Technology has made it easier to digest various information in no time. However in reality, what we classify as online engagement might actually be turning us into victims of doom scrolling.
Doom scrolling is when you spend an ungodly amount of time staring at your phone and reading through negative news. So while technology has undoubtedly made our lives more convenient, it has also been a source of stress for many of its users.
While being informed and updated on current events are beneficial, moderation is always the key. Not only does overexposure to social media affect your mental health, it can also cause eye strain, back pain and poor posture.
Here are a few ways to keep yourself at bay whenever you’re getting hooked online.
4 ways to spend your technology time-out
As much as you love to stay connected with the online world, it’s vital to take a break once in a while and reconnect with yourself.
1. Do exercise
Being glued to your phone or computer the whole day leads to physical inactivity, which increases your chances of developing obesity, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
You know that you need to exercise and the good news is, getting your body moving and heart pumping takes up a shorter amount of your time compared to one episode of your favorite tv show on Netflix.
You can even incorporate exercise to your binge-watching sessions! Stand up and walk or jog in place while tuning in to your favorite shows. Do standing and stretching exercises, or even choose movements that you can execute while seated on the sofa.
As a general rule, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on a daily basis. However, if you want to lose weight or build muscles, you may need to devote more time to working out.
Apart from improving your physique and strength, exercise also improves your brain function, lifts your mood via the release of endorphins, boosts sleep quality, lowers blood pressure, keeps the heart healthy, and can help prevent certain diseases.
2. Start journaling
Being in an information technology age when inputs are readily-available with just the click of a button can lead to information overload and the inability to process the things that you see and hear.
Take time to go on a technology break and be alone with your thoughts. There is something therapeutic about writing down your feelings and ideas on a piece of paper, organizing your thoughts and reflecting on your emotional well-being.
Bring back the age-old practice of journaling and the benefits that accompany it- relieves your stress, helps you get to know yourself better and recall important things that you may have already forgotten, inspires creativity and puts you on a clearer path towards your goals.
In case you are not a pen-and-paper type of person, you can use digital applications for journaling. Just make sure that you turn off your notifications while you are simmering on your thoughts, to avoid distractions.
3. Learn a new hobby
Taking on a new hobby, whether it’s a craft, sport, or something else, gives you the opportunity to grow mentally, spiritually and creatively. You can also expand your social ties, when you meet new people who are interested in the same things.
Challenging yourself to learn something new keeps you mentally sharp, satisfies your curiosities, and can help alleviate stress and anxiety from your daily grind. Cultivating a new hobby is also a form of self-care, as you give time for yourself to develop your skills or simply to unwind.
Instead of spending endless hours browsing through other people’s stories on social media, devote time to enrich your own personal stories by seeking new experiences.
4. Read books
Social media has decreased people’s attention spans, leading to decreased short-term memory capacity and concentration. Reading a book is a great remedy to this, as this practice strengthens your mind and helps prevent cognitive decline.
You might find it challenging to concentrate on a book after repeated exposure to social media, so as you go back to this habit- try to start with topics that you are interested in, fictional stories that are enjoyable to read or shorter books.
Apart from benefiting your brain, reading books makes you more empathetic, reduces stress and depression, and helps you end your day peacefully, and might help give you a good night’s sleep.
Taking a break from technology allows you to bring back the balance in your life and connect with the people around you. Remember that your life is happening in real-time and not via your screen.
It’s better to miss out on other people’s updates and news, rather than missing out on doing more with your time. Start with unplugging a few hours or one day at a time, and you will eventually find yourself enjoying more quality in your life, as you get to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones.