Digital Detoxes: A Necessity For Mental Health Or Just Hype?
In today’s day and age, smartphone addiction is as real as drug or alcohol addiction. The world has become increasingly digitized and teenagers today, who were born with technology in their hands, have become obsessed with it. It’s no wonder that parents everywhere are worried about their children who seem to be unable to lift their heads up from their mobile phone screens. The time spent by teenagers on social media, or playing games like PUBG, etc. has risen to an alarming extent. Mobile phone addiction has become a thing of such worry that today, digital detoxes are being talked about. Countries like South Korea even have ‘detox centers’ where teenagers can spend time without their phones to get rid of their addiction.
What Is Digital Detox?
A digital detox is basically a period of time where a person restricts themselves from using technological devices, like smartphones or computers. It is supposed to a time where someone actively tries to engage with the real world, rather than the digital one. During digital detox, it is expected that the person will feel rejuvenated and more connected with the ones around him or her. As work-life balance gets harder and harder to maintain, digital detoxes are becoming more popular. When it comes to teenagers, who are very prone to being addicted to their smartphones, digital detoxes can be a way to forcefully pull oneself away from the device.
A digital detox is basically a period of time where a person restricts themselves from using technological devices, like smartphones or computers. It is supposed to a time where someone actively tries to engage with the real world, rather than the digital one.
Why To Do It?
Digital detoxes can be a very important tool for teenagers to reset their priorities. Kumari Purnima, a 48-year-old, is a mother to two teenage daughters. “Family time doesn’t seem to be as important to them as it was to us in our teen years. They’re always cooped up in their respective rooms, stuck to their laptops and phones.” As a mother, Kumari believes that it is very important for parents to teach their children to keep the phone down once in a while. “If they don’t learn to disconnect themselves from the virtual world, they won’t be able to lead healthy lives. That’s my biggest concern.”
READ ALSO: Six Benefits Of A Digital Detox
Parents all over the country, especially in urban cities, feel that smartphone addiction is getting harder and harder to beat. Teenagers don’t think the smartphone to be a source of solely entertainment or relaxation anymore. “My mother always asks me to get off my phone and study or read a book. But the thing is that I am reading a book on my phone. Sometimes I’m researching something for my class. The smartphone isn’t just for playing games or chatting anymore and parents need to understand that,” says Arihant Singh, a 17-year-old student.
Family time doesn’t seem to be as important to them as it was to us in our teen years. They’re always cooped up in their respective rooms, stuck to their laptops and phones. – Kumari Purnima, a parent.
However, not all teenagers are averse to the idea of digital detoxes. Tulika Sharan, an 18-year-old student of biotechnology says, “Doing a digital detox actually sounds reasonable. Sometimes it’s hard to take a break from social media. So digital detoxes are probably a good thing for most of us.”
Upendra R.Singh, a 50-year-old doctor and father has his own way of imposing a digital detox on his teenage children. “What I like to do is give my kids some ground rules. So I’ll tell them – no phones after 9 pm. You can read a book, you can even watch some T.V but no phones.” As a doctor, he knows the harm excessive exposure to screens can cause. “Mobile phone addiction not only causes strain but also can cause depression, insomnia and so much more. Regulating your smartphone usage is a good idea, and digital detoxes work very well.”
An easier way of doing a digital detox could be to use a detox app. Durga Kulkarni, a mother of a 16-year-old boy, says, “There are so many apps these days that lock your phone. They help you stay off it and be productive. They help you detox, by forcing you to not use your phone. Often, they act as a fun game of how long can you stay away from your phone.”
Detox has now become the new thing. Teenagers are conscious enough to not want to become slaves to their smartphones. “When I do a digital detox, I try to use that time to focus on other hobbies like painting or reading a book. That also helps me take care of my mental health.”
Detox centers are still not a thing in India. However, the day isn’t so far away if our addiction to smartphones keeps rising. To counter that, digital detoxes seem like the way to go. They can help us become more connected to the real world and focus on our priorities.
Image Credit: Newscrab
Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV