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Do You Need a Technology Detox?

More Americans are staying connected and online than ever before. Nearly one-third of adults (30%) spend more than half of their waking hours (9+) using a digital device. 

DO YOU NEED A TECHNOLOGY DETOX? | More Americans are staying connected and online than ever before. Nearly one-third of adults (30%) spend more than half of their waking hours (9+) using a digital device. Anyone else shocked by this number? Click through to http://jillconyers.com to find out if, maybe, you need a technology detox. Pin it now, read more later. @jillconyers

I use technology every day in my personal and professional life [a lot]. And, I would never, ever argue against the responsible use of it.

Last year I questioned myself and my use of technology.  Was my use of technology responsible and the even bigger question, was my use of technology healthy for my body, mind and spirit?

Almost a year ago I made a few changes and added a little unplugged to my life. What started out as rules is now a lifestyle choice, no technology 1-2  hours before bed and very little, if any, computer time when I get home from work. I starting sleeping better, more family time and there is what I can only describe as feeling of being less wound up. And I’ve added at least one, sometimes 2, days a month totally unplugged. It’s easier to do than you might think.

I am the first to admit the benefits of technology and being connected online, but it’s clear the world has an unhealthy attachment to it:

Think about this (Pew Reasearch Center):

  • 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device.
  • 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
  • Almost half of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls.
  • Studies indicate some mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes.

In 2015, Pew Research reported up to 68% of adults in the United States have a smartphone, that’s up from 35% in 2011.

Digital Detox reports:

  • 61 percent admit to being addicted to the internet and their devices.
  • The average American dedicates 30 percent of leisure time to perusing the web.
  • The average employee checks 40 websites a day, switching activities 37 times an hour, changing tasks every two minutes.
  • 33 percent of people admit to hiding from family and friends to check social media.
  • 60 percent of people say traditional vacation does not relieve their stress.

Nearly one-third of adults (30%) spend more than half their waking hours (9+) using a digital device. Anyone else shocked by this number?

Reasons to give yourself a digital detox:

Unplugging helps remove unhealthy feelings of jealousy, envy, and loneliness. From the number of birthday wishes on Facebook and photos of dream vacations in a tropical paradise to always clean homes and the picture perfect marriage, the opportunity for envy is never in short supply. Researchers recently discovered that one in three people felt worse after visiting Facebook and more dissatisfied with their lives. Unplugging resets and refocuses appreciation and gratitude for our lives.

Real life is happening all around you. These conversations are unfiltered and authentic. And the love is real. Each moment is only going to happen once and you’re going to miss it because your head was down looking at a screen.

Learn something about yourself. Are you online too much? Do you have an unhealthy attachment to technology? The best way to answer those questions is to be without. Notice, how did you feel? Were you calm or anxious? Did you experience the constant urge to check Twitter, Instagram, email or texts and were you uncomfortable when you couldn’t? Find out how much control technology has on your life. You might be surprised.

Life is still about human contact and physical connection. There’s no denying the benefit and the ease of which family and friends stay connected with technology. That said, it doesn’t (shouldn’t) take the place of personal contact and connections. People that love and care about you right there, right in front of you. Bring your head up from the screen and enjoy having them in your life.

You will relax, destress and recharge. It’s hard to relax if you’re checking your phone every 6.5 minutes (or more). Imagine the things you can do with the extra time you have while unplugged.

Your body will be healthier and you will have more time to be active. We’ve all heard sitting is the new smoking, right. Think about how much time you sit in front of a computer. According to the Vision Council 2015 report, physical symptoms commonly associated with overexposure to digital devices include eye strain (32.8%), neck/shoulder/back pain (32.6%), headache (24%), blurred vision (23.3%) and dry eyes (22.8%).

6 Tips for a Technology Detox

  • Unplug for a specific period of time each day.
  • Take an intentional break from technology several times throughout the day.
  • Unplug one day a week.
  • Turn off notifications.
  • Plan ahead for what you will do with the time you’re typically on your computer.
  • Make it a family unplugged.

I was just telling my husband last night, I could easily give up TV and, except to staying in contact with him and our kids, I’m fine with being without my phone.

More Americans are staying connected and online than ever before. Nearly one-third of adults (30%) spend more than half of their waking hours (9+) using a digital device. Anyone else shocked by this number? Click through to http://jillconyers.com to find out if, maybe, you need a technology detox. Pin it now, read more later. @jillconyers

I would love to chat:

What do you think? Do you need a digital detox? Have you ever gone a day unplugged? Are you ok with being without your phone? Have I convinced you to give yourself a digital detox?

be the best version of YOU

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54 Comments

  1. Hello, Technology detoxes are so important this day in age. I’ve been trying to put my phone away at night when I’m spending time with my fiance. And anytime I’m on vacation, it goes away except to take pictures. I also rarely post to social on the weekends. We can’t live our lives through our phones! Thanks for the informative information.

