Its 2017, and technology is more advanced then ever before. In this day in age, if you don’t have a smart phone or a social media profile, you are a minority in a world where being constantly connected to one another is the normality.
But here we are today… on our website… connected to the Internet… to talk about unplugging. Kind of an oxymoron, but we will move on… So, turn off your devices connected to the Internet, disconnect your radio, and television! You need of a digital detox!
Technology can in fact become an addiction, just like sugar and nicotine. Addiction.com refers to a technology addiction as “an umbrella term that may include addictive behavior to video gaming; gambling; eBay and other online auctions or shopping; social media; excessive texting; or smartphone overuse as well as information overload.” They also note that 1 in every 8 Americans suffer from problematic internet use, and up to 10% of smartphone users display signs of internet addiction. They go on to say “some experts define it as spending more than seven hours a day using the phone and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when cut off from the device.” 7 hours a day on your phone?? Withdrawal from you Internet devices??
So now, you are currently reading our blog, whether it be from your smart phone, tablet, or computer…. And we want you to ask you the following questions to gauge your digital dependency:
- How do you feel when your phone flashes a low battery warning and you don’t have your charger handy?
- How often do you refresh or Facebook, Email, Instagram, or other social feeds?
- What is the first thing you do in the morning?
- What is the last thing before you go to sleep at night?
- What is your reaction when you cannot connect to the Internet or Wi-Fi?
- How often do you use your cellphone while driving?
- Do you ever monitor the amount of likes or comments you get on a social media post?
- What are your reasoning’s for using the technology you do?
- For stimulation?
- To connect with friends? To connect with people you do not know?
- To find an escape from reality?
- To have something to do when anxiety creeps in?
- For a confirmation of importance?
Reflect internally on your answers. Because we have one final question – do you remember a time before you were constantly connected through technology? Again we say, you might be in need of a digital detox!
There was in fact a time when we weren’t so completely connected to one another at all times. But in the past we’ve noticed that as a society we not only want to be connected, but we also feel compelled to be connected. Between “Free Wi-Fi” signs at the local family restaurant, to cellphone charging stations at the pool and the beach, staying connected even when you should be enjoying your surroundings and company is totally acceptable.
Too often we will be out to dinner with friends or family, a time to typically enjoy each other’s company, but everyone is scrolling on their phones. Instead of connecting online, connect with the people you are with in the present.
We won’t argue that we love using our smartphones. We LOVE Instagram, and we love our hash tags. But as a family chiropractic office, we still see value in disconnecting from the Internet and taking a digital detox. It could be as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood without your phone, or as extreme as going on a totally technology-free camping trip.
If you are looking to reduce your use of technology we recommend the following small tweaks you can make to your daily lifestyle:
- Turn off your social media notifications to your smart phone
- Set a time in which you turn off your phone each night – we recommend at least 30 minutes before bed
- Keep your phone charger away from your sleeping area
- Make a “No Phones at the Dinner Table” rule
- Perhaps call instead of texting
- Do not rely solely on social media to send happy birthday wishes
Don’t let your smartphone, social media, or email make you miss out on what’s going on around you. Instead of Instagramming the meal you just made, just eat it with friends and family. Instead of uploading your concert clip by clip to Snapchat, just watch it and enjoy the event. There are many ways to disconnect and have a digital detox on a daily basis. It just starts with small actions to create a happier, less technology-dependent life.