Our smartphones are never far away from our fingertips, and in this digital world, most of us can’t function without them. So, how often do you use your phone? How many times during the day do you swipe, use apps, check social media, send messages or even just generally handle your phone?
To really drive home how much we mindlessly touch and use our phones, here are a few 2022 stats:
On average, people spend 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones per day. Individuals check their phones an average of 58 times each day.
How have we become so obsessed with the digital world? And, is it time to unplug ourselves from the mindlessness it provides us? Let’s learn how to disconnect to save ourselves.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Learning How to Disconnect from Technology
- How to Disconnect from Technology and Regain Your Life
- 1. Create a Technology-Free Space
- 2. Don't Sleep with Your Phone Next to You
- 3. Go off the Grid for One Night a Week
- 4. Plan More Non-Digital Activities
- 5. Get Friends to Join You
- 6. Start a Mediation Practice
- 7. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- 8. Log out of Social Media
- 9. Disable Phone Notifications
- 10. Install Social Media Blocking Apps
- 11. Track the Time You Spend Connected
- 12. Create a Home Library and Have a Book with You
Benefits of Learning How to Disconnect from Technology
We’re all so dependent on technology that we rarely disconnect. Whether we’re spending hours in front of a computer for work, checking our phones, surfing the internet, or watching TV, it’s hard to get away from digital distractions.
You may have attempted to go phone-free or deactivated your Facebook account in hope of a digital detox and we all know it feels good but only for the short term.
Before long we’re itching to see what we’re missing. In other words, we’re addicted. This can manifest in the feelings of withdrawal we get that causes us to dive straight back into the digital world where we feel safe and soothed again.
Many of us feel like our phones are a form of comfort – a lot of our social lives revolve around social media and instant messaging, so without this, we can feel secluded and alone.
Are we using technology or is technology using us?
Every happiness guru talks about mindfulness as a core importance in being connected with ourselves and the world around us, but our need for constant connection to technology means we’re depriving ourselves of this fundamental and necessary habit.
When we disconnect from the world, our ability to focus increases dramatically and this is apparent in our productivity levels. The benefits of disconnecting can create a positive stance in all areas of our lives – from work and social connections to our own personal goals and dreams. If our productivity levels increase, we feel much more fulfilled, content, and happy with our abilities. Life becomes more meaningful and less shallow.
How to Disconnect from Technology and Regain Your Life
If you feel like you need to unplug from technology, there are steps you can take to help you try to disconnect and allow you to take back some power.
1. Create a Technology-Free Space
Move your laptop into a dedicated room, put your phone charger in there so it can’t be charged next to you. When you allocate a certain place for your gadgets, you will have to go there to use them physically, so the inconvenience will lessen your desire to go and check them.
2. Don’t Sleep with Your Phone Next to You
Our sleep is being severely disrupted due to blue light being transmitted when using our phones or tablets in the dark. Our brains can’t switch off so easily and so it’s hard to relax and drift off. Put your device on the other side of the room so you can’t check it before bed, during the night, or first thing when you wake up. Staying away from technology will promote your quality of sleep, health, and well-being.
A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that the use of light-emitting electronic devices before bedtime may contribute to or exacerbate sleep problems. Exposure to blue-wavelength light, particularly from these devices may affect sleep by suppressing melatonin and causing neurophysiologic arousal. 
3. Go off the Grid for One Night a Week
Okay, so we rely heavily on being available to be contacted but for one night a week, get off technology. Try switching off your phone, computer, and tablet. Tell people they won’t be able to contact you via technology unless it’s an emergency. Don’t check social media or your messages, instead try reading an interesting book, experimenting in the kitchen, or going for walks.
4. Plan More Non-Digital Activities
Make a conscious effort to plan more activities that do not include technology to keep yourself distracted. Plan a hike, bike ride, have a hot bubble bath, join a club, go to an exercise class, start a new hobby or take a trip to your local library and set yourself a challenge to read a certain number of books a week. Too much time spent on gaming, smartphones, and watching television is linked to heightened levels and diagnoses of anxiety or depression. 
5. Get Friends to Join You
Persuade a good group of friends to join you in your digital detox. Think of it as a support group – get together and do something that doesn’t involve technology or discuss the benefits you’re all feeling from disconnecting. This will reinforce the positive feelings and progress from going digital-free. Disconnecting from technology disconnects us from the world and enables us to discover ourselves.
6. Start a Mediation Practice
Mindfulness is probably something you’ve heard a million times but it’s truly important in order to be present in the here and now. Try meditating for just 10 minutes a day and build it up. If you do this first thing in the morning, you’ll set your mind up for a good day and you’ll start to see the benefits over time.
Research has confirmed a myriad of health benefits associated with the practice of meditation. These include stress reduction, decreased anxiety, decreased depression, reduction in pain (both physical and psychological), improved memory, and increased efficiency. 
7. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Continuing the mindfulness theme, try making an effort to be aware of what’s going on around you. That includes sounds, smells, as well as sight. How often do we walk and look at our phones? Put your phone in your pocket and try a bit of mindful walking. Notice how you walk, the feeling, the action, what there is to look at, the sounds you hear – it’s quite shocking how much we don’t pay attention to the wonderful world around us when our nose is planted in our phones.
8. Log out of Social Media
If deactivating your account is too much then consider logging out of social media every time you use it. It’s all too easy to hit the app and you’re instantly looking at your feed but if you have to type in your username and password every time, it’ll not only make you more aware you’re doing it but you’ll also start to see it as a hassle.
9. Disable Phone Notifications
It’s tempting to check our phones every time we get a notification so try turning them off and dedicate time later to check up on anything important. This will seriously reduce the amount you needlessly check things that probably aren’t even important.
10. Install Social Media Blocking Apps
If you feel you’re one of the addicts who handles their phone 5,427 times a day, then consider installing apps that block you from accessing social media apps. If it’s your computer that’s stopping you from being productive, then SelfControl for Mac or ColdTurkey for Windows will really help.
11. Track the Time You Spend Connected
You can access social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn without paying a dime. However, they are so expensive when you consider how much time they consume.
We all have the same number of hours in a day. However, our productivity and performance are not the same. To avoid wasting time on social media platforms, you need to track your screen time. With this information, you can make the necessary adjustments and schedule time for social media checks and email responses. If you tend to have a busy schedule, you should consider delegating these tasks to a capable team.
12. Create a Home Library and Have a Book with You
Visiting the local library is one of the best ways to re-energize and learn new things. There is something magical about physical books that online books don’t have. You can easily create a home library. All you need is a few physical books and a bookcase to store your learning materials. You can read these books over the weekend or during your free time. When you are bored, you should avoid wasting time. Reading books regularly will nourish your mind and spirit.
Quick Tips to Help You Disconnect From Technology
We could all do with a bit of digital downtime. If not for our productivity level, then for our sense of mental well-being. Failure to disconnect from technology can lead to addiction. Be more mindful of how much you use and rely on technology. Instead, find little ways of filtering it out, make it a habit, and start creating a happier life.
Featured photo credit: ROBIN WORRALL via unsplash.com
|||^||Exploding Topics: Time Spent On Smartphone Stats 2022|
|||^||National Library of Medicine: Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial|
|||^||ScienceDaily: Reduced screen time for young highly recommended for well-being|
|||^||National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Meditation and Mindfulness: What You Need To Know|