How many times have you browsed social apps on your lunch break? Do you even take your phone to the bathroom with you? After work do you leave one screen only to turn on another one? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are not alone.
84% of mobile users in America said they could not go a single day without their device yet 24% said that the worst thing about owning a mobile is being constantly available (source). The same article shows that 67% of mobile owners find themselves checking their phones even when they don’t notice it ringing or vibrating and 18% of them do this “frequently.” A similar UK study showed that on average Britons check their phones 85 times each day!
These figures are all the more alarming when you consider that mobile phones and other online devices are contributing to an epidemic of stress related illness (source).
A report from Camden Council found that one in five sick days are now related to stress or depression – and blamed mobile phones for the jump.
The report found that 20% of sick days were due to mental health issues – as opposed to 8% on average nationwide.
The same article from Yahoo news cited a study from Northwestern University which found that, on average, depressed people use their phones for three times longer than people who are not depressed.
All this staring at screens is also causing insomnia. Your mobile phone, tablet, laptop and other screens emit a kind of blue light which confuses your body and disrupts sleeping patterns by up to 3 hours according to Harvard researchers. There is a quick antidote to this – download f.lux for Windows or Mac – It monitors daylight hours and filters out the blue light on your computer screen after sunset. It would be cool if there was an iOS app but at present there is only a kind of unoffical app for jail-broken phones.
But even the blue light filter doesn’t solve the issues relating to stress and anxiety that being constantly plugged in can cause. The only solution is unplugging and de-teching your life.
One easy way to cut down on social media use is to use software that allows you to manage all your social media profiles simultaneously from one place. Try Hootsuite for this. There is also an App called YOU which helps you to take control of your health with bite sized steps.
You can try to combat some of the effects of technology by following the advice in Dr Murads Book – Conquering Cultural Stress. It is a a comprehensive how-to guide for healing your body’s cells by letting go of everyday stress. Dr. Murad explains that by maintaining a carefree attitude and high levels of cellular hydration we can live happier lives and slow down the ageing process.
There are a number of reported benefits to unplugging such as:
- Greater creativity
Excessive mobile use has been linked to less creativity and slumps in creative energy
- Better moods
Constantly being plugged in can cause depression
- Less feelings of inadequacy and jealousy
Seeing the idealised lives projected by others on social media can cause a distorted sense of self worth.
- Less fear of “missing out”
Those addicted to tech can often be afraid that they will miss out on important news or updates if they are not constantly plugged in
- Greater appreciation of the real world
Whether it be the emotions of those around you or the evening song of a small bird, you can miss so many wonderful little things in life if you are always glued to a screen.
Put your phone away and spend some time at Spa Experience London where you can unwind the natural way. Why not take a break from social media for 30 days and reward yourself with a relaxing massage treatment?