We’ve all attempted the digital detox, but there’s a reason why it doesn’t stick. We need to manage our addiction, not just go cold turkey.
Let’s all be honest with ourselves. While we’re all addicts in our own unique ways (and that makes us hot), the umbrella we all huddle under in order to stop picking off the skin on our forearms is the digital space.
We’re all mainlining the online age, and we’re all hopelessly addicted.
It’s not a particular problem per se, but it tends to enable something far more problematic: our very public attempts to give it up.
The concept of the digital detox has long taken root. But for as long as it has existed, we’ve given it the short shift. We’ve all felt it, the bristle of annoyance when someone we know smugly mentions that they’ve given it up and how much better their lives are since, but as we retreat to our phones to escape that hellish brunch conversation, we can see them peeking over at us, curious to that world, even if they mask it with criticism, oh, what’s going on on Facebook, eh? Don’t miss it.
Sure, Jan. Just come and relapse and be with your friends.
Yes, I know I have a problem, but I’ve done my research.
Check this out:
- In the U.S., 87 per cent of people in their twenties use two or more digital devices simultaneously.
- 67 per cent of people in their thirties spend more than five hours each day on a digital device, also in the U.S.
- 90 per cent of adults in the U.S. aged from 18–29 use social media — this is a seven per cent increase over a 10-year period.
- 99 per cent of people in the U.K. between the ages of 16 and 24 use social media weekly.
- The majority of Norwegians between the ages of 13 and 39 spend 46.6 minutes using technology in bed every night.
The point is, that a temporary sudden sampling of cold turkey doesn’t really stop anything. We’re in too deep to just drop it wholesale. We’ve all participated in this cycle, might loudly proclaim that we’re off it, but very quietly rejoin the pack a week later.
So, while we can’t quit, maybe we should focus on lowering the dose. Read on the train instead of mindlessly cycling your thumbs. Don’t Twitter in bed. Have a certain hour where there’ll be no more feeding of the beast.
You’ll survive the night.
I know it’s difficult, and I know it’s tough to consider sweeping changing our habits. But for those who can no longer recognise themselves in their selfie mirror, perhaps it’s a way forward.