It’s no secret that many of us have become quite attached, and some even borderline addicted to our mobile devices and electronics. According to a recent study, on average, adults spend about 11 hours a day staring at some screen, whether that be a computer, phone, tablet, TV, or another type of electronic device.  For office workers, some of that is unavoidable, but extra recreational screen time really can take quite a toll.
Excessive screen time can lead to numerous health concerns, including:
- Eye strain and headaches
- Insomnia and poor sleep
- Social media addiction leading to depression and self-confidence issues
- Neck, shoulder and back pain
- Tendonitis, carpal tunnel, and other repetitive-use injuries
- Sedentary lifestyle, which has been linked to heart disease, obesity, and other maladies
With the start of the New Year, now is the perfect time to choose to better your health and plug back into reality with a digital detox. Digital detox refers to a period of time when a person refrains from using tech devices such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and social media sites. By going “off the grid”, as some might call it, people can let go of the stress and health problems that result from the overuse of technology.
Tips For Your Digitial Detox
If you can do a complete digital detox for a certain amount of time, it could be incredibly helpful for your health and overall well-being. Being completely disconnected can feel liberating and refreshing for some people. However, for a lot of people, going entirely “off the grid” might not be possible, particularly if you rely on staying connected for work, school, or other obligations. Those obligations don’t mean that you can’t enjoy the benefits of a digital detox; the key is to make disconnecting something that works for your schedule and your life.
If you need your devices during the day for your job, try a mini-detox to end the workday. Pick a time when you want to turn off your devices, and then focus on spending an evening utterly free of electronics. Activities such as reading in print would be great in place of time with electronics.
While it may be difficult to disconnect from our devices throughout the day altogether, setting boundaries can be a great solution. Setting boundaries on the type and timing of connections to which you’ll attend helps ensure that you can enjoy real-world activities completely free of digital diversions.
Times that might be helpful to unplug could be:
- When you are eating, particularly in the company of others
- When you are waking up or going to bed
- When you are working on a project or hobby
- When you are spending time with friends or family
- Before you go to sleep each night
In addition to the numerous health benefits, just setting limits on social media usage can make a world of difference in your mental health. Research suggests that limiting your social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day can significantly improve your well-being, notably decreasing symptoms of loneliness and depression. 
Unplug With Print
For those looking to unplug and lessen those nasty health concerns, print is a fantastic alternative! According to a recent survey, 71% of Americans believe in the importance of “switching off” and reading more in print.  Additionally, when it comes to learning and retention, 88% believe they understand, retain, or use information better when they read print.  Here at Replica, we specialize in handbooks and manuals that can be vital in teaching new protocols or procedures to employees. Additionally, we have your business covered with marketing materials, such as flyers and brochures, as well as our reprographic services that help in your digital detox efforts.
To close, going device-free can be uncomfortable and awkward at times. You might feel annoyed, anxious, and even bored without your mobile phone or other forms of electronics. While it might be a challenge, we hope some of the benefits we’ve discussed in this article are rewarding enough to make it all worth it. Let us know how your digital detox is going in the comments below!
- How Much Screen Time Is Too Much? – Scripps Hospitals
- No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression – Guilford Press
- What is electronic media doing to our health? – Two Sides North America
- “Why do so many people love print on paper? Because it’s great for learning and retention … without health issues!” – Two Sides North America