Do you ever feel like a slave to your smartphone? If you’re like the average person, you check it 200 times each day. Chances are you’re in need of a digital detox.
We interrupt real life every 6 and a ½ minutes to get online. It’s no wonder that our personal relationships and our physical health suffer as a result. Want to feel more present in the moment? Here are 5 hints to help you reconnect with real life.
1. Make it a family affair
It’s easier to form good habits when the people around you do it as well. Next time you sit down to dinner, collect all the phones and set them in the middle of the table. The first person who reaches for theirs before the meal is over is responsible for doing the dishes.
2. Set realistic goals
Just like any major lifestyle change, long-term success is best achieved in small steps. Think of your iPad like a cupcake. If you deprive yourself entirely, you’re setting yourself up for a major binge. So allow yourself a certain amount of time online per day, and try to decrease that amount over weeks and months.
3. Have an experience, don’t post about it
Before social media, we enjoyed things without worrying that all of our friends and family needed to know about them. Think about it: does the online community have a burning desire to see the avocado toast you’re about to eat? Put down your smartphone at brunch and just savor the flavor.
Nobody is telling you to give up technology cold turkey, but limiting your online life is always a good idea.
4. Go retro in the bedroom
According to Harvard Medical School’s online publication, the light emitted from screens before bedtime disrupts our circadian rhythm and melatonin production, resulting in poorer sleep. Instead of using your smartphone as your alarm, leave it in another room. After all, you can’t check Facebook on an old-fashioned alarm clock.
5. Give a real life compliment
Speaking of Facebook, remember when you actually had to speak to a person to congratulate them rather then just clicking on an icon of a thumb? You see your colleague at the office every day. Rather than clicking “like,” why not bring her a cup of coffee and tell her in person that you’re happy about her upcoming wedding? The personal interaction will do you both a world of good.
Nobody is telling you to give up technology cold turkey, but limiting your online life is always a good idea. Next time you’re in a café with friends, try talking to them instead of your Instagram followers—posting all the juicy gossip can wait until you get home.