Signs It’s Time For A Digital Detox

By Jack Clark 10 months ago

What Is A Digital Detox?

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A digital detox is consciously deciding to spend less time on your electronic devices, like your phone or tablet. The majority of us spend way too much time on our phones and it can severely impact your overall quality of life if you let it get out of hand. A digital detox is where you avoid using your electronic devices for a specified period of time until you start feeling better.

How Do You Detox From Your Devices?

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People do this in many different ways, though the main ways are as followed: limit or eliminate your social media use, turn off non-essential notifications on your phone, set strict times for checking things like messages and emails and avoid using your devices before bedtime. By simply limiting your device usage, people see a serious improvement in their day to day lives.

Signs You Need A Detox - Constantly Checking Your Phone

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Do you find yourself reaching for your phone all time? It could be during meals with your family, whilst you're trying to do work or even when you're behind the wheel. Not only does this completely disrupt your day, it can pose a serious safety risk and it's a pretty sure sign you need a digital detox. Taking a step back from your phone can help you regain control of your life.

You Suddenly Feel Anxious

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If the mere thought of being away from your phone or devices sends you into a state of anxiety, it might be time to reevaluate your digital habits. Being overly dependent on technology can take a toll on your mental well-being, so consider setting aside designated device-free periods to help reduce the feeling on continuous and prolonged bouts of anxiety.

You Can't Focus

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Even for the most digitally-healthy people out there, phones are still a huge distraction. The best minds in the world work to make apps and social media as addictive as possible, so there's no way you can resist the urge to scroll mindlessly on your phone. The only way you can combat this is by leaving your phone in another room every time you need to give your focus to something.

Your Sleep Quality Decreases

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Using your phone or devices immediately before bed is one of the worst habits you can get into when it comes to your quality of sleep. At night time, the lights in our phones trick our brains into thinking that it is still daylight outside, and this makes it really hard to get into a state of sleepiness. Put your phone down a couple of hours before bed to help remedy your digitally-induced poor sleep patterns.

You Avoid Your Responsibilities

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A sign that a phone addiction has got serious is when someone starts completely avoiding their day to day responsibilities, either at home or at work, or both. A phone acts as a distraction from all the hard things that you might have to do in a day, and it is easy to fall into its trap. Try to take a step back and assess your priorities, and put your phone down for a bit.

You Feel A Sense Of Emptiness

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Feeling empty inside is a pretty decent sign that something isn't quite right. This can often be a symptom of depression and it is important not to ignore it and get help if you can. Occasionally, you can trace back your behaviors and work out what is creating the empty feeling and, if its your constant phone usage, it's time to start a thorough digital detox.

Your Neck Starts Hurting

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Back and neck pain riddles North America and a lot of it is to do with office work - slouching in a chair is terrible for your posture. If you find that your neck is starting to hurt after a long day of staring at screens, it's a good sign that you've been on your phone or devices way too much. Put your phone down, stand up and go for a walk to help alleviate some of the strain.

Your Real-Life Relationships Are Terrible

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When you become more addicted to your phone and social media, the more you start to prioritize the relationships that you have online. This inevitably has an impact on your real-life relationships and, before you know it, you can end up alienating a lot of different people. Relationships require work, and if you're finding that you're not pulling your weight, it's absolutely time to give your devices a rest.

You Lose Track Of Time

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Time flies when you're having fun, right? A modern update on this saying would be 'time flies when you're scrolling on your phone'. You can literally lose hours of the day by needlessly scrolling through endless, pointless TikTok videos. If you find that you pick up your phone and, before you know it, 2 hours have been and gone, take this as a sign to give yourself a digital break.

You Can't Remember The Last Day You Went Without Your Phone

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Phones and devices are completely ingrained into our lives now. In fact, for the most of us, our entire lives are woven into our phones. They have our credit cards, all of our photos, important documents - to lose your phone can literally feel like the end of the world. However, our phones are not us, and we should be able to separate from them without it ruining our day.

Your Productivity Levels Are At Zero

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Keeping productive can be difficult even without distractions. You feel like you have a million things to do and no time to get them done, and even the best productivity apps in the world can't seem to help. However, if you find that your phone addiction is ruining your productivity levels, it's absolutely time to put it away for a bit and try to get some work done.

You Get Jealous Easily

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Social media is filled with 'perfect' people. We can often get feelings of jealousy or inadequacy when we're constantly bombarded with pictures and videos of 'perfect' looking people, and we constantly compare ourselves to them. It can be hard to break this vicious cycle, but it's important to separate yourself from the 'perfect' world of social media, and your mental health will thank you.

You Can't Relax

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Gone are the days of getting in after work, eating a nice meal and reading an exciting book. We constantly need entertainment and stimulation, and we feel like we can't relax if we don't have Netflix, Instagram and Tinder up all at the same time. This is a lot of dopamine that is flying around your brain, and you need to take a step back and put the devices down if this is you.

