With the increasing use of websites, apps, platforms and pages on smartphones, we spend most of our time on one tiny screen. While our ancestors started their day by looking into their palms and thanking God, we start ours by looking at the smartphone in our palm. It is almost an addiction.
Just like other addictions such as drugs, alcohol, and gambling, social media and smartphones have become a cause of concern as they create stress and anxiety in the users. Everyone has become a social victim. The digital and social media platforms today are severely affecting mental health and taking us away from our family and ourselves.
People have started making friends online at the cost of losing real friends. We have followers or communities online but have started detaching from our real families. Ironically, social media has made us lonely in a crowded virtual space.
Notifications, likes, messages, and shares steer us into a world of instant gratification, tempting us to be on our phones constantly to avoid FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). It is pulling us away from the real world. The ongoing pandemic is like icing on the cake. We could not meet our family and friends and felt disconnected, which can be appalling. Over the last year, the use of time spent on digital platforms or smartphones while using social media has increased tremendously.
It is well documented that our well-being relies on having a solid sense of association with ourselves and those we care about. We should all learn this skill to connect with ourselves and our dear ones. It’s time to disconnect with social media and for a digital detox. Unplug yourself, at least for a short while, from your smartphone, social media, and all the digital distractions.
Start reconnecting with yourself, stay away from negativity, feel yourself, indulge in physical activities – exercise, dance, sing, and meditate. Take a short break from your routine and gift yourself quality time with family and friends. Be kind to yourself and reconnect with yourself.
One of the best ways to reconnect with yourself is to follow the ERRC model:
E: Eliminate unnecessary apps from your mobile, eliminate or avoid negative information or messages, turn off the data on your phone before heading to bed every night.
R: Reduce spending time on your phone. Buy data packs with lower limits and limit the number of hours you spend on a screen.
R: Raise the time you invest in physical activities. Read books, go out, meet friends, and listen to music.
C: Create. Develop new hobbies, follow your passion, invest in your ‘me time’, exercise, and follow a timetable.
Disconnecting or digital detox, even for a short while, can help you appreciate the small things in life.
About the Author: Dr Shital Vakharia (Assistant Professor & Senior Manager – IIP)
Dr Shital Vakharia has 15 years of rich research experience as an Assistant Professor and Senior Manager – Industry Interface Project with SP Jain in India and Dubai. Her role at SP Jain involves building, deploying and leading teams for projects. Over the years, Dr Vakharia has ably managed and maintained the Academic Project Life cycle (for postgraduate students), Project Sourcing, and Networking. She is passionate about teaching and writing research papers. She has published and presented papers at multiple conferences.
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