Follow These Tips If You Want to Manage a Digital Detox Safely and Efficiently
If you are constantly staring at a computer screen at work, spend hours on your phone, and, at the end of the day, scroll mindlessly through your social media accounts, it might be time for a digital detox. According to recent data, an average person spends 24 hours per week online, and 20% of people spend 40+ hours online. This is not that shocking considering that we continue to add more apps that, naturally, consume more of our time. Healthcare professionals agree that this can be both physically and mentally draining. Although most people are only adding more screen time, many now choose to decrease the number of gadgets they use, leave their phones behind while they are running errands, or even remove apps permanently to have more time IRL. If you are interested in how to digital detox yourself, there are a few security concerns you should address first.
If you ignore the problem, it will not go away
Needless to say, if you get rid of an app you no longer want to spend time on, removing it from your phone will not automatically remove your account and, with that, all of the information that is linked to it. For example, if you choose to delete your Facebook app, your profile will remain active, and people will be able to view publicly-shared information, photos, posts, etc. Of course, Facebook might not be the best example in this case because deleting the account is not that easy. It is much easier to deactivate it, which can help those looking for a temporary digital detox, but it will not help in those situations when the user wants to delete all information. Some people might be reluctant to remove their accounts because they do not want to lose data, but that can be rectified by downloading it. While not all platforms offer this service, you can definitely download Facebook, Google, and Instagram data.
Another problem that users seeking a digital detox often overlook is virtual security. Sure, you might be ready to close the page on a certain social media profile, but unless you remove your account and all linked information properly, you will always be at risk of identity theft. We have already discussed why deleting unused accounts is important in this blog post, but if you need a fresh reminder, here it is.
- Deleting accounts can be a complicated and time-consuming process, which is why people tend not to bother themselves with it.
- People usually do not understand the implications of deleting an account that they had not used in years, and whose login credentials have been long forgotten.
- Old accounts might not have appropriate security settings (e.g., two-factor authentication).
- Old accounts might have weak passwords.
It is exceptionally important to talk about virtual security when discussing the removal of old or unused accounts. If you are not ready to remove them – for whatever reason – you need to, at least, change passwords to ensure that the accounts are impenetrable. This is especially important if you use the set passwords on accounts that you are actively using today. If that is the case, the accounts with poorer security could be breached, and the password could be leaked, leading to the potential attack on other accounts too. So, if you are thinking about getting rid of certain accounts during a digital detox, make sure you get rid of them properly. Do NOT just disable/deactivate/forget about them. Instead, back up the data stored on them – if you need it – and then delete them. If you are not ready for that, strengthen the passwords to ensure that they cannot be cracked and used to impersonate you online. If you are worried about forgetting complicated passwords to accounts you do not use often or ever, employ a trusted password manager that will store all passwords in a safe vault.
How to digital detox your virtual life
Without a doubt, removing unused, undesirable or time-consuming apps/accounts/profiles is not all you can do for a digital detox. While taking care of your digital security is important, you also have to think about yourself. If you exceed the recommended 2-hour screen-time per day, your physical and mental health could decline, and that might be the biggest motive to makes some changes.
Keep yourself busy: No, you do not need to be busy 24/7. In fact, rest is crucial, and a proper digital detox can help you with that. No one can argue that we tend to reach for our phones, tablets, and remotes when we are bored. Pick up a book, meet up with your friends, enjoy a crafting session, go hiking, explore new hobbies, and do other things that will give your mind a rest, something that will never happen if you stay glued to your mobile devices, computers, gaming consoles, or TV.
Put your phone down: Whenever you reach for your phone, ask yourself if you really need it. At its core, a phone is a mean for communication, and so if you are trying to figure out how to digital detox effectively, one easy thing you can do is turn off Wi-Fi or mobile data. That way, you will receive phonecalls and text messages, but the annoying bleeps and pings warning you about never-ending chat-messages, notifications, likes, and invites will be contained. Remind yourself that the world will not end if you take your time to respond to a comment or check the likes on your latest post.
Leave your mobile devices behind: We are so used to having our phones and other mobile devices always close to us that we start feeling naked when we forget them or when their batteries die. Try to have a break from that. For example, if you are going grocery shopping down the street, and you do not have a long list of the things you need to buy on your phone, just leave it behind.
Rest at night: If you are used to checking your social media before going to bed, your sleep might suffer greatly. Therefore, it is recommended that people turn off their devices or, at least, disconnect Internet access. Also, put your phone on Airplane Mode at night to ensure that you get a full night of quality sleep. Remember that even the smallest changes can make a huge difference.