Whether it’s for work or personal use, we are constantly using some form of digital technology for all different purposes. But what if we told you that breaking away from this world could actually help you reconnect with yourself? Founder of Afea Care Services, Esha Oberoi shares how you can benefit from a digital detox.
image via pinterest
Last year I found myself in an airport lounge in tears for nearly an hour, because for the first
time in ten years of running my business I’d a put an ‘out of office’ reply on my emails. I had
taken holidays before, but never placed an out of office just in case something urgent
needed my attention.
I was headed to an ashram in India for the first real break I’d taken since I started the
business at 24 years old. I finally had the space from the constant stream of emails and
family and work commitments to just BE. To sit with my emotions and experience them as
they came up – no technology to distract me. It was a 7-day retreat with a chance to get
away from all the noise, including the toxic and idyllic feeds of social media.
With two young kids and a husband who works in the business with me, one of our 2019
goals as a family is to limit time spent on social media. Coming home exhausted from work, it’s such an easy trap to fall into, looking at your phone and suddenly looking up to realise you’ve lost your valuable time to social media. Instead you could’ve been having meaningful conversations with family, cooking a new dish, reading or even just contemplating how your day was, rather than looking for the next distraction.
Here are three benefits of doing a digital detox:
1. We stop the comparisons
When we get into a social media spiral and spend hours scrolling through the perfectly
curated highlights reel of other people’s lives, we begin comparing our own lives and
subconsciously setting unrealistic or unattainable standards. Many of the images aren’t
even practical for the average human being. When we step away from social media, the
grass stops being greener on the other side. Our competition isn’t other people, its
ourselves and our ability to expand. There is so much that we have which we can sometimes take for granted if we don’t consciously practice gratitude.
2. Free up your time for more valuable pursuits
When you take a conscious break from technology, maybe placing phones out of reach and
setting rules around screen time, you’re forced to find other ways to spend your time. This
can free up time to spend with family and friends, reading, learning or even meditating or
just daydreaming. You could learn to cook something new or go for a walk with a family
member or reflect on new dreams to create your future. Our time is precious, and we need
to be more conscious of how we choose to spend it.
3. Get in touch with your emotions
Often turning to social media or technology is a form of procrastination and avoidance
because sitting with the underlying anxieties can cause discomfort. When you can learn to sit with your feelings and let them wash over you, observing your thoughts and waiting for
the discomfort to pass, you begin to take back control over your life and your emotions.
4. Get away from consumerism
Technology platforms rely on consumerism, from Instagram influencers pushing products to TV advertising, product placement and so on. Our entertainment is entwined with creating a false sense of need for the latest gadgets or fashions. Getting away from this can help remind us how lucky we are and instead we can practice gratitude for what we have.
To do a digital detox you can set certain hours of the day where technology is off-limits,
such as evenings, you could set a certain number of days to switch off, or you could begin
reducing the number of apps you engage with. More than anything, doing a digital detox
can help you to be present, aware and conscious of how you choose to spend your time and who you choose to spend it with!