Sunday, April 14 2024

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!

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