Digital detox

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Digital detox refers to a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers.[1] It is regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress, focus more on social interaction and connection with nature in the physical world. Claimed benefits include increased mindfulness, lowered anxiety, and an overall better appreciation of one's environment.[2] [3]There have been many stories where a digital detox has lead to a more refreshed feeling along the people involved. They described there digital detox as a "getaway" in some aspect. When people get caught up in how much they need to do, the overuse of technology becomes prevalent. This even becomes the case in a social context; people want to make sure they're up to date on the latest news stories, Instagram posts, political tweets etc. and to do this, they need to stay plugged in. [4]

Smartphones, laptops, and tablets, combined with the increasing wireless Internet accessibility, enable technology users to constantly be connected to the digital world.[5]Constant online connectivity may have a negative impact on the users’ experience with electronic connecting devices and result in a wish to temporarily refrain from communication technology usage.

In one study in Mind, 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after putting down their phones to spend time outside, changing from depressed, stressed, and anxious to more calm and balanced. [6]

The motivations behind digital detoxing vary. In some cases, the motivation is negative emotional responses to the technology usage, such as dissatisfaction or disappointment of the technology device and its functions. In other cases, users see the technology as a distracting factor that consumes time and energy and wants to take back control over their everyday lives. Some people have moral, ethical or political reasons to refrain from technology usage. Furthermore, a concern of developing addictive behavior in terms of tech addiction or Internet addiction disorder is one of the motivations for disconnecting for a period of time.[5]This excessive technology usage can be considered an addiction. It's said that around 50% of smartphone users check their account 5 minutes prior to going to bed and within 5 minutes post waking up. [7]

Constant engagement with digital connecting devices at the workplace is claimed to lead to increased stress levels and reduce productivity. [8]Certain characteristics of the technology make it more difficult to distinguish work from leisure. Moreover, being continually connected increases the number of interruptions at work. Allowing employees to disconnect for a part of the day in order to truly focus on their work without disturbance from colleagues is claimed to be beneficial to the productivity and work environment. [8]To combat the effects of constant digital exposure, there are digital detox retreats held for select numbers of people. It's an average of 12 people per week getting detoxed for a little less than $600 dollars including flights.[4]

In certain cultures, constant work is encouraged and taking breaks are sometimes even discouraged. This is due to the idea that a break equals a lack of productivity. In the Indian culture, this is extremely prevalent; there have even been studies to back these ideas up. It's said that more than half of Indians check their work and social emails constantly. Even while vacationing, about 30% admitted that they had an irresistible urge to check and post on social media. There is also a significant estimated 30% difference between people being willing to leave their laptops at home compared to people being willing to leave their smartphones at home. It's admitted that if work wasn't a factor a lot of Indians wouldn't constantly be on their devices and stay unplugged. [9]

The connecting devices’ multitasking character has a serious impact on the learning ability. Multitasking implies operating on a surface level, which only involves the short-time memory. [10]Using multiple connecting devices as learning platforms is therefore not beneficial. A reduction of information choices enables the brain to focus more on the quality of the information rather than the hastiness of it.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "digital detox | Definition of digital detox in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  2. ^ "Here's One Big Sign It's Time To Reevaluate Your Relationship With Your Phone". HuffPost. 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  3. ^ Booth, Frances. "How To Do A Digital Detox". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  4. ^ a b Brown, Sally (Feb 2014). "Switch off: feel chained to your smartphone? Perhaps you're in need of a digital detox" (PDF).
  5. ^ a b Morrison, S., & Gomez, R. (2014). "Pushback: The Growth of Expressions of Resistance to Constant Online Connectivity" (PDF). In iConference 2014 Proceedings (p. 1-15).
  6. ^ "How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing? | Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing". Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  7. ^ "Smartphone owners in India are increasingly obsessed with their devices: Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2015". Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  8. ^ a b Ayyagari, Ramakrishna; Grover, Varun; Purvis, Russell (2011). "Technostress: Technological Antecedents and Implications". MIS Quarterly. 35 (4): 831–858. doi:10.2307/41409963.
  9. ^ "Time for Digital Detox - PCQuest". PCQuest. 2018-01-10. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  10. ^ Smith, Julia Llewellyn (2013-12-28). "Switch off – it's time for your digital detox". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  11. ^ "Time for a digital detox? - Tara Brabazon - Fast Capitalism 9.1". Retrieved 2018-11-29.