Submitted by: The Two Sides Team February 13, 2019
Article taken from the latest issue of The Page
By now you should be a few weeks into your 2019 New Year’s resolutions. Congratulations if you’re sticking with them; try again next year if not. But one resolution that’s definitely worth sticking to is cutting down on your screen time.
Among the thousands of faithful promises to go to the gym more or to the pub less, an increasing amount of people are deciding to take a break from their smartphones, giving themselves a ‘digital detox’ to focus on deeper, more meaningful interactions in the physical world.
The average person now spends more than one day every week online, with one in five adults spending up to 40 hours a week on a digital device. With 78% of the population owning a smartphone, Britons are so addicted to them that they will check them at least every 12 minutes – 40% checking it within five minutes of waking up (Ofcom, 2018). Such an addiction to digital content brings a host of potential health issues, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, isolation and lack of self-esteem, while physical problems include neck strain, deteriorating vision and insomnia.
To investigate the scale of the problem, Two Sides commissioned a global survey that quizzed over 10,700 consumers about their attitudes to digital and print media. When asked if they were concerned that the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health, 46% of UK consumers agreed, while 47% agreed that they spend too much time on digital devices.
With such alarming statistics, it’s little wonder that the desire to switch off is becoming more and more popular. Whether it’s parents worried about their children, children worried about their parents or simply individuals wanting to take back control of their lives, there’s never been a bigger backlash against digital media.
The key to a successful detox, according to Tanya Goddin, founder of digital detox specialists Time To Log Off , is not to ban the phone altogether, but to take the time to understand how you use your phone and how you can cut down your screen time.
“It’s about becoming aware of your own personal challenges around screens, gaining an understanding of what will help you overcome them and learning to live with technology in a way that’s healthy,” she says.
“People are always amazed by how different they feel after not being on their phones and that motivates them to keep going.”
The benefits to a successful digital detox are many: improved sleep, productivity and, more importantly, improved relationships and a better state of mind with less anxiety and stress. By disconnecting with your device and reconnecting with the physical world, you’ll feel healthier and happier.
That’s one resolution worth making.
Adobe Stock © Julia Sudnitskaya
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