My days all begin the same way: reaching for my phone, eyes still closed. I check the time, the weather forecast, I read the news, check my emails, social media, the list goes on.
I would risk saying that my morning routine is not that different from the vast majority. Nowadays our smartphones have become so essential that is hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have screens permanently glued to our hands. Technology makes our lives easier, no one can deny that.
We need it and we use it, but is it possible that we are overdosing on a good thing?
Am I Toxic?
Over the past few years the concept of detoxing has extended itself beyond food and moved into the digital realm. The wellness and mindfulness communities even promote digital detox retreats. There is even a whole site dedicated to the cause.
But maybe we are all toxic in digital terms? After personal research I have decided that toxic symptoms include (although not limited to), inboxing clearing anxiety, instagram envy, a need to confirm presence (or at the very least demonstrate interest) at every Facebook event you are invited to, the technical name for this condition being: FOMO (fear of missing out), the inability to get dressed in the morning without the Weather APP and dinners with family and friends resembling a zombie movie with a table full of silent, blank expressionless bodies staring at phones.
Independent of your level of toxicity, the idea of disconnecting to reconnect (apologies for the cliché) is valid. I believe that everyone could benefit from a period of time away from the digital universe. Even if it is only 24 hours to read that book collecting dust on the bedside table, to enjoy a selfie free concert or even a catch up with your mum without a pause for a feed scroll.
If a full on digital detox is still a concept that leaves you full of dread, a detox “light” from social medias could be a good introductory step. Why not try a week without instagram or install a plugin like stayfocusd to help limit your facebook sessions? Or, my personal favourite, on a night out with friends, everyone places their phones face down on the table and whoever can’t resist checking their phones pays the bill for the whole table! 😉
Like any detox diet, once the determined detox period has passed, the reintroduction into the digital universe should be gradual to avoid re-intoxication. Time should be dedicated to things that don’t involve smart phones, focus should be given to conversations with the important people in your life….but no one can be blamed for keeping on finger on the inbox, because….well people, we all know that emails don’t answer themselves. 😉