Spring is a time to purge and clean! For many, Lent also falls in the Spring and is a time of sacrifice and self reflection. Do you feel that you don’t have enough time in the day? What would you do if you had another 2-3 hours per day? Would you read more, take up a hobby, meditate or pray, spend time with friends, exercise more or complete more tasks on your never ending ‘to do’ list? Spring is just the time to try a “digital detox.”
For those of us who are old enough to remember life before cell phones: we used to only get phone calls if we were home to get them. If we were out with friends enjoying our lives, we simply were able to live in that moment. We saw our friends, may have shared stories to catch up on friends and families afar, but we did so in person, not on social media. We may have compared ourselves to the nicely dressed person down the street, but we didn’t compare ourselves or our lives to the 200-300 “friends” on social media. Digital devices have slowly been introduced to our lives, but the risks may be greater than we realize.
Surveys and studies have reported an association between various tech and depression, anxiety, decreased attention and awareness and decreased marital satisfaction.
Here are some tips for a “light” digital detox:
1) Turn off “push notifications”-these are the notifications from Facebook and other social media sites, news sources, and other apps (such as gaming apps.)
2) Set limits on social media. Set a timer when you are on social media or even news sites. Many people underestimate the amount of time spent online. This helps you become aware of how much time you are actually spending.
3) Consider the downloading the app “Moment” to track how much time you spend on your device and compare that with what you thought you were spending. Moment can help you cut down on time spent online if you need it.
4) Schedule times to check and reply to emails rather than check at various times throughout the day.
5) Put the phone away at mealtimes. Talk to other family members about setting “no screen times” such as before 9:30 am, from dinner through bedtime and/or after 9:30 pm.
6) Use an alarm clock and keep your phone out of your bedroom.
7) Take up a non-screen based hobby or write down things that you would do if you had more time. Buy books or magazines that interest you. Plan to read or complete these hobbies with the new free time that you have.