There are several ways to have a digital detox or cut down technology usage;
- Create technology free times and zones
- Turn off notifications
- Rediscover paper, instead of spending time scrolling social media you could instead read a book
- Only use one screen at one time
- Don’t use your phone at meal times
- Convert your phone screen to white and black instead of vibrant alluring screens.
Effects of digital on mental health
Constantly being on social media and using technology is linked with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, especially in teenagers. Research suggests that this is because of the high social pressures placed on younger people through social media platforms. This can increase the need of approval, discontent and cyberbullying.
However, if digital platforms are used correctly they can be highly beneficial especially for the wellbeing and health sector.
Benefits of digital on wellbeing
- Self-help online: Not everyone is comfortable speaking about issues they may have in person. Online resources are used to engage people through self help. This could include information about mental health using message boards, online programmes or self-management online guides. This can be done at home at a time which best suits someone.
- E- therapies: These are programmes which use mobile devices or the internet to help prevent and treat anxiety, depression and several other problems relating to mental health. These mostly involve therapy for cognitive behaviour and can be done through video calling, instant messenger and message boards.
- Online information: There is so much information online which can benefit the wellbeing of people.
Effects of digital on physical health
Using technology and staring at your phone all day can cause implications on your physical health. This includes;
- Neck problems – If you are staring down towards your phone all day it can cause you to have a bent neck. Look at your phone straight on to avoid this.
- Smartphone thumb: Constantly bending your thumb can cause irritation, pain and inflammation. Avoid this by taking breaks and using different fingers to type with.
- Physical inactivity: when using digital technology, we usually aren’t exercising. Hence, increasing links between higher digital device usage and decreasing fitness levels and exercise.
- Sleep disorders – Many people sleep with devices beside them and often this can cause disturbed sleep. Artificial light suppresses melatonin which promotes sleep and enhances alertness, making it difficult to sleep.
- Eye strain – Often we do not blink when staring at a screen for a long amount of time, meaning the tears protecting our eyes are not replaced as often. Reading small print on phones can intensify this. Eye strain can lead to headaches, itching, blurred vision and dry eyes. Tips to combat eye strain;
- Having regular eye check ups
- Increasing the size of text
- Using special eyewear
- Reducing screen glare