Did you know that in Great Britain the average time that adults spend on a cellphone or in front of a TV screen is 8 hours and 41 minutes a day? Much more than the time spent in bed sleeping...
And still. According to other studies, we hold and use our mobile 2.617 times a day! Additionally, other research claims that for 80% of people the most important thing to do in the morning is… to log in to Facebook . I could go on... The list of this kind of data is very long and is continuously produced by studies of all kinds. The experts in the field define it as digital addiction – that is, the dependence on all things digital. An addiction that in some cases can lead to a real obsession with serious repercussions for our daily lives and even our health.
A new site to learn how to defend ourselves from digital addiction
Perhaps, then, it is appropriate to start making (and maintaining) good digital intentions with ourselves, reviewing our relationship with technology. To give us some useful advice in this regard, there is a website, It is time to log off. The editors of this site define themselves as the home of digital detoxing. What is digital detoxing? It is a way of doing aimed at promoting a conscious and intelligent use of technology, through a slow but progressive detachment. The digital detox in fact is nothing but a detoxification process, done through small but firm gestures. Some examples: disable email notifications and social networks during work or on weekends, resist the temptation to pick up the smartphone every 5 minutes, do not use it during meals, turn it off at night...
First of all, the site offers a list of data and curiosities about the increasingly rampant obsession with digital technology. As our previous data reminders, these are really merciless statistics. In the last decade smartphones, tablets, PCs and all the other electronic and digital devices have become a real extension of our bodies . Many are afraid of being disconnected and even go into panic mode if they are stuck with the dead cell phone or one lacking credit. Furthermore, this digital overdose affects our attention span, memory capacity and our productivity at work and, increasingly, also our social relationships, our emotions and our feelings . A behavior that, according to some psychologists, can lead in some cases to the onset of real disorders, connected with the increase of stress and level of anxiety, the loss of memory or the ability to concentrate. Modern diseases that have their "origin" in the display of the smartphone and in our fear of being cut off from the world.
In this case, experts talk about nomophobia, a neologism born from the terms of no-mobile-phone phobia, or the fear of being disconnected - or losing control - of your mobile phone.
The solutions for coming out of the digital addiction: the 5: 2 diet
Should we then resign ourselves to the slavery of a digital addiction, or are there escape routes? The site It is time to log off has studied for its followers a specific digital diet, that of 5:2. What does that mean? It means 5 days of normal use of the technology and 2 days instead of complete abstinence, so as to accustom our minds to a slow but steady and progressive detoxification. The logic of this technological diet is the same as a food diet, where carbohydrates and proteins alternate, and you eat meat or pasta for example twice a week, to leave more room for fruit, cereals and vegetables. The goal is to find a balance in our relationship with digital technology , in small steps, without traumatic and sudden fasts, which can prove to be harmful and counterproductive, just as it happens with food. In this way, the mind and body become accustomed to a slow but progressive detachment that will make it seem natural to not necessarily switch on the television or tablet throughout the day.
Here are 5 useful tips to keep in mind
Besides the 5:2 diet, the It is time to log off website gives us 5 other useful tips:
1. Buy an alarm clock for your nightstand, like that of your grandmother! It is the first step to limit the improper use of cell phones in the bedroom. In this way, the cell phone will no longer be the last thing we will control the night before going to sleep and the first thing in the morning when we wake up.
2. Schedule weekends without a tablet or cell phone. During the weekends, away from work commitments, it is easier to reduce the use of technology. We could start from Friday night, for example, by disabling the social networks or e-mail apps and wait till Monday morning to install them again.
3. We stop taking pictures only with cell phones. One of the most common reasons we use a cell phone all the time is the compulsive use of the camera. Now we take photos and selfies, really, everywhere. On the street, while we drive, in the metro, at the park. Once, just a decade ago when cell phones were still without a camera, people took photos only on holiday or – at most – on weekends, not continuously during the day. We should pull the dear old Polaroid out of the trunk if we really want to take pictures and put the cell phone camera on standby.
4. We play sports, take long walks, and read books. Sometimes it is enough to keep the body and mind busy with small and simple things, to keep away from the temptation of picking up the smartphone or tablet. Even a good chat with family or friends can be a good way to keep us away from technological temptations. But even reading a good book is one of the best solutions.
5. No smartphone at the table! In the 50s, the enemy of cordiality at the table was the newspaper. Then in the following decades it was television that took the place at the head of the table. In recent years, it is unnecessary to expand on how the cell phone next to the cutlery has become the enemy to fight. Even as a matter of education and etiquette.
Let’s begin to put these good digital intentions into practice, perhaps starting this weekend!