The pandemic has been responsible for accelerating the growth of technology and software over the last few months. While COVID-19 guidelines maintain social distancing, we continue to heavily rely on being virtually connected. So, why the sudden talk about digital detox?
The answer lies in your response to the below questions.
Has the pandemic made you addicted to your phone?
Do you often engage in non-screen activities as part of your leisure time?
On an average, how many hours do you spend in front of a screen?
Can you spend a day without the internet?
Are you spending an unhealthy amount of time on social media?
Technology – A boon for business, a bane for healthy living
AI and ML made it possible for companies and other institutes to carry on functioning during the lockdown. Video conferencing apps like ZOOM, MS Teams, Google Meets, and Slack have enabled companies to stay connected virtually, while working remotely. Companies have also been quick in using time management and organisational apps to ensure a smooth and regulated flow of work. E-learning companies like Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, and BYJU’S have made distance learning easier for students as well as for professionals.
But 3-4 months into the lockdown, things changed. Early this June, The Economic Times reported that screen time shot up by 100% for children within the age group of 5-15 years. What’s worse is that a Hammerkopf Consumer Survey found out that Indians now spend 4.6 hours on social media alone. This is an 87% increase from the previous duration of 2.5 hours that an average individual spent online. The usage of smartphones has also grown to 25 hours in a week; which is equivalent to spending an entire day ‘using only the phone’.
Since the pandemic, the amount of time that an employee spends in virtual meetings and discussions has resulted in a condition termed as ‘video call fatigue’. Research by Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists reveals that video call fatigue is causing a loss in productivity by 862 million businesses hours.
Burnout is a mental health illness that is also plaguing the corporate world as the pandemic grows. Close to 69% of employees are suffering from burnout while working from home. The fear of being laid off is prompting professionals to work round the clock, through the week, and with very limited breaks. With mental stress and anxiety at an all-time high, organisations must take action to guarantee employee well-being in order to survive this crisis.
Digital Detox – simple ways to practice it
Considering the unhealthy amount of time that one spends in front of a screen ever since working from home has come into effect, detoxing from the virtually connected world is needed as much as a vacation. This is where a break from technology and electronics comes into play. Simply put, a digital detox is refraining from electronic devices to lower stress levels and focusing more on living the real life, in the natural world.
Because the COVID-19 safety guidelines limit one from outdoor leisure activities, an individual resorts to binge-watching or playing games online; inadvertently, disrupting their physical health. But here’s how one can unplug gradually from the overuse of technology.
Turn off phone notifications
Switch off smartphone notifications to curb the constant urge of using the mobile continuously, which can often be a disturbance while working.
Set a time limit for gadgets and social media apps
Spending hours on social media or playing games can affect the eye muscles. This can be avoided by setting a time limit for certain apps and gadgets that can automatically shut down, once the duration is over.
Discipline addictive habits
Yoga and mediation is an effective way of correcting addictive behaviour by connecting with oneself and finding relief in one own’s thoughts.
Engage in non-screen activities
Connect with family and loved ones amid the lockdown. It is also the best time to take up a hobby or engage in non-screen leisure activities to keep oneself occupied.
Break away during breaks
Take work breaks away from any gadget to rejuvenate and unwind. This practice can help in promoting fresh thought and a refreshed mind.
Though circumstances demand that one should stay virtually connected, only we as an individual can control the amount of technology consumed. Regularly unplugging to the real life is essential for a healthy and fit lifestyle.
Find your own way to digitally detox.