Disconnect To Reconnect- the science behind the need to digital detox.
Digital detox refers to a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers. It is regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
After all the discussion around getting offline and away from our screens lately I asked Emily Verstege, co-founder of Multiplicite , her take on disconnecting to reconnect and how this can be balanced with the growing integration of technology in companies, schools and at home.
So on today’s Feel Good Friday guest post let’s dive into how to detach yourself from the digital drug.
Technology is a wonderful enabler of productivity, influence and connection.
As a society, we are consuming more and more technology. Research by Vinaya Labs found on average, users check their device 221 times a day and 95% of people use their electronics in bed. Our growing dependence on technology is biologically driven. Scientists studying addictive behaviours argue modern technology triggers dopamine—the pleasure-signalling neurotransmitter—release in exactly the same way cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs do.
Just like alcohol and other drugs, over time our dopamine tolerance increases: to get the same hit, we need to consume more technology.
Used in high volume, its positive effects diminish, leaving us less connected with the wonderful warm bodies who share our lives.
Our focus and our productivity also plummet.
To demonstrate what happens when our digital drug is removed, Kovert Designs a team of neuroscientists, psychologists and philosophers who design experiments to understand how technology affects our bodies and brains took 35 CEOs, entrepreneurs and influences into the Moroccan desert.
There, they could not connect to any device. A team of five undercover neuroscientists observed changes in the group’s behaviour over four days.
And what they found was astonishing.
- No longer looking down at screens, they found that group members stood taller, held their heads high and made eye contact with the people they saw and spoke with.
- More eye contact meant the group members made deeper,more meaningful connections with each other. Conversations also became deeper, without Google to resolve the group’s unanswered questions.
- Without technology, the high-flying group found themselves remembering more and sleeping deeply, without disturbances.
As the experiment showed, spending time without technology is good for us. It doesn’t mean we need to move to the Moroccan desert, just that we need to be smarter about how we use it to ensure its positive effects outweigh the negative.
Emily encourages you to take immediate action with these 3 steps to disconnect and reconnect:
- Go deeper into your relationship with technology. Reflect on why you are using technology in the first place. How do you use your devices? Does your use keep you meaningfully connected with people you know and love, or does it make you feel estranged from others? Is using technology making you more productive, or less?
- Be mindful of your daily habits and actions (keep a journal if it helps). Recognise where problematic usage patterns exist, and brainstorm ways to undo them.
- Hug your children, your dog, your partner or a random stranger. Oxytocin (the same neurotransmitter released to bond newborn babies with their mothers) is released in large quantities through physical touch and deep conversation with plenty of eye contact.
More quick tips on on how to disconnect and digital detox:
Eyes Wide Shut Digital Detox Quick Tips Podcast
Hope you enjoyed today’s post and very special thanks to Dr Emily Verstege for her guest post and sharing her top tips.
To find out more about Emily Verstege and her company hop onto www.multiplicite.com.au
To leave a comment or if you are a leading CEO or entrepreneur that creates a true balance for your teams between digital and personal time, we would love to hear from you and perhaps have you on the Vitality Show to share your top tips on integrating offline time into and online world. CONTACT US HERE
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