Whether it is a work tool or a hobby, the Internet is an integral part of our daily life – until it becomes indispensable. At least that is the impression we have, depending on how we use it. Here are some ways to learn how to manage your connection and potentially reduce it, in order to find yourself.
According to a study by Dr. Alton NYU Professor, 40% of users in the US see in their behaviors a form of dependence on the connection, and 17% recognize even being very dependent. And these numbers are growing… Faced with this overflow, the question arises: how can we learn to disconnect?
We are all Nomophobes
“If you are connected more than two hours a day, out of working hours, and this time exceeds that spent on other activities, then you are in excessive use,” explains Dr. Dan Véléa, psychiatrist-Addictologue in Paris. Especially since the use of the Internet – and therefore of connected gadgets (smartphone, tablet and computer), dedicated to work often exceeds the classic time frame from 9 am – 5 pm. Indeed, an Edenred-Ipsos survey reveals that almost seven out of ten employees claim to be solicited by their company outside the office. Another obvious figure, 51% of executives consult their emails in bed, according to another study conducted by Roambi and Zebaz.
This addiction is conceptualized under the term Nomophobie, “no mobile phobia”, which means the anguish of a person with the idea that he misses his smartphone, or even his inability to live without. In addition to this contemporary observation is the famous FOMO syndrome, the acronym of the English expression “fear of missing out”; Either the fear of missing something (an event, an opportunity, a discussion, a topicality…).
Why take a digital detox?
“Picking up punctually and partially is means regaining our breath and distance,” notes Francis Jauréguiberry, a sociologist and author of a study on voluntary disconnection to information and communication technologies. Becoming a growing phenomenon, the concept of “digital detox” was born in the Silicon Valley in response to hyper connection and excessive use of the Internet. The expression induces us to adopt a new digital life hygiene, in small steps of self-discipline, which can be summed up in three aspects:
- Free the mind: diminish the superfluous to live in the present moment
- Free yourself of time: dedicate it for yourself, loved ones, its leisure…
- Freeing yourself from evils: combating stress, insomnia, fatigue and even irritability
1. Identify its digital consumption
Before any action, you must count the time you spend on the Internet. At what times of the day do you connect? What exactly do you do (e-mails, social networks, news, games, videos…)? How much time do you spend on it? Finally, ask yourself if your need to connect is a pure and simple reflex or a real necessity or pleasure?
2. Connect at specific moments
It is better to devote a defined moment in your day to the Internet, in order to gather all your connection habits in the same time range, which avoids permanent connection. If you choose a moment in the evening, you will take more time in the morning to prepare and eat before you go to work. Also, at half day, enjoy your time to socialize with your colleagues, to see friends, to play sports or to read a book.
3. Stop automatic notifications
In the settings of your smartphone and/or tablet disable all applications notifications. This will help you avoid giving into the urge to go and look. The world will not stop turning!
4. Use an old phone temporarily
Pull out your Nokia 3310! Start the challenge of using only an old mobile phone for a full day or even a week. One which only serves to call and send short SMS (the primary function of the object).
5. Set OFF periods with airplane mode
Opt for the “slow connection”: Thanks to the airplane mode, you can cut out any network on your smartphone during a period of work or leisure in which you do not want to be disturbed. In the evening, activate it as a curfew, and do not touch it again. In addition to avoiding the Wi-Fi waves to disturb your sleep, you prevent any other disturbance.
6. Reuse Traditional Objects
Even if the smartphone itself brings together the functionality of many devices, it would be a good idea to reuse objects dedicated to their functions. For example: A classic alarm clock, a camera, a notepad, a paper diary, an MP3… Exit the All-in-one devices!
7. Plan a full day off
Finally, cut off any connection during a day to take a break, an activity, a sport or a hobby, which makes you good. You can also dedicate it to your family and loved ones, they will be more than happy, and you will be too… There is nothing like creating authentic moments, guaranteed anti-FOMO remedies.