12 Feb 2016
By

Why Take a Digital Detox?

By Michael Schroeder

When did you first look at your phone today? How many times have you checked email, voicemail or text messages? Where do you keep your phone throughout the day? At arm’s reach? If you are an average American, research indicates that you are spending up to eight hours a day staring into a glowing digital device, at work, at home and even while driving. Furthermore, if you’re using your device right up until bedtime, chances are you are negatively impacting your sleep and health. Here’s how…

The light emanating from our phones and computers is short-wavelength “blue light.” Research has firmly established that overexposure to blue light has harmful effects including suppression of melatonin production, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms and the duration and quality of sleep. In addition to the negative impact on brain chemistry, our obsession with digital technology is contributing to greater incidence of social isolation, depression, anxiety and other health-related issues.

A recent survey indicates that 1/3 of us would rather clean a toilet than our inbox. How is that possible? Is this not evidence that we are overwhelmed with information in the digital age? For many of us, contemplating going cold turkey from our devices just for a day may seem impossible. But pause for an instant and imagine yourself stepping away from your digital devices and attending to yourself and the present moment. So many things become possible. Who knew that we were being held captive to technology? It really is time for a digital detox.