It’s no exaggeration to say that many of us have become dependent on technology. These days, most of us have a smartphone, which travels everywhere with us and without which we feel frantic and vulnerable.
And our screen fixation doesn’t end there. At the office, many of us stare at a PC or laptop all day, then stream videos on our tablets on the train ride home, view several hours of tv in the evening and end the day by checking in with our social media before going to sleep.
But while technology is a wonderful thing, providing instant information and communication, all this screen time can have a downside as well. So we thought we’d take a look at the potential problems associated with too much technology and how taking a break from our screens can benefit our mental wellbeing.
According to the latest Australian Video Viewing Report by Regional TAM, OzTAM and Nielsen, the average Australian home contains 6.6 screens including TVs, tablets and smartphones.
And a recent ‘Screen Time’ report by Lonergan Research found that Australians spend more time watching these electronic devices than we do eating, commuting, working and exercising combined.
The report also found that over three quarters of millennials surveyed were concerned about their wellbeing from spending too much time on their screens, citing sore eyes, lack of sleep and feeling unproductive.
And this is backed up by findings in Deloitte’s annual Mobile Consumer Survey report, which reveals that 44% of Australians think their smartphone use is a problem and are trying to reduce their screen time.
‘Nomophobia: fear of being without access to a working cell phone.’ (Merriam-Webster)
So what are the problems associated with overuse of technology? According to a number of studies, too much screen time can lead to;
A digital detox is a break from technology, which can mean going cold turkey or simply reducing the amount of screen time we’re exposed to in our daily lives. The benefits of doing so can include;
So, presuming there is a case for taking a break from technology, the question then becomes what is the best way to go about it? If you don’t think you can handle giving up your devices altogether for any length of time, there are a number of smaller sacrifices you can make that will reduce your screen time without causing you to have withdrawals. These might include;
Being able to spend time away from the screen will help to improve your mental wellbeing and put you in touch with the real world again. And if you’re serious about disconnecting from your phone and connecting with yourself, you might like to consider a retreat with Palladium Private. Whether you’ve been suffering from anxiety, depression, dependency or trauma, our health retreat programs can provide you with a new lease on life.
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