More and more people are experiencing the "fear of missing out", the famous FOMO. It is an anxiety disorder associated with social media that cause the desire to be constantly connected with what others are doing.
We can see how we are increasingly prone to comparing ourselves to others, feeling envy and status-seeking through the attention we receive and it is something that has been intensified by our ability to communicate so quickly with so many people.
And this may motivate many of us to be better people every day, and to develop new skills, strengths, and talents, but it is also true that it can be a dangerous double-edged sword because it can leave us feeling frustrated, inferior, and lead us to attack or sabotage others.
That is why many experts are doing their mission, the task of presenting the public with research and statistics on how much this is affecting our mental well-being.
An addiction that disconnects you and keeps you from enjoying the present moment.
Recently, I contacted one of my best friends, a great musician whose life is unsurprisingly more public than private. And it was interesting to realize that what led me to reach out was the fact that he hadn't posted on social media for several days.
I asked him, is everything okay with you? and he perfectly knew what I was referring to without me having to clarify why I was asking. He told me that he was tired of the "falsehood" that exists on social media and that he had realized that he was no longer in control of the way in which he was consuming content. He became aware that this was affecting his mental and emotional well-being and for his own sake and his creativity, he decided to stay away from social media for a while.
This answer seemed to me very admirable, and sensible. I told him: I understand, digital diets have also saved my life on so many other occasions.
And it is that in addition to promoting a "chronic comparison", we are no longer valuing the small moments that make up real life, a life of authentic interactions and valuable moments that are available to us in everyday life, away from the screens.
My friend led me to make the decision to call him or send him a direct message to ask how he was, and what was up to lately. Because his stories on Instagram, or his posts on Facebook kept me informed with the latest news about what he was doing and about his musical project before, I didn´t feel the need to reach out as much.
What would happen if all the people in our social circle disappeared from social media? We would be forced to contact them directly to have first-hand news about what is happening in their lives, and I know that many people are experiencing this feeling of being more disconnected than ever, despite the fact that there are more and more ways to maintain communication.
5 Benefits of Practicing a Digital Detox:
Practicing digital detox, which means temporarily disconnecting from technology and digital devices, can have several benefits for our mental and physical well-being. Here are some of the key benefits of a digital detox:
1. Improved Mental Health:
Constant exposure to digital devices can increase stress, anxiety, and depression. By disconnecting from technology, we can reduce these negative effects and improve our overall mental health.
It is important to take advantage of this time to enter into meaningful interactions with people we love, who care about us, and who want our well-being. It is also an opportunity to connect with our goals and do more of what gives us joy and pleasure.
2. Increased productivity:
Digital devices can be distracting and disrupt our focus, leading to decreased productivity. By taking a break from technology, we can focus on other tasks and be more productive.
A healthy practice is to disable notifications from the apps that we have installed on our devices. We know well that each notification can become minutes if not hours of consuming content that leads us nowhere but to more distractions. It is preferable that you be the one who decides how many times you will be checking your notifications a day and even better, that you define a time with a stopwatch in hand for how long you are going to allow yourself to stay checking your notifications. Not all notifications are that important.
Another practice that is very powerful is to start unsubscribing from the subscriptions that you have active in your inbox. It is proven that if the first thing we do at the beginning of the day is read our messages, notifications, and emails, our productivity decreases by 30% a week.
Lastly, it is a great practice to mercilessly filter the content you consume. Many of the accounts you follow are not providing positive content that makes you feel better. There are people you follow with whom you compare yourself who make you feel less happy, and less fulfilled, and perhaps for your well-being it is better to stop following them or to actually not see all of their content.
3. Sleep better:
The blue light emitted by digital devices can disrupt our natural sleep patterns. By avoiding screens before bed and during a digital detox, we can improve the quality of our sleep.
Notifications, likes, and posts from others stimulate our brains by generating dopamine and other chemicals that keep us alert and disrupt our sleep patterns. That is why it is so important that at least one hour before bedtime, we choose to put the screens aside and opt for other options to end our day to prepare for a full and restful rest.
4. Improved relationships:
Digital devices can create a sense of isolation and decrease face-to-face communication. By disconnecting from technology, we can focus on building deeper connections with the people around us.
In my case, the fact that my friend is on a digital diet led us to agree to meet in person to catch up face-to-face and of course, this time is much more valuable than the time I can spend just looking at an Instagram story.
5. Improvement of physical health:
Digital devices can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and contribute to health problems such as eyestrain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. By disconnecting from technology, we can be more physically active and improve our overall health.
In general, our energy feels better when we take the time to enjoy life. 10 or 20 years ago we had fewer anxiety and depression problems and it is that we spent more time doing other activities, we went for a walk, to see the world and it is important to resume these activities again.
Overall, practicing digital detox can help us reduce stress, improve our relationships, increase our productivity, and improve our overall well-being.
If you want to take advantage of your next digital diet to create a life strategy that will lead you to move forward with your goals, to be happier, to be more productive, or to improve your relationships, you can also schedule a free consultation with me to co-create a plan that leads you to live your best life, to feel alive and experience joy again.
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