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These days everyone is a little more addicted to their phones than they'd like to admit. I know as a college student, I always have my phone on me, and there rarely passes an hour where I don't check it. Our phones and computers have become a fight for our attention, with social media, ads and constant reminders of what the rest of the world is doing. In no way am I trying to paint the Internet as this evil thing, because I think it serves many great purposes, like keeping us all connected and more informed. But everyone needs a break. Having information and entertainment constantly at our fingertips creates a need in our brain to be occupied with something at all times. This can create a shorter attention span and make it more difficult to focus. I myself find it hard to simply watch a TV show without being on my phone scrolling through some form of media. Taking a breath from the digital world that we are all so engulfed will give you new freedom. It will give you your independence back and release the Internet's hold on your attention and brain space.
I have recently done my own digital detox of sorts by deleting Instagram and Facebook from my phone. My account was still swimming out in the world, I just wasn't a part of interacting with it. I took a week away from these social media sources and was surprised to find how dependent I was on them for entertainment, or rather, time-wasting. Instead of coming back from class and laying on my bed looking through Instagram, I was able to get down to business much faster and complete the work I needed more efficiently because I didn't have that temptation of looking through endless entertainment. When I did reinstall the apps on my phone, I was much less eager to spend time mindlessly watching videos or liking pictures. I was able to focus on the things I really needed to spend time on much better. My mind was less distracted and had more time for the important things. Not only while I was taking the break, but after, I felt refreshed and freed.
With the extra time I had, I found I was more able to focus on relationships with the people around me as well. It is so easy to look to your phone when topics for a conversation have run out, or there is an awkward pause. Without the resource there to distract me from my friends and family, I was much more able to engage and spend real quality time with the people I love. When you are out in public, you can see so many people engaging with their phones when there are real people around them. Not only was I able to spend better time with people, but I found it to be helpful for my mental wellbeing. I didn't have any "perfect" influencers to watch. I wasn't comparing myself and my life to what other people were doing, I was just doing my own life. I think we all know in the back of our minds how damaging social media can be for our mental health, but it is incredible to see how much we actually rely on it for and how much it can drag us down.
To implement your own digital detox, decide what you will be leaving out of your life and for how long. For me, it was only Instagram and Facebook for a week, but you could exclude so much more and for much longer to feel even better and long-lasting effects. The most important thing is to not give in. Don't go on Facebook on your computer because you just need to know what is happening. Resist. Live in the moment and forget about what everyone is trying to brag about on social media. There is no better moment than the one you are living. Don't squander any of the living moments you have by staring at your phone screen. Take the time to detach from the more superficial things of this world. Find what you could be without feeling such an attachment to your phone.