Take a moment to think about how much time you spend on your phone or computer. How many notifications do you think you receive a day?
A study was recently conducted by a behavioral researcher, Nick Fitz, on 200 people and their technology and he found that the majority was receiving between 65 and 80 notifications a day. When he used the technology as a variable and eliminated the notifications on the participant’s phones, their stress levels significantly dropped. However positive the reduced stress levels may seem, there was another discovery. Some users experienced a rise in their anxiety levels suggesting the need for a technology detox. This finding has lead to a breakthrough in “digital wellness”.
Digital wellness is waging a war on tech addiction, which has become a worldwide problem at this point. Now, what is it exactly? Digital wellness is the ability to use and monitor technology in a healthy way. This means restricting or eliminating notifications, setting alerts to let you know when you have spent too much time on your phone and need to get off, and tracking how much time you spend on specific websites or games so you can see what you are spending the majority of your time on.
By making us more aware of how much of our lives we are lending to the digital community such as Facebook, Instagram, or online games we can better pinpoint the changes we need to be making to lead more fulfilling lives that are rich in connection outside of the internet.
Behavioral scientists are fighting fire with fire- using technology such as applications to encourage people to limit their time spent on it and reduce notifications received. Freedom, SelfControl, AppDetox, cold turkey, and StayFocusd are all apps that have been designed to limit or even block websites or apps that are being used for unhealthy amounts of time. Overuse of technology can have a negative impact on one’s health such as depression, anxiety, damage to the eyes, decreased attention span, lack of socialization, and reduced quality of sleep.
With technology being used more often now than ever before, it is becoming more and more important that we take the proper precautions to protect ourselves against it. There are many benefits of having a technologically advanced society but we need to be aware of the personal sacrifices we will be making if we get too wrapped up in it. Consider trying one of the apps and see what changes you could be making!