There’s no avoiding it – technology is part of our lives. But have we become addicted and conditioned to it? From smartphones to sat navs, our lives are full of screens. What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Read the news? Check your emails? Scroll through social media? You wake up to them, carry them around in your pockets all day and come home to them. But at what cost?
In 2017 worldwide smartphone usage showed nearly 50% of the population spent more than 5 hours daily on the phones!
The report, “A Decade of Digital Dependency” says:
- Britons check their phone every 12 minutes.
- 40% of adults look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, rising to 65 % of those aged under 35.
- 37% of adults check their phones just before switching off the lights for bed, increasing to 60% of under 35s.
- Those aged 15 to 24 on average spend 4 hours a day on the phone compared with 2 hours 49 minutes for all adults.
- The young also check their phones every 8.6 minutes, more frequently than any other age group.
- 15% said smartphones made them feel they were always at work, 54% admitted they interrupted face-to-face conversations with friends and family and 43% admitted spending too much time online.
- More than a third felt stressed and “cut off” without their phone and 29 %“lost without it” – while one in 10 said that giving it up was “liberating” or made them more productive.
So what can you do to reduce your time on your phone? As you read the list, notice how you feel about the suggestions. Uncomfortable, anxious?
15 Ways to Achieve a Tech Detox
1. Make a gadget list. List all your gadgets as this can show you how much you depend upon technology. Make a second list of all the things you enjoy doing in life, but aren’t doing presently.
2. Keep a diary of when and how long you use your gadgets. You can get tracking apps for phones, such as “Moment” for Apple products, which measures how much time you spend looking at your screen and how many times a day you pick up your phone.
3. Delete all social media apps from your phone; check only from a desktop computer.
4. Turn all banner-style/pop-up/sound notifications off all your apps.
5. Keep your phone out of sight for meetings, get-togethers, conversations, meals involving other people.
6. Keep your phone out of sight during your commute.
7. Leave your phone outside of your bedroom – get an alarm clock.
8. Leave your phone in a central place once at home – stop carrying it around.
9. Take your work email off your phone – let everyone know that you are doing this.
10. Give yourself a maximum daily allowance for your devices – set small achievable limits which you can increase.
11. Choose one technology habit to change at a time – such as banning devices from the dining table, or only checking emails every two hours. Do this for at least a week before tackling another technology habit.
12. Turn all screens off at least two hours before bed – your bedroom is for sleeping, not a cinema, shopping centre or bank.
13. Find a detox buddy.
14. Leave your gadgets at home, or at the very least go out without your headphones.
15. Tell everyone what you are doing. The more people know the less you will want to fail. Setting an example is a great way to motivate yourself and leading by example, especially with children, is vitally important.
We hope you feel motivated to try a tech detox. You really can feel the difference!
At Shefford Osteopathic Clinic, we look beyond your physical symptoms to help alleviate your pain. This includes lifestyle tips and advice… such as how to reduce screen time and determining whether your technology is causing you pain!
The article was written by Karen Robinson, registered osteopath and Clinic founder.