of us it has also somehow closed it in. I can’t even remember the last time I went out somewhere public and didn’t see at least one person glued to their phone, and yes, I admit it, sometimes that person is me!
There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the technology that has become available to us, it is convenient, informative and also at times very entertaining. It only becomes a problem when spending time on our phone takes over, disrupting our social life and our health!
Do you find your sleep is being disrupted as you stay up later on social networking sites? Or perhaps you simply txt your friends instead of meeting up? Maybe you prefer to look at cat videos in your lunch break instead of getting up and going for a walk?
If this sounds a little like you, then perhaps you should try one of these digital detox challenges:
Set yourself a cut-off time from staring at a screen each day - This includes TV, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Allow yourself at least an hour before bed so that you can properly prepare for an evening of restful sleep. Not only does your mind need time to wind down, the light from the screen interferes with the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing sleep.
Set yourself an internet free day each week - Go on, you can do it! You can take advantage of this day and organise something fun and social, or get out and explore nature!
Opt for a workout instead - Have some free time to sit around on Facebook or Youtube for half an hour? Why not do a quick workout first/instead? Trust me when I say both your body and mind will thank you for it.
- Practice mindfulness - Next time you absentmindedly reach for your phone to surf the internet or jump on social media, why not practice a mindfulness technique instead? You can do an actual meditation or simply focus on your surroundings, your body, your breath, and your thoughts.