We can all agree that 2016 had been interesting. But now, everyone is looking towards a brighter future. In fact, you’re probably wondering what you can do for a good first step to a clean slate, a fresh start, and better you.
Lots of people start the New Year with a diet or sobriety of sorts. You might be patting yourself on the back right now because with your tee-totaling ways, plenty of green smoothies, and a dedicated yoga practice. But have ever thought about doing a digital detox?
We want to talk about a different kind of vice: your cell phone.
- 61 percent of citizens admit to being addicted to the Internet and their devices.
- 33 percent of people admit to hiding from family and friends to check social media.
- The average American dedicates one-third of their leisure time to perusing the web.
Unplugging for just ONE day can give some users mental and physical withdraw symptoms. “Googling” something gives the seeker a rush of adrenaline by the implication of finding something new, so it makes sense why breaking an Internet habit is hard to do!
But there’s good reason to abstain from the Internet for periods of time.
3 Reasons To Perform a Digital Detox for 2017:
1) High social media use can trigger an increase in loneliness, jealousy and fear, anxiety, and depression.
Listen up: 21 percent of British children feel their parents don’t listen to them properly because they’re constantly picking up emails, calls, or texts on their mobiles. About a quarter of more of American children on the other hand, report feeling ignored by their parents on Facebook.
2) Too much use of mobile devices before bed can negatively impact sleep.
Almost 95 percent of people use some type of electronics in the hour leading up to bed. Artificial light from screens increases alertness and suppresses the hormone melatonin, negatively affecting sleep, performance, and mood the next day.
More than 60 percent of employees report to using social media during the workday. The act of getting a Facebook notification – even if you don’t read it – is enough to severely distract you from a task. This might lead to some workers having to stay late on nights or having to work weekends.
3) Dwindling executive function becomes lacking as social media intake increases.
Think about the time you got a cell phone – it was probably around the year 2000, right? Back then, working attention was clocked at 12 seconds. 15 years later, it’s been timed at 8 seconds – less than a goldfish, according to a recent Microsoft advertising study!
Plus, we also don’t know the cumulative effect of EMF energy on our bodies, being so close to our devices all day. Some people fall asleep gripping their phone under their pillow, for instance. Many women even report carrying their phone around in their bra! NOT good.
Digital Detox: Make 2017 the Year of Mindfulness and Presence
Just like a January alcohol diet, let’s enlist our friends and family to pledge to four weekends of digital detox. Dig out your old cameras (that still work better than your iPhone 7) and your old-school alarm clocks (to keep the phone out of the bedroom) and let’s enjoy each other company.
Encourage device-free dinners. If you’re dining at home, make a centerpiece of all of the family’s devices and savor the food and family. The first one who breaks the rule has to do the dishes. If you’re out to dinner with friends, whoever reaches for the phone stack first has to pay the bill.
Retraining your brain is hard! Movement and meditation can help you improve focus and resist the urge to want to multitask. There is a number of “digital detox” retreats marketed at executives as a sort of adult summer camp, but they can be pricey. Plain old camping can bring the family the same kind of connectedness with each other and nature.
Getting away from all wireless signals can be freeing. Wellness experts say the act of “grounding” – that is, simply digging your feet into the fresh soil or sand – can be energetically healing.
When was the last time you read a good book from cover to cover? I know, right! Place that hardback on your night table and force yourself to reach for it in the last hour before bed. Your circadian rhythms will thank you.
Here’s to having the most present future yet! Bring on the New Year!