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5 Ways to Do a Smart Digital Detox

With lots of media discussions happening about how great ‘digital detoxes’ can be,  it can be really confusing to know if our internet use is problematic.

Detoxes are not for everybody, but in some cases technology can bring bad along with the good. If you find yourself stressed out when scrolling social media, it could be a sign that your technology use may be impacting to your wellbeing.

It doesn’t mean your smartphone or laptop has to be put into a drawer forever – here’s 5 things you can do to engage in a smart digital detox.

1. Change Up Your Feed

Often social media shows the most idealistic view of life, and lots of the photos you see are staged, captured professionally, photoshopped and filtered. If you find yourself feeling stressed out after a quick scroll on Instagram, unfollow these accounts, and replace them with something nice, such as animal, wildlife, or arty accounts you like to help foster a more positive social media feed.

2. Turn Off Nuisance Notifications

We’ve all been there: you join a new Facebook group and suddenly you’re flooded with notifications, or every time you get a like or retweet on Twitter, you know all about it. Taking a few seconds to set up your notifications so that only the important things filter through can help prevent you opening your apps more than you need to.

3. Delete the App…

If you find yourself scrolling through social media several times a day with no real purpose, and they are accounts you have access to on a laptop, delete the app. Facebook Messenger will still work without Facebook installed, so you can still be contactable, but it’ll help limit mindless scrolling during the day.

4. …Or Replace It

If you can’t bear to delete the accounts from your phone, installing something like BorrowBox or the Kindle app on your device can be a good distraction from scrolling and encourage you to open up a book instead. It might take a little bit of mental retraining, but if you are or were an avid reader, this can be a great way to get in a few pages when sitting on the bus or waiting for friends.

5. Relaxation? There’s an App for That!

Experts recommend limiting screen time before bed to aid relaxation, as blue light can keep you awake longer than necessary. If you struggle with getting to sleep, there are plenty of meditation and colouring apps that can help with relaxation – just make sure you have your phone switched to night mode to give your eyes a better chance to relax.

This blog was written for ReachOut.com by our Youth Editorial Board member Courtney Smyth.

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