This article was originally published by Sara Tipton at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com
Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint: How To Survive ANY Disaster
Recent studies have shown that 90% of Americans use digital devices for two or more hours each day and the average American spends more time a day on high-tech devices than they do sleeping: 8 hours and 21 minutes to be exact. If you’ve ever considered attempting a “digital detox”, there are some health benefits to making that change and a few tips to make things a little easier on yourself.
Many Americans are on their phones rather than playing with their children or spending quality family time together. Some people give up technology, or certain aspects of it, such as social media for varying reasons, and there are some shockingly terrific health benefits that come along with that type of a detox from technology. In fact, more and more health experts and medical professionals are suggesting a periodic digital detox; an extended period without those technology gadgets. Studies continue to show that a digital detox, has proven to be beneficial for relationships, productivity, physical health, and mental health. If you find yourself overly stressed or unproductive or generally disengaged from those closest to you, it might be time to unplug.
DIGITAL ADDICTION RESOLUTION
It may go unnoticed but there are many who are actually addicted to their smartphones or tablet. It could be social media or YouTube videos, but these are the people who never step away. They are the ones with their face in their phone while out to dinner with their family. They can’t have a quiet dinner without their phone on the table. We’ve seen them at the grocery store aimlessly pushing around a cart while ignoring their children and scrolling on their phone. A whopping 83% of American teenagers claim to play video games while other people are in the same room and 92% of teens report to going online daily. 24% of those users access the internet via laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
Addiction therapists who treat gadget-obsessed people say their patients aren’t that different from other kinds of addicts. Whereas alcohol, tobacco, and drugs involve a substance that a user’s body gets addicted to, in behavioral addiction, it’s the mind’s craving to turn to the smartphone or the Internet. Taking a break teaches us that we can live without constant stimulation, and lessens our dependence on electronics. Trust us: that Facebook message with a funny meme attached or juicy tidbit of gossip can wait.
IMPROVE RELATIONSHIPS AND BE MORE PERSONABLE
Another benefit to keeping all your electronics off is that it will allow you to establish good mannerisms and people skills and build your relationships to a strong level of connection. If you have ever sat across someone at the dinner table who made more phone contact than eye contact, you know it feels to take a backseat to a screen. Cell phones and other gadgets force people to look down and away from their surroundings, giving them a closed off and inaccessible (and often rude) demeanor. A digital detox has the potential of forcing you out of that unhealthy comfort zone. It could be a start toward rebuilding a struggling relationship too. In a Forbes study, 3 out of 5 people claimed that they spend more time on their digital devices than they do with their partners. This can pose a real threat to building and maintaining real-life relationships. The next time you find yourself going out on a dinner date, try leaving your cell phone and other devices at home and actually have a conversation. Your significant other will thank you.
BETTER SLEEP AND HEALTHIER EATING HABITS
The sleep interference caused by these high-tech gadgets is another mental health concern. The stimulation caused by artificial light can make you feel more awake than you really are, which can potentially interfere with your sleep quality. It is recommended that you give yourself at least two hours of technology-free time before bedtime. The “blue light” has been shown to interfere with sleeping patterns by inhibiting melatonin (the hormone which controls our sleep/wake cycle known as circadian rhythm) production. Try shutting off your phone after dinner and leaving it in a room other than your bedroom. Another great tip is to buy one of those old-school alarm clocks so the smartphone isn’t ever in your bedroom. This will help your body readjust to a normal and healthy sleep schedule.
Your eating habits can also suffer if you spend too much time checking your newsfeed. The Rochester Institute of Technology released a study that revealed students are more likely to eat while staring into digital media than they are to eat at a dinner table. This means that eating has now become a multi-tasking activity, rather than a social and loving experience in which healthy foods meant to sustain the body are consumed. This can prevent students from eating consciously, which promotes unhealthy eating habits such as overeating and easy choices, such as a bag of chips as opposed to washing and peeling some carrots. Whether you’re an overworked college student checking your Facebook, or a single bachelor watching reruns of The Office, a digital detox is a great way to promote healthy and conscious eating.
IMPROVE OVERALL MENTAL HEALTH
Social media addicts experience a wide array of emotions when looking at the photos of Instagram models and the exercise regimes of others who live in exotic locations. These emotions can be mentally draining and psychologically unhealthy and lead to depression. Smartphone use has been linked to loneliness, shyness, and less engagement at work. In other words, one may have many “social media friends” while being lonely and unsatisfied because those friends are only accessible through their screen. Start by limiting your time on social media. Log out of all social media accounts. That way, you’ve actually got to log back in if you want to see what that Parisian Instagram vegan model is up to.
