It’s Time for a Digital Detox. (You Know You Need It.)

When is enough

Although the presidential election is over, we are still through sad news about the coronovirus growth. The rest of your routine is probably the same as mine Stuck at home in epidemic: Split between streaming movies on Netflix, watching home improvement videos on YouTube, and playing video games. All these activities involve staring at the screen.

It has to be more than life. With the holiday season upon us, now is a good time to take a breather and consider digital detox.

No, this does not mean that the Internet excludes cold turkey. Nobody would expect that from us now. Think about going on a diet and our tired eyes need some time off from the tech to replace bad habits with healthy people.

“There are a lot of things to do online, but moderation is often the best rule for life, and it’s no different,” said San Diego State University professor of psychology and Jean Twain.I. Yes, “A book about the younger generation in the smartphone era.

Too much screen time can take a toll on our mental health, depriving us of sleep and more productive tasks, experts said. I, for one, am experiencing this. Before the epidemic, my average daily Screen time on my phone It was three and a half hours. In the last eight months, it has almost doubled.

So I turned to psychology experts for his advice. From setting limits to finding options to stick to your phone, here’s what we can do.

Not all screen time is bad – after all, many students are attending school through videoconferencing apps. So Step One is assessing which parts of the screen time feel toxic and make you sad. It can be scrolled through the news or via Twitter and Facebook. Step Two is making a realistic plan to reduce consumption of bad stuff.

You can set modest goals such as a time limit of 20 minutes a day to read the news on weekends. If it seems appropriate, reduce the time frame and make it a daily goal. Repetition will help you create new habits.

that’s easier said than done. Adam Gazelli, a neuroscientist and co-author of the book “Distracted Mind: Ancient Minds in a High-Tech World, “Recommended creating calendar events about just about everything, including browsing the web and taking breaks. It helps to create a structure.

For example, you can block 10 minutes for an exercise bike ride and 8 am to read the news from 1 pm to 20 minutes. If you are tempted to pick up your phone during your exercise break, you will know that any screen time you commit to exercise will be a violation.

Most important, treat the screen time as if it were a piece of candy that you sometimes let yourself indulge in. Don’t think of it as taking a break that can do the opposite of relaxing you.

“Not all brakes are created equal,” Dr. Gazelle said. “If you take a break and go to social media or a news event, it can be difficult to get out of that rabbit hole.”

We need to recharge our phones overnight, but this does not mean that the devices should be next to us while we sleep. Numerous studies have shown that people who keep phones in their bedrooms use Drs. According to Twang sleep more poorly.

Smartphones are harmful to us in many ways. Blue light from the screen can make our brains think that it is daytime, and some of the material we consume – especially news – can psychologically excite and keep us awake. So it is best not to look at the phone within an hour before bed. What’s more, the proximity of the phone can entice you to wake up and check in the middle of the night.

“My number 1 advice is to have no phone in the bedroom overnight – it’s for adults and teens,” Dr. Twenge said. “There is a charging station outside the bedroom.”

Outside our bedroom, we can create other phone-phone zones. The dining table, for example, is a prime opportunity for families to agree to keep the phone for at least 30 minutes and reconnect.

Tech products have designed many mechanisms to keep us away from our screens. For example, Facebook and Twitter created their own timeline so that you could scroll through updates endlessly, maximizing the amount of time you spend on your sites.

Adam Alter, a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and author of the book “Attractive: The Rise of Additive Technology and Business of Keeping Hooks, “Said tech companies employed techniques in behavioral psychology that make us addicted to their products.

He highlighted two major hooks:

  • Artificial round. Similar to video games, social media sites aim to engage users. These include the number of likes and followers on Facebook or Twitter. problem? Goals are never met

  • Friction-free media. YouTube automatically plays the next recommended video, not to mention the never ending Facebook and Twitter scrolls. “Before that there was a natural ending to every experience,” like reading the last page of a book, he said. “One of the biggest things tech companies have done is to stop cues.”

What to do? For starters, we can resist the hook by making our phones less intrusive. Turn off notifications for all the apps that are needed for work and get in touch with the people you care about. If you feel strongly addicted, take an extreme measure and turn on the phone Grayscale mode, Dr. Alter said.

There is also a simple exercise. We can remind ourselves that outside of work, nothing we do online matters much, and it is time that can be better spent elsewhere.

Dr. “The difference between 10 likes and 20 likes, it’s all just pointless,” said Alter.

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