2018 is the time to get social in real life and stop hiding behind screens. Let’s stop the UK digital addiction taking over. For many the first thing they do when they wake up and last thing at night is checking their phone. The figures are alarming, the average person checks their phone 200 times a day, that’s once every six and a half minutes. While 73% of Brits say they’d struggle to go a day without checking their phone or computer and one in four people spend more time online then they sleep!
It’s time to stop your digital addiction! It can wreak havoc on your mental health, attention span and productivity levels. Here are our top tips to ditch the screens.
1. Digital mindfulness
Firstly be honest about how addicted you are to technology and the impact it is having on your life. Be realistic about how much time you are wasting online and the impact it is having and set some new goals.
2. Food not phones
Unplug your phones at meal times and ban tech when you go out to eat.
3. Quality digital time
Limit your screen time to when it is really going to add value and try to limit the access at times it distracts you
4. Techless Bedroom
Make your bedroom a tech-free zone it will help with sleep, and if this is too dramatic a move stop using your phone an hour before bed so that you get time to relax.
5. Go tech free
Leave you tech at home/out of sight on weekends, holidays, 2-3 hours a day, set yourself time to be free of all tech and focus on the real world. Gradually build up the time, set yourself some goals.
6. Focus on the real world
Real people, real connections, with eye contact.
7. Get a detox friend
Just like exercise and diet it is easier with family and friends, all agree not to use phones at meals, create new shared social habits
The backlash against addictive social media is set to grow in strength in 2018. More and more people are every age are speaking out against the negative impact of technology on our mental health. Rather than making you feel connected, many of us are finding that our iPhones and tablets are actually affecting our health, often impacting sleep, self confidence and our overall well being. My daughter Megan, aged 16 captured it well in this poem:
I think I need a break
I’m not quite sure how long that’ll take
From this entrapment of constantly sharing
Hours of scrolling and not really caring.
My addiction to constant stimulation.
Is doing nothing other than alienation.
I have 756 friends on Facebook
Yet I am so incredibly lonely
So I need you please to show me
How it is this social media fixation
Is only resulting in further isolation.
Staring at this iPhone screen,
Realises a sweet dose of dopamine,
Counting likes and feeling validation
Is now simply just an expectation
Of being controlled by technology
Making us question our own psychology.
Instagram may create a sense of inclusion,
But for once, step away from the illusion,
The life you see on your screen is just a delusion,
We look up from our phones in a state of confusion
When our iPhone battery finally dies
And we realise, we have to socialise.
It means we will have to actually engage
Not just stare at each other’s Instagram page.
The struggle we have lies in-between
Looking into their eyes, or their name on a screen.
I am missing that social interaction,
I am craving a real human reaction,
Instagram likes do not provide satisfaction.
We live in a pretend world of self-promotion
Where we share all our best bits, but leave out the emotion.
Endless amounts of manipulated photos,
Our private life that we overexpose,
An impulse to compete with these lifestyles,
To pose and pose and fake the smiles.
I hate the sound of a busy tube
Because it is silent
We don’t talk on the train
From fear of looking insane.
Interaction with our own kind
Has now become so utterly blind.
I am being caught up in the net
it only fills me with regret, that our
Our human connection has been hacked,
Hours together without eye contact.
I think I need a break,
I’m not quite sure how long it’ll take
But I need to finally disconnect,
To see the present perfect
From now on I will not just follow the hype,
I’ll give you my love, not just my like.