If you feel like a detox is in order but don’t know how to go about it, start off small. Try shutting off your phone after dinner and don’t turn it back on until after breakfast. Keep your phone in another room besides your bedroom overnight. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, buy a cheap alarm clock to use instead to lessen your dependence on your phone. Boredom is often the biggest factor in the beginning stages of a detox, but try playing an undistracted board game with your children, leaving your phone at home during a nice dinner out, or playing with a pet. All of these things are not only good for you but good for your family and beloved furry critter as well!
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her website at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.
Been a great development for the spying deep state who censor at will any speech finding fault with and identifying enemies of the obsessed with warmongering state. The people are thrown the bone of voting as if it matters and like brainwashed eggheads they believe it somehow does. Conned elections are habitual and steadily erode freedom. Your actual vote is the one you make in the streets, something this government actually fears. How weak and pitiful are US citizens? 9-11 says it all.
I own 4 computers and a smart phone.
I spend a lot of time on a computer.
I’m a retired software and electronics
engineer so I like my toys.
It is also my way of keeping informed with
what is going on in the world and keep
in contact with family and friends as I’m
so remote from both.
That being said I find people with their faces
buried in a phone or video game to be rude.
My smart phone spends most of it time on the charger
and only goes and stays in the car when we travel and
is generally only used in emergencies.
I will ignore a phone call or email when I’m
engaged in a conversation with someone, or
while driving. That is what voicemail is for.
I even ignore my landline when it rings and
I’m busy elsewhere.
People that can’t ignore the technology have
many more personal problems than technology.
They are deeply disturbed and would have
had personal problems even without
I have heard from Matt Shea kind-of pastors, and am in general agreement, that whatever takes up the majority of your time schedule is your god.
You can say that religion is the opiate of the masses, that opiates are the religion of the masses, that addictive stimulation causes the body to release opiates. Anything that takes up that headspace is an example of a religious feeling or of worship. I have seen people become radicalized for a secular, moral vice. If it is pleasurable, there is a chemical and spiritual counterpart.
Talk to a person, about their candidate, or their vidya, etc. Just talk, platonically, and see whether they raise their hackles. Adrenaline has been in the air, over boring, middle-school-level social studies and apps that look like children’s boardgames. It probably feels nice.
Interesting that this article is posted for use on digital devices only.
I’ve had a flip phone for over ten years. Same battery. And one used computer. If I decoupled any more I’d be in the stone age.
There are some things which require a computer. But there are manual labor jobs and crafts and trades that can be done without sophisticated tech. The more independent you make yourself, that includes an independence from tech, I think ultimately, the safer and healthier you become.
Use tech to learn then go out and perform the skills in real life. That keeps tech your tool rather than you being the recipient of someone else’s agenda.
A better solution is to never join social media to begin with. For those that are actually addicted to these gadgets and technology I pity you as you are truly missing out on life. Quit whoring your information out online, who cares what other say or do; care only about the eternal God and having to give an account to him. Get rid of the weapons of mass distraction and agree as of today you no longer want to be mastered by the masters of this world and their devices. I learned a long time ago, if something is trendy and popular; be the salmon swimming up stream and go in the opposite direction of the heard; don’t bite their bate any more; quit being played.
If people generally avoided rancor, where that was possible, they might be creative geniuses.
There are people who I. do. not. align. with, politically, who would be nice and skillfull, if they just never spoke of one or two things, ever.
Look to Genesis 2-3 and the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve (the ha-adam [man of earth] and Haava [mother of all]) are innocent and then listen to Lucifer and are shocked by what they intuit. They couldn’t mentally handle it.
The same is true with innocent young people. They need a health time isolated from the propaganda of the world which desires to innundate them with evil.
In earlier times, only the most aggressive student would read mature books and discover ideas outside their experience, and that likely meant they were mentally mature. Otherwise parents restricted such knowledge to maintain their innocence. Only upon attending universities or entering into serious relationships…likely lifelong ones involving genuine courtship and romance and friendship…did they mature.
Then the public schools who were failing to impart competency and do their jobs, began imparting morality. What garbage. They failed at both tasks and attempted to be parental surrogates.
Then the Internet flooded subversive ideas and exacerbated Hollyweird’s message. The same is true about just about every organized evil immoral aspect of business, banking, the miltary-industrial complex, politics, etc. New Age religions did the same.
It’s expensive to have internet access through equipment and services. But the genuine expense is ruined innocence. Nothing can restore that.
You expose your kids to every evil by the time they are nine or ten. They know things that they cannot handle. And then, despite all of that sordid debacle, they lack actual practical ancestral knowledge and competency. Thus you have the millennial generation who think they know more, but are horribly immature, and developmentally delayed by their own admission.
They are the end result of exposing the knowledge of good and evil to innocents and it served no constructive purpose. Instead…it screwed them up!