Why switching off social media, even for a short time, is truly beneficial and not just a gimmick.
We love our phones too much to advocate you ditch them completely. We’d still argue that there’s plenty to love about our online lives; facetiming family and friends we can’t be with, booking holidays and events with a group easily, recording our children for posterity and of course Instagram, who could be without Instagram?!
Why the fuss?
With good reason new technology has historically brought fears and mobile phone technology has only been with us for the last 30 years so any long-term impact is still to be seen. The good news for now though is that as per the NHS website, research suggests it’s unlikely that mobile phones or base stations increase the risk of health problems. The NHS website concludes that the ‘biggest known threat mobile phones pose to health is from their use when driving, as using them at the wheel impairs driving performance and increases the risk of accidents.’ Tell us something we don’t know!
This aside, there are other benefits to taking time off our screens and we like the idea of creating some boundaries, helping us to keep a healthy balance and to check-in with our usage.
1. Choose a time to switch off at night. Read a book instead of falling down the Instagram rabbit hole.
2. Use the usage calculator on your phone to tell you when you are near a daily or weekly limit. Or stricter, switch off your data allowance when you hit that number.
3. Call people instead of texting; you might even strengthen your relationships too and possibly avoiding any miscommunication….
4. Leave your phone in the kitchen at night, don’t have it at the dining table, pick a time in the evening to put it out of reach, meaning there is far less temptation to search ‘what would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way’ (Google Weird Search Reveal 2016)…actual google search. The mind boggles and we aren’t sure there was a definitive answer anyway!
So, what’s the gain?! Here’s the upside:
1. Sleep better, sleep more. No interfering blue lights and noisy notifications, sleep is good for absolutely everything and your phone, as you well know, likes to rob you of time.
2. Be in the moment! Your kids will notice as will your partner/friends if you don’t have to repeatedly say ‘sorry what was that, I was checking my emails….again.
3. Be a great role model. You are anyway but we are all very good at asking our children to put their phones down, especially when we are trying to communicate with them. Yet are we leading by example? Do as we do not just what we say.
4. Lessen anxiety and curb that FOMO (fear of missing out). We all know that social media shows us the best of life. The perfect houses, the perfect bodies and the perfect children….we all know it’s a series of edited filtered images too. Let’s edit that out!
5. Do the other stuff! Exercise more, enjoy the outdoors IRL (in real life), play a game, read a book. We love the benefits our mobile freedom has brought us, but we love the benefits of some digital detox time too.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash