digita detox

Digital Detox

In New York, the widespread detox trend is that in restaurants, bars and cafes access to Wi-Fi is strictly limited. Can you imagine that?

Those more despotic venues restrict using laptops whatsoever – for 7 days a week!

Where the (crazy) idea came from? 

The owners have been forcing all customers to look away from their devices – instead of being online, switch to offline mode: focus on the meal, conversation with friends – focus on what has been happening here and now. 

Thanks to the glorious achievements of the technology – such as smartphones, tablets, etc – we can spend time with several people in different place – all at once. However, the Internet has become simultaneously our blessing and ourcurse. While being online and available 24 hours a day, we have become strikingly lonely. Social media has been the least sociable communication channel – as well as the most superficial. Just one click is sufficient to demonstrate how one caresThe buzzing phone interrupts each meal, conversation, and daily social interactions. Taking photographs, however, is a different story. Tania Mulry, social entrepreneur awarded in the field of mobile marketing, university lecturer and the founder and president of DDX Media has devoted her TEDx speech to the theme of Digital Detox. She even coined a term for an obsessiveshooting – ‘Pho-ment’.

Mulry call herself a “technology junkie” and she talks proudly about the moment she realized her problem – the abuse of digital devices. During her lecture at La Sierra University, she reiterated the superiority of “the quality time” spent in the company of the loved ones over “the screen time” because “The best things in life do not happen on the screen.” Likewise limiting food intake when trying to lose weight, placing a limit on the time spent online is tough but definitely worth a try. The sooner the better – especially after listening to Tanya Mulry.

Regarding digital media, alongside “Phoment,” Mulry evokes more concerns of detrimental influence on our lives – both individual and social.

Although digital devices aim to both make life easier and improve our professional performancethey, actually, often define the social positions.

At the same time, traditional manners have been wholly neglected: smartphones buzz, vibrate, and ring … so they end conversations before any conclusions. Left behind are not only the rules of courtesy but also the basic rules of safety. Mulry cites dramatic statistics from the United States: 11 teenagers are killed on the road every day because of careless drivers who text. What is more, “Endless senseless, useless and mindless” scrolling feed (on Facebook for example) affects negatively our cognitive abilities. Virtually, digital devices have become a substitute for the brain, which gradually breaks down if it is not trained.

Since we have a digital calendar, notepad, remindersremembering things is no longer a necessity – not to mention the good, old handwriting. The worst part, however, is that we are systematically losing patience and ability to concentrate.

American scientists has confirmed that the continued use of electronic devices leads to emotional exhaustion and physical health problems. Tania Mulry is not the only ambassador of digital detox. Kerry Washington, an actress, has once announced on her Instagram account that she was disconnecting from the virtual world just to have started reconnecting with the real world outside. The same route was taken by Steven Spielberg, Julia Roberts, and Arianna Huffigton, founder of the famous portal HuffPost and Randi Zuckerberg, an American businesswoman and sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Paradoxically, even popular vlogger Estee Lalonde, for which YouTube was the springboard to success, has taken the challenge of the 48-hour digital detox. Effects? Lalonde says it’s one of the most difficult tasks she has taken in life … and that life without the Internet seems to be so boring!

In case you are wondering whether you need a digital detox, try to recall the last time you logged off from the digital world for 24 hours. You cannot? That is so typical. However, the “return to the past” without the Internet, carries the great deal of benefits. Frances Booth in her article “How To Do a Digital Detox” (2014) lists the most important ones: withdrawal from the virtual world can give a person a brand new perspective on the surrounding reality and it increases productivity. In addition, quitting all things digital – just for some time – will positively affect the mental and physical health as well as relationships with other people – and with oneself.

How to start a digital detox? Vogue, as an example suggests where to travel for a serious digital detox. As much as the places are beautiful they are surely far from easy way and low budget.

Start with small steps. Disable all applications notifications and set a flight mode. Leave your laptop and tablet at home. Do not turn on the television. Take care of what is happening here and now.

Think about Steve Jobs’ words: Your time is limited, so do not waste it living someone else’s life.

 

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