Digital detox

— an exigency

In a poll conducted by the organization Common Sense Media, 50% of teens reported that they felt that they were addicted to their mobile devices. A whopping 78% of the teen respondents said that they check their digital devices hourly. While people often feel that they can’t imagine life without their tech devices, research and surveys have found that technology use can also contribute to stress.

–-by Madhavi Goswami

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Since March 2020, there has been a drastic change in our lifestyle due to the coronavirus pandemic. Children

A smart and consciously planned virtual break gives people time to pursue other activities and realise life beyond the digital world.

are globally affected by school closures; classrooms are replaced by online learning and digital screens have become new playgrounds. The time which we used to spend traveling, in offices, shopping malls, cinemas, parks, gym, with friends, etc., has now been spent in front of the TV, laptops and mobiles.

Cases of sleep disorders, reduced physical activities, emotional and behavioural problems, and anxiety among children is becoming rampant. Kids are more prone to getting attracted to smartphones in nuclear and working-class families. The increasing number of complaints about mobile phone addiction among children is a matter of serious concern.
In a poll conducted by the organization Common Sense Media, 50% of teens reported that they felt that they were addicted to their mobile devices. A whopping 78% of the teen respondents said that they check their digital devices hourly.

Madhavi Goswami is Deputy    Headmistress, Learning and    Development at Seth Anandram Jaipuria school, Ghaziabad.

While people often feel that they can’t imagine life without their tech devices, research and surveys have found that technology use can also contribute to stress.

By forgoing digital devices, at least temporarily, people can let go of the stress that stems from constant connectivity. It is time for Smart Parenting and a Digital Detox. We need ‘Internet Fasting’ to tackle technology addiction.

So what is Digital Detox? A digital detox talks about a period when a person refrains from using tech devices such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and social media sites.

Our body, mind and behaviour give clear signals whether we might need a Digital Detox. Below are few warning signs whether you need a Digital Detox, if:

• You feel anxious or stressed out if you can’t find your phone.

• You feel compelled to check your phone every few minutes.

• You feel depressed, anxious, or angry after spending time on social media.

• You are preoccupied with the like, comment, or reshare counts on your social posts.

• You’re afraid that you’ll miss something if you don’t keep checking your device.

• You often find yourself staying up late or getting up early to play on your phone.

• You have trouble concentrating on one thing without having to check your phone.

The big question is, how to get started? Follow these simple steps to RECLAIM YOURSELF:

This is a fact that kids follow and imitate their parents, elders, and family members they are living with so parents should make some rules or schedule to contain the issue, not only for kids but for everyone in the family to follow.

• If the child uses any family member’s phone, set up a mutually agreed limit to return the phone without any arguments or hustle.

• Ask your child to give break to the digital device and by the time they can help in the house chores as per their age. Appreciate them for every small task when they complete this to keep them motivated to do the next task.

• Mealtime should be family time with every family member including kids leaving their phones away from the dining areas, set the example – let your phone ring, buzz during mealtime.

• Decide what time of the day and for how long to use the internet. Make children keep a diary of their progress and how they feel about this abstinence.

Unplugging yourself from your devices or making the effort to use them less can help improve your quality of life by helping you calm down and feel content, be more productive, feel better about yourself, get healthier, sleep better etc. to quote a few.

• Where both the parents are working while doing their work from home, instead of adopting the simplest way out and giving the digital screen to the kid, give them a small engaging age-appropriate task and after every 20-30 minutes do the reunion with kids so the kid might not feel lonely.

• Instead of playing or watching videos on Mobile and TV, learn new things to makeup time with kids, inculcate the habit of doing mediation, yoga daily and make it your habit also then only they will do. Build an indoor activity gym.

• Disable notifications for non-essential apps like Facebook or Instagram.

• Check social platforms periodically and Count the number of times you check Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts per day.

• Limit time spent per application to 20 minutes a day. Use apps to track your usage.

• Create gadget-free zones in your home; for instance, declare the bedroom a no-laptops zone.
• Set reminders if you tend to forget to follow.

A smart and consciously planned virtual break gives people time to pursue other activities and realise life beyond the digital world.

Unplugging yourself from your devices or making the effort to use them less can help improve your quality of life by helping you calm down and feel content, be more productive, feel better about yourself, get healthier, sleep better etc. to quote a few.

Let us give it a collective try to restore ourselves and our loved ones.