  2. I was just talking about this with my husband last night. We both need one. Especially at night. Less connection online at night helps us connect more with each other over dinner and sleep better later! We get so caught up in checking things that we totally forget. It’s time for a reset for sure

  3. Fantastic post!! I agree that we all, including myself can use a technology detox regulargly. Great facts, information and more important reminders about the fact that life is happening all around us NOW, not in our phones. They play a lot more of a negative role in our lives than we wish to admit, but this article definitely helps! Thanks for sharing!! Will share as well!

  4. I don’t often use my phone or computer unless I’m going to work but it’s important to take a break from it all. What I do is I leave it whenever I travel so that I can enjoy my vacation instead of looking at my emails all the time!

  5. Stephenie says:

    Technology takes up so much of my time, but some of it is really useful, like be able to read amazing stories. I’m not sure I could detox, but it’s on my bucket lis 😉

  6. I love all the statistics in this! We definitely all need to ‘unplug’ more often.

  7. Elizabeth O. says:

    I get on my phone and gadgets a lot because that’s where I work, but once I’m done with work, I make sure to take a break from all of the tech. It’s important that you give yourself time to do something else that doesn’t involve your phone or your laptop.

  8. katrina gehman says:

    i’m attached to my phone and computer more than i care to admit. it is how i communicate with everyone though.

  9. I make my living using technology, but I have to admit that it really is killing society. I do think that we need to unplug and disconnect from it for a while.

  10. great post! I know I finally started turning my phone over while it is on my desk so the pop up alerts don’t distract me- baby steps!! I think the unplugged part of yoga class is fantastic and I don’t worry about a thing! I need to put a couple more of your tips into practice!

  11. Before uni I was barely on technology and then I had to use it for my coursework. Then I became a blogger and it seemed like my whole life is dictated by technology. Every so often I need to unplug!

  12. I think, given the fast pace of life that we all lead and the over-dependence on technology. We need to take a digital detox from time to time. This is necessary to ensure we do not burn out and give our natural faculties an opportunity to rejuvenate.

  13. I need to do this big time. I need to try unplugged for one whole day. Just not sure I could do it. I will try to do it half day instead of a whole day. This was a really great post.

  14. I believe I need a bit of detox as my school, work, and hobbies (blogging, vlogging, etc) require me to use a phone or computer most of my day. I’m going to start giving myself mandatory breaks as well and hopefully it’ll become a habit.

  15. I did a digital detox post a few months ago. I know that I can go without tv and phone but not my laptop. I did my detox by cutting they hours per day spent staring on the computer. It feels great to be spending real time with family around me.

  16. Great article. I was just thinking about this. I defiantly need to detox for a bit. I spend way to many hours on my PC. Thanks for the reminder

  17. There are exceptions. My phone has to stay with me or right near me all the time. It always has to be on. I have a son with special needs and I need to be able to be reached quickly if necessary. I also have a son in the military and sometimes he is in time zones that are several hours different, and since phone calls/messages can be few and far between … Another exception would be if your work involves working with people and organizations on a global level. Eight PM might seem late, but if it is morning somewhere else?

    I understand the point you are trying to make. I think it is different when someone needs the phone with them twenty-four-seven for the reasons above-mentioned as opposed to being worried they might miss the next greatest thing posted/shared on a social media site.

  18. I absolutely hate being without my smartphone.Especially since a very large majority of my friends and family live continents away being connected is very important to stay in touch.

  19. There are so many positives to technology – easier to stay in touch for example, but more opportunity to see what partners are doing, see how old friends from school are doing (and making you feel a bit jealous/failure when you’re not always at your best). Great post! Interesting to read the facts. We all need a day a week without phones/laptops. Not sure i’d manage though haha x

  20. This is one right time. I have been more cognizant of scaling back on my tech consumption on weekends. I hope my next vacation will be a detox time!

  21. School makes it hard for me to have too much of a digital detox, but I do try to put my phone away when I am with my family/friends, and not be so engrossed in social media all the time! These are great tips!

  22. Yes I most certainly do but think I would no doubt struggle to do this for long and I know my teens certainly need to get off all technology and be normal kids for a change

  23. I am guilty of this. I guess it doesn’t help that I woke up this morning to get extra screen time! It’s true – I need a technology detox!

  24. This would be sooo hard for me. Me and my phone are one. When I loose it for only a half minute, I loose hair. Nice!

  25. Definitely considering doing a technology detox. Maybe I’ll try it this weekend.

  26. Definitely considering doing a technology detox. Maybe I’ll try it this weekend.

  27. I am in serious need of a technology detox! We went to the mountains this past summer. No electricity and no technology for a week…it was AMAZING! I can’t remember the last time I slept that good and I was in a tent on a sleeping bag!

  28. I definitely need a detox from technology. I feel that I need to get rid of technology for most of the day and only allow myself a few times during the day to look at it. With all of the drama on all social media, I really don’t need that in my life. And I don’t need to be addicted to something.

  29. We do a digital detox often when we travel, by necessity. Its tough at times but it feels great and mind clearing.

  30. Such an issue right now in society, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s problem for me and one that I want to work on! Thank you for sharing this!

