Try a digital device detox

Alexandra Shannon, Staff Writer

As a young adult with my whole life ahead of me, but I might be wasting it staring at my phone.

An average person spends five years and three months on social media in their lifetime, according to ComScore, a media statistics company.

I would often get frustrated with friends for looking down at their phones while we spoke, or texting drivers who delay traffic.

But truthfully, I was also engaging in some of these habits and I knew that needed to change.

In May 2017, while studying abroad, I deleted Snapchat from my phone.

I thought I’d give it a try for a week to see how I felt.

I assumed I would miss Snapchat. Or rather, I would miss the videos and photos of what my friends were doing.

But, I didn’t think about Snapchat or want it back. Instead, I realized how much I was missing by trying to document certain moments or watch what others were up to.

After that trial run, I never re-downloaded Snapchat and don’t think I ever will.

I don’t hate all forms or uses of social media, I’m just taking a step back from it.

Social media is a great and innovative way to connect with others, and I’m not completely deleting it from my life.

Of all the diets and detoxes out there, I believe most in a social media cleanse.

A digital detox is when a person refrains from using electronic devices for a period of time, according to Oxford Living Dictionaries.

Some participate in them for three hours, others for days.

A few weeks ago I put my phone on “airplane mode” for 24 hours.

Not only did 24 hours away from the digital world reset and refresh me, it prompted me to delete Instagram as well.

It’s easy to get caught in a black hole of skimming through pictures that aren’t necessarily accurate portrayals of people’s lives.

I enjoyed my time away from the digital world, but remaining in a detox forever is probably impossible for anyone who doesn’t want to just disappear into the woods.

The reality is that I need my computer to do school work,  my phone to communicate with my boss and social media to make plans with friends.

Digital devices and social media are undoubtedly integrated into our lives, but we should also integrate a mindfulness of our use of devices.

It’s as simple as putting your phone on “do not disturb” or vowing to keep your it in your pocket at dinner.

Be here now, because five years and four months is a long time to spend looking at a screen.