Even if you’ve never heard the term ‘phone detox’ before, you can probably tell what it means. Taking a break from using your phone to reduce its influence on your health, both mental and physical, is becoming increasingly popular – for a good reason.
Odds are you experience one of the following symptoms. If you do, consider detoxing from your phone by dedicating certain time (hours or even days) to living offline. You can use a voice-to-text recorder like Scripter to finish your projects without breaking the phone detox, so you can stay productive without staring at the screen.
1. Digital Eyestrain.
Eyestrain is often described as a slight burn, sometimes the “gritty” feeling of sand that’s not really there, soreness, or itching under your eyelids. Prolonged eyestrain results in headaches and blurred vision.
How does my phone cause it? It’s a combination of factors. First of all, a screen makes us stop blinking as often as needed, which makes the natural film of moisture covering the eye dry out. Second, a phone screen is too close for too long; the lens of your eye stays contracted and doesn’t relax. Third, if your screen it too bright, it can strain your eyes even more.
How can I fix it? The only way to fix eyestrain is to rest your eyes. Take breaks. Use voice input to minimize your screen exposure.
2. Trouble Focusing.
Another reason to do phone detox is a lack of focus. If you find yourself watching 20 seconds of a YouTube video, then switching to another one, then another one, then another one, your attention span has been damaged by the internet.
How does my phone cause it? Our brain is evolved to adapt. If we get used to information switching really fast, it adapts to that. But there’s a price: we lose the ability to focus on a single constant stream of information, such as a lecture or a long movie. Our brain develops the knee jerk impulse to switch.
How can I fix it? Your brain developed a short attention span to deal with the internet. You can make it adapt back. Pick up tasks that require long periods of focus. It could be reading, a craft, learning a language, or even exercise. Make them a habit, and make sure you don’t get distracted.
3. Trouble Falling Asleep.
A healthy person falls asleep within 15 minutes. Many people have trouble with that, and it’s not insomnia proper: they only toss and turn for an hour or so until they finally drift off. They also find it hard to get up in the morning.
And yes, this can be another symptom of too much screen time.
How does my phone cause it? Blue light makes your brain think it’s daytime and halts melatonin production. Additionally, reading news or texting can agitate you, which makes it harder to fall asleep. Eyestrain doesn’t help matters either.
How can I fix it? You guessed it, phone detox before bed. Health experts say 2 hours is enough to recover from blue light. (Pro tip: do not keep your phone on the bedside table; it helps resist the temptation.)
4. Dopamine Addiction.
Every time we perform a successful action, our brain releases a tiny burst of a chemical called dopamine. It makes us feel good. We crave another dopamine release, and it helps us stay motivated.
Smartphones make it so our source of dopamine is always at hand.
How does my phone cause it? Gaming apps, likes and dislikes, texting, even pressing a button makes brain release dopamine. We get addicted, and we know another dopamine release is just a click away. Although the addiction is purely psychological, it still makes it very hard to put away the phone.
How can I fix it? Take breaks from your phone. Limit your time playing games. Avoid fast-paced attention grabbers like TikTok.
5. Anxiety Alleviated by Phone Detox.
We all know what anxiety feels like. We know the short-lived anxiety you feel before a job interview and understand it’s normal. But long periods of anxiety are bad for your health.
Unfortunately, anxiety is on the rise around the globe. Many experts attribute this to our internet habits.
How does my phone cause it? A phone makes us expect another notification, whether we realize it or not. We browse bad news all day, even if most of them are irrelevant to our lives. Social media lower our self-esteem by displaying unrealistic pictures of success.
How can I fix it? Chronic anxiety is a serious concern, so it’s best to consult a health professional. However, you can make things easier for yourself. Do not engage with the content that upsets you. Avoid the media that deliberately posts shocking or fear-mongering news. Focus on your well-being.
We are Senstone. For years, we’ve helping our customers stay focused. Our AI-powered productivity wearables are uniquely efficient and user-friendly. Check out our homepage at senstone.io to learn more.