  31. I can agree that sometimes it’s nice to just unplug for a while and let go of stressing about digital/online stuff – but I wouldn’t take a digital detox no matter what study told me I needed to. My income is online, so I’m on the laptop or cell phone most of the day, most days of the week. I’m a single mom – the income is needed so the empire must be built. Aside from that, much of my personal/social life is online – I’m still in touch with several of my childhood friends, and that’s only through the magic of the internet. We’re all spread out now, but we know each other’s lives and stories just as intimately through our online connections as we would if we were able to spend time face to face. It has even become a great way for me to interact with my teen as she grows old enough to need to have serious talks with me, but is very uncomfortable having certain conversations in a face-to-face format. She talks more openly through text, and I’m okay with that.

    Just another perspective on it.

  32. I always think about this and it’s hard with the blog and all the social media. I did start unplugging on the weekends and I’m working on really being present this year and making sure that I’m not on my phone or computer when we’re doing something if possible.

  33. I think I can definitely say that I am addicted to technology. Between my blogs, Instagram, and everything else I spend the majority of my day online. I also sleep with my phone next to my bed (if I don’t fall asleep with it lol). I have to agree with the study’s findings of feeling worse after checking certain social media sites as well. This is even truer as of late. It seems that everyone is in a bad mood and that certainly has an effect on you after a while. This is a very thought provoking post!

  34. Lian Wright says:

    When I realized I spent too much time on my devices, it was hard for me, to put my phone down. Once I made efforts to put it in another room to avoid running to it to check for notifications, I go better at being without it for long stretches of time. I agree, we all need a bit of a technology detox once in a while.

  35. I don’t regard my use of technology as something that is making my life and experiences toxic. On the contrary, it opens the window to the world and is a vehicle for my creativity. I do unplug as I need to….I am that self aware. 🙂

  36. Yes. My poor hands are always tired from being on my phone/Instagram!

  37. I do feel that many of us spend way to much time in front of one screen or another. I’m no exception. I spend my work day at the computer and school time at the computer. However, after 6 pm, being without my phone or the computer is no issue for me as I do it every day. This is when my phone goes on the charger, my computer gets shut down and I start my evening routine. Me and my husband do this every day and it really is a good way to relax at the end of the day.

  38. I recently turned off email notifications on my phone and it’s so great! I feel more focused now that my phone isn’t buzzing all the time and I am in control of when I check my emails. I also try and avoid social media on the weekends, but it’s hard!

  39. Such great tips and reminders! I think we all could use a little break from social media sometimes. This is why I make a point to keep my phone away whenever I’m catching up with someone or out enjoying nature. Such a nice break!

  40. Yes to all of this! Sometimes I think about the simplicity of my younger self and I wonder why didn’t I feel these feelings then?! It’s because I wasn’t constantly comparing myself to people on social media! It’s hard as a blogger to know where to draw the line with social media related aspects but I’m hoping to find a balance this year.

  41. This is something we are tackling as a family this year. We’ve cancelled the cable (too many channels, nothing on and too much per month) and can catch the local news with a antenna. There are a few shows we catch streaming, but it’s on our time schedule – the world doesn’t stop because a favorite show comes on. We also put the phones down more often too, going for an evening walk or just having some “face” time. I thought it would take longer to get used to not having the cable, but it’s been super easy and not to mention a blessing to our monthly budget.

  42. I totally need an electronics detox!! I am currently reading Hands Free mama since that is what the book is sort of about. I have been making changes here and there and already I have noticed a difference.

  43. That’s a great reminder. As a blogger, it’s difficult to be unplugged from my phone, but I guess I have to be more disciplined and deliberate in using my phone.

  44. It’s all about balance! I try to spend less time on my phone on the weekends. IT’s tough though as a full time blogger!!

  45. a technologies detox !!! honestly impossible , I am in computer science My work depends on technologies, after work also I my blog also depends on being connected all the time, without technologies i would have an empty life

  46. Technology detoxes are so important this day in age. I’ve been trying to put my phone away at night when I’m spending time with my fiance. And anytime I’m on vacation, it goes away except to take pictures. I also rarely post to social on the weekends. We can’t live our lives through our phones!

  47. I think about this daily when I have my phone in my face while I’m hanging with my kids. Social media gets me – especially as a blogger!!! Ugh it’s all about balance (which I’m working on)!

  48. Great post! I started not using my phone before bead a few months ago and it’s so much more relaxing. I try to limit how much I use it during the day too.
    It’s hard when you work from home, but I really try to get up and get out of the office for a few hours each day.

  49. Back in November I did a “digital detox” with She Works His Way and it was really good to learn to unplug some. It’s a goal of mine this year to be more focused when I’m online and on social media so I can get done and get outta there!

  50. I know I am on my electronics a lot. I try to watch it, but since it’s how I earn an living being online, I can’t take long detoxes.

  51. I think we could ALL use this. It is so hard, because now we have instant access to everything via our phones and TVs. But maybe just going to a regular camera, or even a regular watch! could help with the tech overload.

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