Did you know that an average person has an astounding 7 hours average of screen time per day? When I read that I immediately checked my screen time on my phone – only a couple of hours. “Not too bad”, I thought to myself. But then I realised that I did not include the time I spent working, playing games, reading, and binge-watching Netflix on my computer. 7 hours makes perfect sense now! I urge you to reflect on your recent screen time too, do you think you reached 7 hours per day as well? Being glued to our screens has become the new norm – perhaps it’s time to consider unplugging.
Does a “Digital Detox” actually help?
Though it may seem daunting, taking a step away from our digital devices may prove to be an enriching endeavour. Taking some time off screens might help to:
- Improve mental health
Some of us may feel stressed and anxious from the digital information overload and constant notifications while some compare ourselves with what we see on social media, whether we realise it or not. Engaging in a digital detox allows our mind to relax and recover, and reduce our negative self-comparisons.
- Increase productivity
It is no surprise that our phones are brimming with distractions, as though to constantly pull us away from our task at present. Taking a break may help to reduce the urge to constantly check our phones, thus being able to complete our tasks more efficiently.
- Be in the present
Disconnecting encourages us to be more mindful and aware of our present moment, be it how the coffee seems to taste a bit more bitter today or your inner thoughts and feelings.
- Explore your hobbies
We may find ourselves with extra pockets of time in our day after disconnecting, providing us an opportunity to explore and pursue our interests, fostering personal growth and satisfaction.
Everything is online! How do I unplug?
Remember that doing a Digital Detox does not mean throwing out your devices and saying goodbye to your social media friends forever. It can be as simple as spending the first hour of your day not checking your phone. Here’s some steps we take when trying to change our own behaviour in psychology:
Step 1: Set goals
Set something clear and specific—this will help you keep track of your goals. For example, “Stop using devices 3 hours before bedtime” instead of “Stop using devices before bedtime”. Make sure to keep your goals realistic, as you may end up frustrated and demotivated when you struggle to achieve an impossible goal.
Step 2: Monitor yourself
Create a simple checklist to keep track of when you achieved your goals. It’s a good time to contemplate on why you may have not achieved your goals on certain days. Perhaps you may catch yourself spending a significant amount of time online-shopping every time you receive a notification from Shopee.
Step 3: Come up with a plan
Try strategies that may help to counter the problems in achieving your goals as identified in Step 2. For example, turning off your Shopee notifications may be a viable solution. Getting social support may be helpful for you too. Share your goals with a close family member or friend, and have them keep you accountable.
Step 4: Evaluate and maintain
How effective were the strategies? Did you manage to consistently achieve your goals? If so, how can you maintain it in the long run? If not, it is time to reflect again and consider other strategies. Perhaps after a few weeks you may even find that the cons of this change outweighs the pros, and that this lifestyle is not for you. It is perfectly fine to revise your goals as there is no one-size-fits-all ideal screen time for everyone.
Still unsure about how to get away from your devices? Don’t worry! We are here for you. Join us on a weekend getaway, away from your devices, on our weekend digital detox retreat at beautiful Montigo resorts in Batam on 28th to 29th October 2023.
You will be away from your devices, experience the serenity of the surroundings, and be taught skills to bring you back to the present and truly immerse in the beauty of life. Click here to sign up.