Digital media is a major contributor to the state if my emotional wellbeing. In fact, the over-use of social and digital media adds to my levels of anxiety.
After recognizing how digital media affects my health, I’ve embarked on digital detox. This is a journey to reduce my screen time and develop healthier habits with technology.
Ways I’m Reducing Digital Screen Time
Reducing screen time is a personal choice. No one can dictate how much screen time is too much screen time for someone else. The below tips are not all encompassing, but may be helpful.
Deleting Apps That Make Me Miserable | I’m not sure why, but no app fills me with greater sadness than Facebook. Unfortunately, mindlessly checking Facebook became an ingrained habit when I was in high school and university. To stop the misery, I deleted the Facebook and Messenger apps off my phone and I’m glad to say that I don’t miss them!
Turning Off Banner Notifications | To stop myself from constantly checking my phone, I keep my phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day. By keeping my phone on DND, it won’t light up when I receive notifications or texts, nor will it ring the first time someone attempts to call me. Also, I’ve turned off banner notifications for nearly all the apps on my phone.
Using Apple’s Screen-Time to Limit Phone Usage | Screen-Time has quickly become my favorite feature on my phone. Not only can this feature be used to monitor how much I use my phone during the day, but it can be used to set limits on my usage. I set a daily limit for Social Media and Entertainment apps (YouTube), so I won’t waste my day away on my phone. Also, I have my phone set such that I’m unable to access non-essential apps between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM.
Unsubscribing from Tempting Email Lists | My spam/shopping email was out of control and too triggering for me to shop. In an effort to curb my spending, I unsubscribed from nearly all the email lists I previously joined.
Reducing the time I spend online is better for my mental health, my productivity, and my personal finances. I often see the most success when I completely cut bad habits from my life rather than just tempting to reduce how often I do something.
Final Thoughts on my Digital Detox
Although I’ve still been feeling a little bit down, my digital detox has been helpful for reducing digital-induced stress. Not only am I spending less time mindlessly scrolling on my phone, but I’m more productive during the day. Since the digital detox, I’ve been sleeping better at night.
Overall, I know that I feel better about my life and my present circumstances when I’m not mindlessly scrolling through social media. When I spend too much time online, I find myself playing the comparison game. Comparison can challenge me, but too often I feel down.
I want to live a full and worthwhile life, so I’m happy to spend less time online. I am likely to participate in future digital detoxes to improve my mental health.