Do You Need A Digital Detox

Have you ever wondered if your digital use is just too much? Between Zooming with friends and family, checking social media, working remotely and consuming news manufactures on devices, information technology’s easy to feel sucked into your screens.

Simply when does information technology actually become a problem? And, if it is, how practice yous intermission abroad from it?

“The negative impact anybody worries about is dependent on how you utilise media, not how much,” media psychologist Dr. Pamela Rutledge explained to TMRW. “In order to effigy out what’due south advisable, you need to honestly evaluate what you lot use and why.”

She added that trends like digital detoxes (aka going cold turkey and cutting back on screen fourth dimension) won’t necessarily attain the event that people typically promise for if y’all don’t accept other important steps to ensure you have a good for you relationship with digital media.

Below, encounter 4 questions to inquire yourself about your digital use and observe out how you lot can really help yourself feel better well-nigh it if needed.

1. Practise you feel like you lot’re using screens likewise much, or are yous merely worried that you lot are?

Young woman lying on the floor at home with closed eyes
It’s not well-nigh how often y’all utilise digital media — it’due south about how yous employ it.
Westend61 / Getty Images

Rutledge suggests keeping a media diary for a few days, noting the appointment, time, platform, intention or purpose of use and how you feel. For case, you lot may enjoy watching a show as entertainment during a subway ride, just you feel bad about wasting fourth dimension checking social media to procrastinate.

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“You’re after patterns,” she said. One time yous have that data, you lot tin can come across whether you have a good balance of media consumption, what activities aren’t supporting your goals and which platforms make yous experience consistently good or bad. And that data can help guide you on what to cut back.

2. Is your media use keeping you from doing things you want or demand to practise?

Shadow Of Woman By Man Photographing On Wall
If your digital media employ is keeping you lot from piece of work or other things that you should or desire to be doing in real life, that’s a problem.
Anton Serushkov / Getty Images

Ever observe yourself losing rails of time online? It’southward mutual, said Rutledge. “The interactivity and rich content keep our attention.” She said this isn’t necessarily a bad sign, only if it’due south keeping you from work or other things that you should or want to be doing, then information technology’s a problem.

She suggests setting a timer when yous take a break to check social media. That way, if you become sucked in (which happens often!), you’ll be reminded to come dorsum to the real world.

3. Practice you feel sorry or bad after checking social media?

Woman scrolling through social media on smart phone at night
Feel bad when y’all cheque social media? Endeavour eliminating the platforms or people y’all follow who take this issue on you.
Jamie Grill / Getty Images

If you feel sad or bad near yourself after scrolling, Rutledge suggests that should exist investigated. “If you just detox without figuring out what information technology is that is triggering those feelings in you and then come up back from a detox and take upward all your previous activities, you volition nonetheless experience negative moods,” she explained.

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Identify what people or platforms are undermining your well-being (use the media diary mentioned in a higher place), and eliminate those from your consumption.

4. Is information technology merely heavy digital use or a real addiction?

Mobile phone by golden ball on wooden desk in bedroom at home
If yous recall you accept a true habit, seek assist from a mental wellness professional person. If you just need a break from screens, endeavour a digital detox.
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We hear the word “habit” all the fourth dimension in reference to heavy digital and social media utilize, just keep in listen that addiction is a specific mental health diagnosis with very specific criteria. According to Rutledge, this can include beliefs that is problematic in other levels of your life (relationships, chore, school), giving upwardly pastimes and passions, etc.

“Real addictions rarely occur with one thing going on (for example, someone suffers from addiction and depression). If someone meets the diagnostic criteria for habit, they should see a licensed mental health professional,” she said.

“Most of the time when people talk about social media addiction, they hateful heavy utilise or feeling similar their use is out of their control,” she connected. “Warning signs include compulsive checking, mindless scrolling, negative emotional responses from using technology and negative behaviors when non using technology, or being unable to think of something to do when you’re not using a device.”

If that’south what you’re experiencing, use the tips in a higher place to control your digital behavior and take more than residue. Rutledge also said that taking a few days with no technology can be a very positive experience.

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“Doing a detox with a group of like-minded friends tin be a very positive experience as everyone shares what it’s like for them and can laugh nearly how many times they checked their pocket,” she said. “Humor and social connection, like gratitude, changes our neurochemistry and triggers the feel-proficient neurotransmitters that improve our mood and make usa feel closer to others. These traits, in turn, increase our resilience and starting time the tendency to stress over FOMO.”

Do You Need A Digital Detox