Could a Digital Detox Improve Your Health?

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Mon, Nov, 27, 2017

Many of us have a digital addiction. Nearly half of American smartphone users say they can’t live without their phones. In a technology-driven world, it’s normal to spend some time online and take advantage of the benefits smartphones and other devices have to offer. However, it’s important to realize when your use of technology has started to impact your mental, emotional, and social health. 


A 2015 study found that people check their smartphones an average of 85 times a day. Feeling the need to check your phone constantly can be a sign that it’s time to take a break from the digital world. Your phone obsession can lead to some bad social habits like ignoring your partner during dinner or paying more attention to your notifications instead of your friends. 

If you’ve noticed a sense of stress associated with your dependency on your smartphone, a digit detox might be just what you need to reduce some stress and improve your overall wellbeing. Check out some of the benefits of a digital detox and some tips to make a digital detox work for you:

Health Benefits of a Digital Detox

Better relationships. For many of us, the digital world has had a negative impact on our people skills. How many times have you noticed yourself ignoring your friends or loved ones at a social event? A study by Forbes found that three out of five people claimed they spend more time on their digital devices than they do with their partners. Learning to put down your phone in these settings will help you build upon existing relationships and even form some new ones.

Self-confidence boost. Research has found that social media can be damaging to our self-esteems. According to an article by Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist, her research found that 60% of people say social media has impacted their self-esteem in a negative way. Another 50% of people reported social media having negative effects on their relationships. Kicking the habit of habitual social media use might help you keep a healthy self-esteem and be great for your emotional wellness.

Mindful behavior. Focusing on the world IRL rather than through a digital screen will help you practice mindfulness on a daily basis. You’ll learn to better appreciate the world around you and focus on the present. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can lead to less stress, lower blood pressure, and enhanced mental health.

More time for yourself. Unplugging from the digital world means more time spent on you. Americans spend an average of 4.7 hours on their phones per day. Imagine how great you could feel if you spent those hours caring for yourself.

Productivity boost. Want to feel more productive at work and at home? Put down your devices! Studies have shown that the presence of digital devices can distract and lower task performance. Keeping your phone on “do not disturb” mode or hiding it away in your desk will help you perform your best and stay productive.

Less stress. In the same study by Forbes previously mentioned, researchers found that 73% of participants believe that their digital devices contribute to stress in their lives. Learning to unplug and spend time away from your phone and social media might help reduce some of the stress in your life.

Tips for Taking a Digital Detox

Start small. Like most forms of addiction, going cold turkey isn’t usually the best bet. If it’s your first time taking a digital detox, be sure to start small so that you can form healthier habits over time. Try turning off your phone and other digital devices for one hour per day over the weekend. Work towards gradually powering off for a day. 

Turn off social media notifications. Disabling push notifications from your social media apps will make it easier to stop checking your accounts every few minutes. If your goal is to limit your social media use, pick two to three designated times a day to check in on social media for just ten minutes.

Workout on airplane mode. Many of us are guilty of staying glued to our smartphones, even during a workout! Turn your phone on airplane mode or “do not disturb” mode during before you start your workout. You’ll feel less stressed and be able to get a better workout in!

Put your phone down before bed. Using any type of digital device before bed is a recipe for bad sleeping habits and mindless scrolling. To get a good night’s rest, put your phone down and turn off all devices an hour prior to your bedtime.

Stay mindful of your check-ins. Do you really need to check your phone right now? Ask yourself this question whenever you feel the urge to reach for your phone – especially when you’re out with friends or family. If it can wait, put down your phone! 

Do you think you could benefit from a digital detox? Share any previous experiences, tips, or ideas below! 

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