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How often is it advisable to make a ‘break’ in social networks?

a lot of hands raise mobiles
TOMMY / GETTY IMAGES

We tell you how to do this necessary digital ‘detox’ that can substantially improve your routine.

The alarm clock rings and, almost intuitively, you look at your mobile. A gesture at the same time understandable given that, in most cases, the alarm clock itself is said device. With it in hand, we are ready to take a quick look at messaging networks and apps, simply to see what we have missed. What if a dozen ‘stories’ from Instagram, some other email from the job that you still do not have to open, and three chats on WhatsApp that immerse you fully in your routine. A routine that, without realizing it, is marked by your phone, since not an hour of your day has passed and you have already been online for at least 20 minutes. At the end of the day, the usage time shoots up to sometimes five or six hours. Inevitably, our mind requires a ‘break’ of social networks and disconnect from all the information overload to which we are constantly exposed. But, how often is it advisable to disconnect?

To learn how to handle this nomophobia – the irrational fear of staying for a period of time without a mobile phone – we turned to Gabriela Paoli, an expert psychologist in technoaddictions and author of the book ‘Digital health: keys to a healthy use of technology’. She paves the way for what seems to be quite a social challenge and answers our initial question about how often we have to do this ‘break’: “It depends on the level of activity you do. To perform a correct digital detoxI recommend, first of all, to look at how much time we spend connected, in order to have knowledge and self-awareness. Later, implement a series of self-control strategies such as establishing a connection and disconnection times ”. At this point, our own ‘smartphone’ can help us because most of our operating systems already include the ‘usage time’ option that alerts us when we have exceeded a previously predetermined time in front of our screen. And concludes:

“In extreme cases, especially when the networks are abused, I would recommend doing digital detox every one or two months.”

a mobile from which a hand comes out with a sign that says 'help'
TOMMY / GETTY IMAGES

To be able to disconnect correctly, we have to carry out this process gradually, since as in other diets we can also suffer the dreaded ‘rebound effect’. “It is so called because the return to the networks can become excessive or excessive due to the previous feeling of having lost information, news or contacts. A progressive, conscious and healthy withdrawal is preferable and healthier. For this to occur, changes in habits are required, such as avoiding falling into automatisms. We talk about self-control and training ourselves in certain healthy behaviors to improve our self-esteem and mental health ”, concludes Paoli. Likewise, it helps us to detect the main signals that indicate that we need this ‘break’. This is the decalogue that you have to take into account.

Signs that we are ‘techno addicts’

  1. We check the mobile compulsively (even without receiving notifications or messages)
  2. We need to have the mobile in our hand or in our pocket, even when we go to sleep.
  3. We receive complaints from the couple, friends, family.
  4. We neglect other activities or hobbies that we used to do before.
  5. We feel nervous or anxious if we don’t have coverage, data, or battery.
  6. We have the feeling of loss of control of time.
  7. Lack of rest or hours of sleep.
  8. We have abrupt mood swings, tiredness, or irritability due to the connection time and the content to which we are exposed.
  9. The mobile phone interferes in other areas of our life, both at work, as well as academically or socially.
  10. We neglect our hygiene or food due to the hours of connection.

And how do we solve it?

Paoli has the key to start subtracting time in front of the screen and start adding experiences in real life. “Good digital health can be created and maintained by including self-care habits such as a balanced and healthy diet, exercise, taking care of our rest, stress management and, of course, managing the healthy use of our devices. ”, Says the expert. We must make an act of social presence – as long as the current situation allows it – since our individual health is closely linked to our social activity.

Regarding the recurring excuse that all our friends are on the internet, Paoli is clear: “Another important point is not to confuse the apparent sensation of socialization that having 3,000 friends on networks can offer, since deep friendship ties are created with links. They are built with time and experience, not by ‘likes’. And he concludes: “From time to time, doing nothing or turning off mental noise is very healthy. The absence of ‘inputs’ allows us to get in touch with our inner voice, silence is health ”.

We will become happy if one can choose to inspire from our information. Comment on the comment section And regarding any other queries feel free to drop a message to the step phase. Thank You.

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Written by Shraddha Diwan

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