Are you almost hooked to your digital devices? When you get bored, do you travel non-stop on social media for longer than you want to do? For many of us in the modern world, this is just the reality of how we live. But, as many also know, this can impair productivity and mental health.
If you think your digital world is taking over your real world, there’s a real science behind why this happens, as well as a way to prevent it. You can still live a balanced life with technology, you just need to make some modifications and restrictions to do so.
What is digital minimalism?
Digital minimalism is the act of reducing or erasing much of the time behind a screen and using your digital devices in a way that fits your values and goals. Book Digital minimalism of Cal Newport describes this practice and the steps to implement it.
The first part of digital minimalism is determining which technology you use could be considered optional. These are things that, when removed, would not have a significant impact on your professional or personal life.
Below you can choose some hobbies or interests for which you could replace the time you regularly spend on these optional technologies. For 30 days, you must use these activities to prevent them from returning to technology. You can then enter them slowly without worrying about how and why you use them.
Another point of digital minimalism is to create more time for real interaction with friends and family. Activities with people outside of social media have huge mental health benefits. Even quick phone calls or video calls can work and spend time with someone.
Why should you consider digital minimalism?
Most social networks are designed to keep you on their platforms for as long as possible. They do this by providing your brain with rewarding feelings. Every time you get a comment or a new comment, or you see a new image of something interesting or funny, your brain gets a shot of dopamine.
Dopamine is one of the chemicals that is believed to be chemicals that feel good. However, it is a short-lived sensation.
This means that in order to regain that feeling, you need to keep using social media. That’s why it can sometimes seem almost like an addiction. And for some people, this is what can happen. That’s why it’s important to end this cycle of rewards in order to increase your productivity and just feel better overall.
Practicing digital minimalism is a good way to stop this cycle. It will give you more time to be productive and allow you to be more mindful of how you choose to spend your time. In the long run, you will also see improvements in your emotional well-being. You may find that you are happier overall and that you are more fulfilled and more attuned to yourself.
Ways to practice digital minimalism
If starting digital minimalism seems like a daunting task in itself, there are many ways to slowly relax your lifestyle and help you reduce screen time.
Screen time trackers
You may not be aware of it, but there are now many devices that have ways to track it. screen time and how much time you spend doing certain activities. For example, on the iPhone, you can go to Screen time in the settings to access a lot of features to manage the use of your smartphone.
Use smartphone or computer applications
There are many applications that you can install on a phone or computer, where you can set time limits on certain websites or applications. A good example of this is cold turkey, which you can download for Windows or Mac. This app will allow you to block websites during certain times to help you do more work and deter postponement.
Turn off devices
If you feel obligated to check your devices, turning them off completely can help discourage you. If the brain is used to getting a quick reward, avoiding it making it harder to get the feeling of reward will lessen these compulsive feelings.
Become a digital minimalist
While removing yourself from your digital and social media presence may seem daunting, the more you can do, the more benefits you’ll discover in your life. It may be unrealistic to cut off all unwanted technology use right away, but it is very possible to use certain methods and tools.
This kind of change to digital minimalism does not mean ending technology forever, but simply being able to recognize when using it causes you more harm than good.