Electronic device detox

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Carl Coicou, Health Promotion Specialist

Similar to rejuvenation cures or body purification methods, which are still very popular in the diet and miraculous weight loss industry, electronic device detoxes are increasingly trending and suggested for behaviour related to an abusive use of the Internet!

Did you know?
- People from ages 18 to 24 spend on average nearly 28 hours a week on their cellphones.
- One person out of five has an Internet addiction.
- On average, people consult their cell phones every 15 minutes, even when they have not received a notification.
- There are more people in the world who own a cell phone than people who own a toothbrush.
- In the past 10 years, approximately 11,000 injuries were caused by texting while walking.
- Approximately 17,000 bacteria can be found on a cellphone, or 10 times more than what is found on a toilet bowl.

Digital detox

The Internet is not the problem, rather it is its overuse to the detriment of other types of activities and interests. It is not technology that is the problem: it is the loss of control, addiction and giving technology too much importance.

These new technologies are now part of our lives and offer many advantages. On the other hand, being connected too often and for too long can harm our health and lead to many negative repercussions.

Signs and symptoms of Internet abuse

- Are you neglecting your hobbies, interpersonal relationships or responsibilities because of your Internet use?
- Do you feel irritable, anxious or unhappy when you cannot access your cellphone or tablet?
- Are you told by your family and friends that you spend too much time in front of your screen?
In these circumstances, you may want to consider a digital detoxification or treatment for cyber addiction.

Some challenges to try

- Shut off all your screens one hour before bedtime. One of the possible side effects of this strategy is to have a better night’s sleep.
- Fight the desire to respond instantly to notifications and emails.
- Spend one day a week without a screen and go play outside like in the good old days.
- The next time you go out with friends to a restaurant, make a rule that everyone has to put their cellphones away and the first person who takes out their phone will have to pay everyone’s bill.
- Clean up your device! Eliminate non-essential visual or audio notifications and unnecessary applications.
- Is someone talking to you or are you attending a meeting? Please shut off your cellphone and be fully present. It is also a matter of respect!
- Adjust the settings of some social media so that they stop after a predefined viewing time.
- For an entire week, wait until after lunchtime before staring at a screen.
- Do a little introspection. After staring at the screen for a few hours, how do you feel? Satisfied, relaxed, anxious, tired, guilty or vaguely depressed? Do some activities that make you feel really good.
For more information, visit pausetonecran.com, the official website of an advertising campaign to promote a balanced use of the Internet to prevent and reduce the risks associated with hyperconnectivity (in French only).

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