7 strategies for a healthier use of technology

Excessive use of technology can harm your well-being. Try these 7 strategies to regain healthy use of your laptop. Living in the most connected age in human history has many advantages: distant family members are only one session away. FaceTime and the answer to almost any question that comes to mind is at your fingertips. But too much technology, whether it’s time spent on smartphones, social media, or in front of other digital screens, can have unintended consequences.

Excessive use of technology can rob time of activities such as sleep, exercise, and socializing, all of which are important for well-being. A study published in June 2020 in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience indicates that frequent technology use has been linked to increased attention deficit symptoms, impaired emotional and social intelligence, technology addiction, social isolation, impaired brain development and disturbed sleep in some cases.

Other research suggests, for example, that using social media can help you build and maintain connections when you interact more actively with other people, but tends to have the opposite effect when people use them. more passively, such as when they scroll through an Instagram or Facebook feed without interacting with the content, according to an analysis published in February 2018 in Current Directions in Psychological Science.

You’ll know you’re overdoing it if technology interferes with your work, relationships, mental and physical health, or finances. Like with a drug, when technology, screens, or your phone takes up a lot of your thoughts and shapes your behaviors, and when it interferes with your life, like your job, your studies, or your relationships, maybe it’s time to consider reducing consumption.

This reduction can have positive effects. A 2021 study published by the Libyan Journal of Medicine found that students who performed a social media detox reported positive changes in their mood, sleep, and anxiety.

7 Ways to Reduce Your Tech Use (Without Unplugging It Completely)

For most people, it’s impossible to give up on technology completely. Reducing the use of technologies seems to be a more realistic approach. To achieve this, make a plan. Identify your unhealthy habits, then decide which ones you want to change. How that time is distributed across different apps is a great place to start, and then you can identify areas to start throttling.

Here are seven strategies to better manage your use of technology and experience your own personal digital detox

1. Schedule time away from screens throughout the day

If you work in front of a computer, it’s hard to avoid screens, which means it’s all the more important to prioritize the break. Schedule time in your calendar or with an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a walk or have lunch away from your desk. And don’t forget to leave your phone behind.

2. Take periodic tech breaks

Breaks can reduce stress, especially for heavy users. More research on digital abstinence is needed before specific recommendations on the form and duration of this abstinence can be made. But that might mean removing problematic apps, the ones that take up your most time or occupy your mind the most, from your phone, temporarily or permanently. If the Facebook app is something you click on often and find yourself scrolling for long periods of time, getting rid of the app and having to go through the search browser is an extra step and helps to pause for a moment to decide if this is the right time to engage in this activity.

3. Reduce the size of your phone

If you’re struggling to stay present, eliminate distractions by replacing your smartphone with a simple cell phone that can’t support apps. It can absolutely help to downgrade a smartphone if possible. They have simple call or text functions and that’s it.

4. Turn off your phone at a specific time

Try turning off your phone before dinner and until the next morning. Some phone users can also activate the “Do Not Disturb” feature, which silences alerts, notifications and calls. It’s a good idea to take advantage of the tools built into your devices.

5. Adjust your phone settings to restrict certain apps

Some phone users can set limits with the Screen Time feature (found in your phone’s settings) and schedule downtime, when only phone calls or specific apps are allowed and those apps have a limited time. According to an analysis published in August 2020 in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, people who did not use these features were more likely to have problematic smartphone use and poorer well-being than those who did. were using.

6. Create phone-free zones

Setting limits on certain apps doesn’t always work. Instead, try to completely opt out of using the devices. Banning phones and screens from the bedroom, for example, can prevent screens from interfering with your sleep. And if you have to go to another room or part of your house to use a device, that can deter you from mindlessly scrolling.

7. Consider Seeking an Addiction Mental Health Professional

We all use technology all the time, so it can be difficult to always tell the difference between having a problem or not. If your behaviors or feelings about technology or certain apps and sites are starting to interfere with your daily functioning, it may be time to seek help from an addiction professional. If your self-esteem is plummeting or you’re suffering from anxiety or depression, it’s time to talk to someone.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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