We usually only think of addictions surrounding drugs and alcohol, although someone can show tendencies of digital addiction. When we think of digital, the first thing that comes to mind is how much people use their phones today. Everywhere we go there is someone texting, FaceTiming, posting on social media, or streaming something. If the phone is not being used, there are smart televisions, tablets, computers, and gaming devices that keep us connected to the latest technology.
Human connection today is completely different than the old days of playing outside with neighborhood friends or talking on the phone to catch up on the day. Today’s communication mostly consists of commenting on other people’s social media posts, communicating on a group text, or FaceTiming. Instead of being around others, screens of all types of media devices are the middleman of conversation. Technology is the way that most people stay in touch which puts us down the rabbit hole of video games, apps, and streaming that has begun to consume most of our days. We spend hours daily checking our phones and getting caught up in the intricacies of technology at any given moment.
How much is too much?
According to a report put out by Nielson, their research shows that adults spend approximately 11 hours a day using digital media in some capacity. That is shocking to spend half our days, including sleep time, in a digital space leaving around 6 hours to accomplish everything else in life. Looking at what we are achieving versus the amount of time spent scrolling on our devices is truly incredible. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating any meals that are not in front of your screen? Are you getting any physical activity? Are you going outside? Are you missing school or work? All these questions are relevant to figuring out if you are spending too much time digitally rather than taking care of your needs. If you said yes to most of those questions, you may need to look at a solution to engage you more in life.
How can digital media affect me?
One of the ways to understand how far your digital tendencies go is to use a 24-hour period to track the number of times you check your texts, emails, social media, or any notifications. If you are checking every minute to see if someone has responded or sent a notification, you may be focusing on the wrong outlook. Notifications are not only distracting but can certainly affect how you feel about yourself. If you put something out there that no one responds to, you could find yourself feeling unworthy, depressed, or full of anxiety. Studies have shown that social media has increased mental health issues because your self-esteem can be affected tremendously if you feel rejected, have the fear of missing out or compare yourself to others who may be misrepresenting the quality of their life on social media.
How do I stop spending so much time on my devices?
Typically, your phone is the basis of most of your screen time because it can go anywhere you go and get an internet connection. Although computers, tablets, and gaming devices should not be left out of this scenario, the phone tends to be the biggest culprit due to ease. Just by changing a few things on your phone, you can help to limit the time spent on your phone. Set a few alarms to announce that it is time to do something else other than scroll on a social media platform. Take apps off your phone that distract you from getting your important tasks done. Enable push notifications that cause you to stop what you are doing to be at any beck and call. Get an alarm clock in your bedroom and leave your phone outside of it if you find yourself up all night instead of sleeping. Try and take a 24-hour break from using social media and other apps that take up too much time in your day.
The only way to improve your digital footprint is to get honest about what you are digitally spending time on and how much. Technology is super entertaining; however, you should really consider the toll it may be taking on your health. Limiting the time, you use your digital devices in your personal life is key to really improving your quality of life. Find other activities that you enjoy that can help you take time off the daily usage on your phone. Rome was not built in a day, so do not expect suddenly to change everything digital about your life. Keep plugging away while you unplug a little at a time.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463