Digital Addiction and How to Overcome It
The internet and social media platforms have been some of our only ways to survive this pandemic. However, some of us have now got to the stage where we physically can’t stop checking Facebook, compulsively shopping online, or playing video games in excess.
While digital advancement has given us the privilege of bringing the world to our fingertips, it has also increased our obsessive use of the internet, digital technology and digital platforms. This is known as digital addiction.
This is such a widespread issue in fact, that Netflix actually launched a documentary on the topic in January 2020, called “The Social Dilemma”. It showed how social media platforms actually collect your data to sell advertisers, in order to continue controlling your life via algorithms.
This movie was an eye-opening moment for many, who had often questioned why social media is so addictive. So, if you are on the many who worry about being addicted to technology and can’t put your phone down - then read on to find out some keys ways you can start to overcome the addiction:
- UseTtech to Help you Stay Off tech
The idea is to be aware of your screen time and consciously decide to limit your digital engagement on a daily basis. Why not download an application like Zen mode or Screen Time to help you put limitations on how many hours a day you want to spend using your gadgets. Then when you go over your time limit the app will alert you or even block your access.
- Start Small
Set realistic goals and start small - like trying not to use your phone at the dinner table, not using your phone for at least one hour after waking up, or leaving your phone at home and going out for a walk. Set yourself limits and try to follow them regularly. Then, once you have got into your digital detox routine, you can start to slowly increase the time.
- Turn Off Notifications
Notifications can trigger dopamine, a “reward” neurotransmitter that is released in the brain. So, if it seems like the habit of reaching for your phone is getting out of control, try turning off non-essential notifications to help minimise the digital distraction.
- Focus on a Single Task
Try the Pomodoro technique: a time management system that allows you to list the things you are meant to do: set a timer for 25 minutes, and put your phone away. This allows you to focus on one single task until your timer goes off. You can then give yourself a 5 minutes break before repeating the cycle again with your next task: ensuring you get everything done, one step at a time.
- Digital Detox
Try picking one day of the week to go device-free. Let your friends and family know that you are on a digital detox and ask for their support. Explore outdoor activities or choose a project for yourself to stay distracted from digital gadgets.
Going on a digital detox, limiting your screen time and restricting yourself on social media usage can be uncomfortable and stressful at times.
You might feel anxious, bored, lonely and even annoyed without any technology to entertain you. But the experience will be rewarding and will help you connect with yourself and other things better while you learn to prioritise your tasks.
And if you ever need any additional support, remember that the wellness team is always here to help.
By The Wellness Team
Edited by Marney Ryan