Don’t let tech start the global takeover just yet – welcome 2024 with a rested body, a clear mind, and a silent phone.
New years are synonymous with opportunities. Picture them as a blank canvas that you can fill with any masterpiece you want to paint. Resolutions, then, are a guideline—they mark the path to follow and set the lines that you’ll later fill with colours.
And nowadays, one of the most common desires is to fight tech addiction.
Whether it is to take a break from social media toxicity, avoid work stress, or dodge the continuous surge of bad news, a digital detox is a wonderful New Year resolution to follow.
As 2023 draws to a close and the beginning of 2024 looms menacingly on the horizon, look at the key steps to succeed in your New Year resolution of setting the phone down and disconnecting for a while.
01. Start Small
Rather than throwing your phone away and trying to stay offline as many days as possible, consider small goals that fit your schedule and needs. For example, trying to keep your phone stored away during meals is a good start for most people.
Another option is to, instead, choose to have one day a week without checking your devices. It can be Sundays or any other rest day when you can be sure you won’t be at risk if you don’t answer an email.
02. Set a Work Schedule
One of the biggest culprits behind tech addiction is the workplace. Technology has made it nearly impossible to separate work from home altogether, and some people risk being wholly engulfed by their office responsibilities, even during relaxation hours.
To combat this, consider establishing a schedule for yourself. If your job allows it, set hard boundaries that limit when your online time ends. Perhaps it’s a set number of hours a day or a specific hour when you turn off your phone to job inquiries until the next day.
03. Fight Against Idleness
Outside of work or study responsibilities, idleness is the biggest culprit of tech addiction.
If you have nothing to do and some free time at hand, the odds are that you will reach for your phone—after all, you have endless content possibilities and hours of guaranteed entertainment in your hands.
As such, if you’re the type that ends up doomscrolling Instagram or TikTok endlessly, consider ending idleness by pursuing hobbies or tasks you can perform in real life. Start cleaning your room, decluttering your closet, going for a walk, or picking up a hobby like painting. It will employ your free time, and you will find yourself less drawn to the allure of social media.
04. Disconnect Before Bedtime
Endlessly browsing social media or watching YouTube videos before bedtime is terrible for your sleeping schedule.
Doomscrolling distracts you and keeps your brain awake, making falling asleep harder. At worst, it can give you an extra energy boost that invigorates you far beyond when you were supposed to fall asleep.
Worse, keeping your phone nearby can entice you and make you seek that stimulation. It tempts you to browse further, and your brain wonders if you received a new message or notification. This expectation can also keep you awake, even if you’re not actively using your phone.
Solution? Turn off your phone, turn off notifications, or keep it far from your reach when it’s time to go to bed.
05. Plan and Manage Your Breaks.
Reducing tech addiction does not mean you have to quit the internet altogether. Browsing social media and checking online content is not innately dangerous, so you can still enjoy your favourite content.
Of course, the key lies in moderation.
If you find it hard to avoid doomscrolling or spending countless hours on your phone, consider leaving certain activities only for pre-established breaks. For example, allow yourself to browse only for 10 minutes every 2 hours. It can also be one hour per every five hours or whatever other schedule suits your needs.
The key here is to be rigid with your limitations—don’t allow yourself endless time to goof around on your phone. Set boundaries and plan a schedule since it will strengthen digital discipline and prevent procrastination.
Remember, the secret is not to deprive yourself. Check your emails, watch a YouTube tutorial, and go through your home pages on your favourite social media, but remember that moderation is key to starting 2024 with a clear mind!