By Sophia Hadef
By being connected all the time, we no longer know how to take a break, a real break. Our mind is always craving new things. And it can become quite exhausting. No surprise that so many of us have already experienced burnout. And without necessarily going that far, to feel a certain feeling of overload and exhaustion, sometimes even depression, when we are too connected.
The screens can take us away from real life, so we sometimes need to calm down. To balance the screen-time is what we truly need. Screens, and especially social networks, plunge us into a conflict of the immediate and the principal.
In a tech-obsessed civilisation where more than 500 million tweets are sent every day, and billions of people use Facebook regularly, how do we know if our social media use has become abusive? Here are some tips for breathing and disconnecting from the online world.
Use apps to help to disconnect I regularly use ‘screen time’ in my iPhone settings. It is helpful to select which app to block for a particular time, which one to allow, and limit your consumption of specific apps like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Those apps can be very addictive, and it is good and recommended to take a break and use them carefully.
You can also order a unique box to help you to reduce your screen time. Injoy.ie provides a box called Shelf Control with a timed lock container to lock your devices away.
If you really want to disconnect. It is good to realise that we may be dependent on an app, but it is better to help ourselves. Screen time can be very damaging for the eyes; we all experienced an intense headache after staying on the phone or working on the laptop for too long. Try to figure out what is best for you, an app, small breaks, or more significant breaks. Take some time for yourself to enjoy calm and good for mental activities such as reading, walking, drawing, or painting.
Turn off the notifications. This can be an excellent way for those who don’t want or can’t take big breaks. I use that option a lot. Many apps on my phone are turned off. I have to go through the app to see if I have any notifications. If I don’t, then I’ll never know. And for some apps like Instagram, it is really helpful.
Return to the basic functionality of the phone. What if the obstacle was the mere presence of the app itself? They are designed to make you dependent, with attractive designs and catchy colours. In order to facilitate your break, you can change the colourimetry of the phone screen to turn it into black and white. To do this, go to the settings of your smartphone. In case those tips don’t work for you, there is always a drastic solution: buy an old telephone from the early 2000s, with the sole function of being contacted. Good luck!