Let’s get real about digital detox

Did you capture a moment or click only for Instagram? Did you just tweet or truly express an opinion? Is your virtual world more ‘happening’ than your actual one? Stop now and get real!
Digital detox helps one have better social interactions.(Photo: Olaser)
Digital detox helps one have better social interactions.(Photo: Olaser)
Updated on Aug 06, 2018 05:50 PM IST
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American actor and comedian Pete Davidson recently cleared his Instagram account of all pictures. Davidson posted on his Instagram story: “The internet is an evil place, and it doesn’t make me feel good. Why should I spend any time on negative energy when my real life is f***ing lit. The fact that I even have to say this proves my point. I love you all, and I’m sure I’ll be back at some point.”

Many celebrities including Taylor Swift and Zayn Malik have wiped out their profiles on the photo-sharing platform as a part of elaborate promotional stunts for their upcoming projects. However, Davidson’s stance is clearly to take a breather from the overwhelming pressures of maintaining an online presence.

Pete Davidson wiped clean his Instagram recently. (Photo: Alberto E Rodriguez)
Pete Davidson wiped clean his Instagram recently. (Photo: Alberto E Rodriguez)

But is disappearing from the radar the correct antidote to everyday digital exposure? Shraddha Shah, neuropsychologist, Jaslok Hospital And Research Centre says “In today’s time, short digital detoxes are a common phenomenon. While short digital detox holidays are also manageable, going completely off the grid is extremely difficult in today’s tech-based world. Allowing short detoxes in your daily routine is ideal.”

According to Dr PD Lakdawala, psychiatrist, Bhatia Hospital, digital detox helps one have better social interactions, relieves anxiety, and helps to relax in a positive way. It also helps in generating and cultivating other interests that give more mental satisfaction. Furthermore, one can develop an introspective thinking capacity too. “In terms of physical benefits, digital detox is a great way to relieve your eyes and ears from harmful radiation, and correct your posture,” he says.

Psychiatrist Dr Kersi Chavda, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical shares few more benefits of taking such a detox:

Personal time: A digital detox is not just a break from the gadgets in your life. It’s a break from everything that those gadgets connect you to. By switching them off, you get a break from all of it and get to spend some time with yourself. A number of people actually do not know what to do with themselves when they are not connected. Sometimes it helps to just look up at the sky.

Mental clarity: While it may be a bit unnerving without your gadgets at first, you will slowly start to unwind and get used to the peace. You will be able to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, reconnect with yourself and gain some mental clarity.

Better sleep: All of us know how we get sleep deprived when we get stuck to our cellphones, especially at night. The blue light that is emanated is supposed to prevent the proper functioning of melatonin, which is responsible for proper sleep.

Reduced stress: Disconnecting from everything will help reduce the stress that you carry around, ease any anxiety problems that you might have and prevent you from getting depressed.

Improved health: Electronics come with several health problems, whether they are strained eyes, hunched backs or hooked thumbs, not to mention the dangers of radiation. A digital detox takes you away from all that, even if it’s just for a few days.

Enhanced relationships: If you’re not staring at a screen, you have to stare at the person sitting next to you. You just might strike up a conversation. You might share your feelings. You might laugh. You might improve your relationships.

With inputs from yoga expert Sandeep Agarwalla, Ananda In The Himalayas and psychiatrists Dr Alpesh Panchal, Free Mind Initiatives, Dr Kedar Tilwe, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Dr Kersi Chavda, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical and Dr Rahul Ghadge, Global Hospitals.

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