In a year where self-isolation and social distancing was forced on the majority of the population, digital escapism became our lifeline.
Who could blame us? We were scared, we were bored, and most importantly, we needed to stay up to date with the latest breaking pandemic news. The Internet offered us the solutions and answers we so desperately craved, whenever we wanted them!
Unfortunately, the reality is that the more tech we have access to and the more time we spend on it, the more disconnected we become on a human level.
The Impact on Social Relationships
According to therecoveryvillage.com,
“Internet addiction can have a significant impact on people’s social relationships.
People who spend excessive time online often develop virtual relationships through chat rooms, social networking, and blogging. They may even develop relationships with avatars and characters in video games. Many people with problematic internet usage begin substituting these “virtual” relationships for real ones as they spend more and more time online and withdraw from real-life interpersonal relationships.
Conversely, people with social phobia or who are socially awkward may be drawn into excessive internet usage as they find “virtual” relationships more rewarding and comfortable. Internet relationships are characterized by anonymity, disinhibition and instant gratification, which may foster dysfunctional social habits.”
Worldwide digital statistics
Comarecamp published the following astonishing internet addiction statistics:
- As of April 2020, 59% of the global population of approximately 4.57 billion people were active internet users.
- On average, in 2019, an internet user spent 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day.
- 61% of internet users are addicted to it.
- Internet addiction is common among all age groups and its prevalence is as follows: 13-17 (73%), 18-24 (71%), 25-34 (59%), 35-44 (54%), 45-54 (40%), 55-64 (39%), and 64+ (44%).
- The top five online activities for internet addicts in China include social networking (94.73%), school work (86.53%), entertainment (82.44%), online gaming (73.42%), and online shopping (33.67%).
- 52% of the global population are mobile internet users. In other words, 3.986 billion people in the world access the internet using their mobile devices.
5 Signs that you need a Digital Detox
- You obsessively check your social media and email accounts for new notifications.
- You check your favourite websites and social media accounts for status updates before getting out of bed in the mornings.
- Panic sets in when you cannot find your phone. Not because you’ve lost it but because you’re worried about being disconnected from your digital accounts.
- You sacrifice sleep to spend more time online. Or wake up in the middle of the night to check your phone.
- Your digital or gaming usage starts to affect your relationships, work and/or daily life.
Any of these ringing a bell? Then read on.
5 Tips to help your Digital Detox
- Turn Off Your Push Notifications. The constant pinging of messages makes everything seem urgent and creates unnecessary anxiety.
- Don’t take your phone to bed. Better yet, leave your phone out of the bedroom completely. Choose a time to check all of your online accounts one last time in the evening and then put your phone away. Lights out mean lights out!
- Log out of your social media accounts. This may very hard for some people to do, so we suggest doing it in steps. Start by removing them from your phone and only checking them on your laptop at certain times of the day. Then start limiting your time by only checking it once a day and then once a week. Eventually, you won’t bother to check it at all!
- Take everything other than essential work offline. That means removing all of your emails, Slack and WhatsApp groups from your phone. Stick to working on your laptop during office hours. Speak to people in person where you can and avoid using technology (like reading on Kindles and tablets) before bed.
- Set (and Stick With) Healthy Boundaries. Try setting small, achievable goals to limit your screen time, like creating “no phone zones” in the house. Or keeping your devices turned off until a specific time in the morning.
While these may seem difficult at first, they are all simple enough to implement and maintain.
One of the best benefits of taking a digital detox is that it allows you time to create some healthier habits around your digital consumption.
Learning to unplug can free up time to focus on the other priorities in your life, like your own wellbeing and spending quality time with family and friends.
After the year we’ve had, we encourage you to use your days off to take part in a digital detox and come back in the new year feeling refreshed and with a new perspective.
Do you need assistance with your Digital Marketing? Get in touch!