Put a spring in your step with a digital detox.
When your alarm goes off in the morning, what’s the first thing you do? Check your inbox for new emails? Scroll through Twitter for the latest news? Check your Facebook page for updates?
If your answer is “yes”, you’re contributing to statistics such as the ones published in The Telegraph that claim that the average person will check their phone 200 times a day, which works out to once every six and a half minutes. With data like this, it’s not surprising that a new term has been coined – nomophobia – that Psychology Today explains as the “fear of being without a mobile device”.
September marks the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere, with many people using the start of the new season as an opportunity to declutter a wardrobe, repaint a bedroom or commit to a new exercise routine. As we spring clean our lives, Nehaal Faker, marketing manager at bsmart, suggests we also give ourselves a digital detox.
Have a break
In a technology-driven world it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to turn off all their electronic devices for extended periods of time. What is reasonable is suggesting short, tech-free sessions where you unplug for an hour or two each day. You could be using that time doing something more productive or enjoyable.
When did you last have a dinner with everyone engaged and not looking at their phones? Get all your family members to commit to a tech-free room, such as the dining room, and start reconnecting with the people you love.
Part of your digital detox is about deleting what you no longer use, whether it’s pre-installed programs on your computer or newsletters you can’t remember subscribing to. Tidy up files on your laptop and download photos from your phone. By cleaning up your tech, you free up memory, which allows your laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone to operate faster.
Use an old-fashioned alarm clock
Most people today will use their phone as an alarm clock, but this means that the last thing you look at before you go to bed is a glowing screen. The blue light, according to Harvard researchers, interferes with your circadian rhythm, which is why people don’t get enough sleep. In addition, in the morning when you turn off the alarm on your phone, the temptation is great to catch up on what you missed during the night.
Few things are as distracting and, let’s be honest rude, than trying to hold a conversation with a person who is focused on their phone. Next time you chat, put down that phone and give the other person your undivided attention. You will both be more engaged, attentive and appreciate the experience.
There are millions of apps available for download today, with the average user estimated to have between 60-90 apps installed on their smartphone. If you’re guilty of downloading apps that you never use or that simply waste your time and data – now is the time to remove them. What you want are apps that are useful and help you simplify life.
“Our members are increasingly using the bsmart App, as it helps them stay in control of their spending. We believe it adds great value as members can check their real-time balance and view their transaction history conveniently through their smartphones,” explains Faker.
There’s no denying that technology can add meaning to life and make it more enjoyable. A Fitbit gets you active, Skype allows you to affordably speak to family who live far away, and a GPS gets you to an unknown destination without difficulty.
“We can’t switch off technology but we can get more switched on when it comes to how we use it,” says Faker. “For example, our members wanted the ability to use their bsmart services on the go – now they can use our App’s geolocation feature to find their closest retailer wherever they are in the country. We believe that technology shouldn’t be a distraction to life, it should add value and solve problems, making every day just that little bit easier and more convenient.”