Screen Break: Ways to Unplug from Technology

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You’re on the computer at work, on your smartphone during your commute, and on the tablet when you get home. If you’re having trouble sleeping, or dreaming about writing a work email, you may be in dire need of a digital detox. While you think it may be difficult to get off the platforms that keep you connected to family, friends, and the rest of the world, you’re not alone.

High Penetration, Difficult Limitations

Over 88% of Australians use the internet, and they spend about five and a half hours on the web, We Are Social’s 2018 Digital Report says. Over 69% of them also use social media. Most of them use their smartphones to browse too, as 89% of Aussies have one, according to Deloitte’s 2018 Mobile Consumer Survey.

While today’s phones may make life easier, people may be too dependent on them. A recent study from the Deakin’s School of Psychology, which surveyed over 400 undergraduate university students, found that 40% of them felt lost without their smartphone. Over 54% of them say that it distracts them from doing meaningful work.

People are actually aware that they may be spending a problematic amount of time on their screens. Over 39% of smartphone users in the country say they use their device too much, and 34% of them are having trouble in limiting their use, the Deloitte report stated. If you’re one of these people, read on to find out how you can go on a successful screen break.

Make it Gradual

Like any kind of fixation, it’s not advisable to quit cold turkey. Set some small limits for yourself, like only listening to music while you’re walking or taking the tram to and from work. Make a playlist for yourself, so you don’t feel tempted to skip a song you don’t like. If you still want to scroll through your timelines, however, draft a social media schedule for yourself — limiting it to an hour during commute and two to three at home.

And most importantly, keep your work away from home. If you work from home, delegate a space that’s dedicated to your job, and if you need to take breaks, go to another room. This ensures that you don’t blur the line between relaxation and crunch time.

Don’t Forget to Notify Your Important Contacts

Before heading to your transportable kit home for your digital detox, it’s important to inform everyone you’re close with about your time off. Email all your clients that you’ll be out of the office for a while and don’t forget to draft an “out of the office” autoresponder as well. Message your loved ones about it or write a post on your social media pages. This way, you won’t be leaving anyone confused or stressed out on your retreat.

Develop a New Hobby

woman reading a book

If you have the itch to turn on your mobile data and open Facebook, try to scratch it with a new hobby. Read a book you bought but haven’t gotten into reading yet. Try that exercise routine you told yourself you never had the time to do. Learn to cook if you’ve relied on takeouts since you started living on your own. Once you’ve found a past time you enjoy, you won’t even miss tapping through endless Instagram stories.

The amount of screen time that some people get is getting problematic. As such, it’s essential to take breaks from your devices to clear your mind and get better sleep. Remember to go through your digital detox gradually and stick to your commitments. Once you do get back to reality, you’ll know your device limits and how to manage them better.

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