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.
What do you do to reduce screen time? Any tips or tricks? Have you done a digital detox before? Please let me know in the comments below.