All I want for Christmas is… a Digital Detox

All I want for Christmas is… a Digital Detox

Christmas is generally a time when you get together with people you haven’t seen for a while. Or even people you do see often but are celebrating the joy of Christmas. But given the current dysfunctional capitalistic society we live in who are all more obsessed with checking phones, laptops and anything that doesn’t require human interaction, Christmas has become what gifts you got rather than how much fun you had. A digital detox is when a person refrains from using tech devices and apps. Being online at during this time only amplifies the stress people already feel during Christmas.

 

Could you have a phone-free Christmas?

One thing I have learned over the years that you don’t realise as a child is how fast time passes by and how we won’t get these moments again. Ask yourself could you have a phone-free Christmas? Make the most of reconnecting in real life rather than connecting to strangers or following the lives of others online. Whether it be chatting with grandparents, playing with nieces and nephews or even helping clear up after Christmas dinner. It is a sentiment more of us are getting on board with and why not be part of a vision of unparalleled innovation. 

 

Most people say they’re ‘hooked’ to their devices and ironically there are even apps to help measure the time you’re online. Have you ever sat across from a friend or family member who is so engrossed in their smart phones that you feel ignored? Or maybe you yourself are guilty of ‘smart-snubbing’? When you’re spending so much time glued to your phone or laptop it has negative effects on your relationships, sleep, family, school and work.

 

In measuring the progress of the human race and knowing we may live in this the golden age of science and technology, but socially, we are on the decline. In comparison the achievements back in the mid 1900’s, todays progress is defined almost entirely by consumer driven improvements in technology. Even the festive joy of Christmas is more about whether you got the new smartphone or tablet. Technology addiction, although not recognised as a disorder, is troubling due to the explosion of the digital age and that is because we are constantly surrounded by technology.

 

Take steps to reduce stress

By taking steps to reduce stress that stems from the addiction to constant connectivity or the ‘connectivity creep’ you are giving yourself chance to focus on real life social interactions. If you are feeling the strain of this then jump on the ‘web wagon’ and make a choice to a healthier balance between technology and life beyond the screen. There are things you can do to help prevent the adverse health effects excessive technology use has on a person. 

 

Turning it off would be the most obvious answer, give it up and enjoy your time without interference. There are now apps to track accurate data and will tell you the average usage time. Monitoring screen time and setting targets to reduce this will increase mindfulness. Switching off notifications that are scientifically proven to reduce attention span. Turning you phone on silent will mean you will only check when you want. 

 

Make a plan and set goals!

Make plans that don’t involve technology, reconnect with nature, play board games, meditate. Take time for yourself that make you enjoy life more and will be liberating. Maybe it would be a day with friends or family or just a day to sit in and listen to music. Music has been proven to have beneficial effects on stress levels. Yes, I realise that music is played on a device but switching off, closing your eyes and actively listening is more therapeutic than scrolling endlessly for hours. 

 

Set achievable goals over the festive period. Make sure they’re realistic, cut down screen time before completely cutting it out. No tech devices at the table or only at specific times will help reevaluate your priorities. Understanding that time spent is not something you get back so why waste it with glued to such devices. Technology is designed to take advantage of the basic human need to feel a connection with people or even a sense of belonging. That’s, in essence, why is can be so troubling. 

 

So this Christmas be more conscious about what you do with not only your time but with your thoughts. Improve your listening skills by decreasing distractions. Become more productive by seeking time away from the internet. This festive season may well provide the perfect opportunity for some digital downtime. Enjoy more family time and feel refreshed for the New Year. 

 

I really hope you join me in this digital detox and would love to hear all about it! The good and the bad. The re-focusing offline social interactions or the Fear of missing out (FOMO.) Make better choices and have a wonderful Christmas. 

 

The LHW Team xoxo