The news that three-quarters of American families reported that they plan to limit their children’s screen time after lockdown is lifted came as no surprise to us. Parents report they ask their children to get off a digital device an average of seven times a day, with 3 in 10 parents saying they disagree amongst themselves how long their children should use their devices for, adding to an already pressurised atmosphere at home.
If you think a digital detox sounds like a good idea after all the time on screens these last three months here are some tips to ease you in;
#1 Enforce boundaries
Throughout lockdown, it was difficult to enforce boundaries around tech. Our homes. or even bedrooms, became offices. We communicated with friends and family through the same software as our colleagues and we relaxed through the same screens we had been working on that day. So, our most important piece of advice for maintaining a semblance of digital wellbeing in and beyond lockdown is to enforce boundaries. You could assign a specific place in your home to work in and try to stick to working hours within it. You could use a different device (e.g. phone vs. laptop) for contacting friends. You could leave your devices outside your room before bed because we know the impact that tech has on our sleep.
#2 More audio less video
Everyone jumped on the idea of video calls as the next best thing to meeting in person, but many of us have found them quite stressful. All those poor audio quality calls and the strain to read body language. Ease yourself back into life a little more off screens by suggesting phone calls, they require far less preparation and there will be no worries about anyone’s poor wifi connection, a theme of quarantine. You could also look into audio-based entertainment such as audiobooks or even our podcast to keep your mind occupied.
#3 Meet up
One of the positives of lockdown was that it allowed people the time to focus on their relationships with friends and family. We’re talking more frequently to more people and at Time To Log Off we wouldn’t like to see that end with the lifting of restrictions. 58% of adults in the UK use social media to communicate with family daily but 67% say they would prefer to meet those people in person. As we are increasingly able to travel around the country and meet our loved ones in person, take advantage of it! We still have a lot of free time and what remains of it could be spent in person (though socially distanced) with your friends and family. Even making plans for a month or so from now when restrictions are likely to be lifted even more can bring light to yourself and others. Lockdown has made us all appreciate the importance of in-person interaction.
#4 Go outside
One of the best ways to do a digital detox after lockdown is to go outside. Take a pet or go alone, either way, make sure you are spending as much time outside as possible. Walking, cycling, running, or even sunbathing, however you choose to spend your time it will give you greater balance and you will feel more at peace. You could even combine this tip with the former and have a picnic in a park (bringing your own food and socially distancing of course). That is the antithesis of the holing ourselves up in dark rooms which we have been doing for three months now, get the sun on your face, even the rain and you will be amazed at its transformative properties.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to try a digital detox after lockdown and reorganise your life with a healthier appreciation of the need to spend some time offline!