You're Oblivious To Things Around You

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Whilst a lot of people are sensible enough to put their phones away when driving or walking, some people are just so addicted that safety goes completely out of the window. If you find yourself crossing a street without looking because you're too busy angrily replying to the latest Elon Musk tweet, then it's time to give yourself a lengthy digital detox.

You Get Easily Overwhelmed

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If you feel overwhelmed, it can be for a number of reasons. It might be that you've been put into an uncomfortable situation that you don't know how to deal with, or your boss is putting too much on your plate. However, if you find yourself getting easily overwhelmed after going on your phone, it's probably a sign that you need to kick the phone addiction.

You Can't Have A Conversation

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Having conversations with different people throughout the day is not only fun, but it's actually really good for our mental health (assuming that your conversations are positive and productive). However, if you find that you can't even hold a basic conversation without reaching for your phone, it's a sign that you need to come off of your devices.

You Prefer Virtual Experiences

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Not to say that video games aren't fun, or flirting with a new match on tinder isn't a good way to bring a little of excitement to your day, but when you find that your virtual experiences are more enjoyable and real-life experiences, it's a pretty good sign that you're addicted to your phone. It's easy to get lost in the fantasy of online experiences, but it's important that it doesn't inhibit your real life.

You Start Getting Headaches All The Time

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Staring at a screen all day can put a lot of tension on your eyes and your neck. The headache that is most commonly associated with overuse of a screen is a tension headache, and it's a nasty one to shift. It is where your neck as been straining all day from your screen-staring, and the muscles in your neck and scalp contract, creating a horrible headache that lasts for a few hours.

Your Creativity Takes A Nosedive

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If you find that your creative spark has dimmed and your imagination feels stagnant, it could be a sign that you've had too much digital exposure. A digital detox can easily reignite your creativity by freeing your mind from the confines of a screen. Try to engage in offline activities like art or writing, and you'll quickly find your creativity comes back.

You're Constantly On Social Media

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We've all been to a concert recently where it seems like no one is actually watching the performer live, but rather just taking a video on their phones. If you find that you're documenting your entire life on social media and posting different photos and stories every 10 minutes, it's probably a good sign that you need a social media break. Try to live in the moment and put down your phone.

You Can't Resist Checking Your Phone

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Do you find it challenging to resist checking your phone, even during crucial events or important meetings? This behavior not only affects your overall engagement but it can be perceived as rude to other people. During your digital detox, practice being fully present in important moments. By breaking the habit of constant device-checking, you'll strengthen your ability to focus on what matters.

You Lose Attention Easily

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If you notice your attention span has grown shorter, making it difficult to engage with tasks or long-form content, it's time to take a break from the digital world. Continuously exposing yourself to short-form content that is designed to distract you will be a huge contributing factor to your lack of concentration. A digital detox can help retrain your focus for what is important.

You Get Defensive

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Do you feel anxious or defensive when somebody suggests that you reduce your screen time? This is one of the main signs that your digital habits have become seriously excessive and potentially harmful. It is important to recognize this response in yourself, and it is the first step to realizing that you might need to take a bit of a break from your phone.

Your Online Relationships Feel More Important Than Your Real Ones

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If you find that you're prioritizing your online relationships over your real-life connections, it is a sign that your digital life is overshadowing the real world. During your digital detox, focus on nurturing meaningful face-to-face interactions with your family members and friends. Virtual connections can't replicate the sense of fulfilment you feel when you enrich your life with real-life relationships.

You Feel Like You're On Edge

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Do you feel a constant sense of restlessness, always anticipating the next notification? This continuous cycle of checking your phone leads to heightened levels of stress and anxiety, and you need to put down the devices at this point. Embrace the freedom of living without being chained to your phone and you'll experience a significant increase in your mental well-being.

Your Physical Health Takes A Turn For The Worse

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Spending prolonged hours sat staring at screens can have a serious impact on our overall health. It can create back and neck problems, along with being a huge strain on our eye health. During your digital detox, replace the time you'd normally be spending on your devices with physical exercise. It doesn't matter whether you're lifting heavy weights or just leave the house for a walk - it all helps.

You No Longer Take Part In Hobbies You Enjoy

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We all have different hobbies that we take part in, from going fishing to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but if you find yourself avoiding your once-loved hobbies it could be a sign that you're addicted to your devices. Constant phone usage can sap our motivation and desires, leaving us feeling lazy and depressed. It's important to keep up with hobbies that you genuinely enjoy.

Your Self-Esteem Is Tied To Your Twitter And Instagram Likes

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It's easy to get bogged down with increasing out followers and like counts on Twitter and Instagram. If you have a business account, it even tells you how many people have followed, engaged and liked your content within a given month. If you find yourself obsessing over how many likes you have, and feeling down when a post doesn't receive as much attention as you thought it would, it's time to give the digital world a break.