Since the device called ‘smartphone’ was released in 2007, it has been 15 years. Now, the smartphone is being used in various areas of our daily life: chatting, studying, meeting, watching movies, listening to music, sending text messages and emails, taking notes, etc. In a word, we are in a inseparable relationship with the smartphone. However, this breakthrough device is like a double-edged sword.
It has many advantages and disadvantages depending on how we use it. It has many problems such as addiction, sleep disorders, lack of exercise, crimes, and etc. Among them, smartphone addiction has been the most serious these days. Many people use it wherever they go and whatever they do, even when crossing the street or talking to friends and family members during the meals, with their focus on the task or people disturbed and disrupted. Most of all, the biggest problem is that people are to experience isolation and disconnection with the people around them. On the other hand, the smartphone has advantages. One of the biggest advantages is that we can download various application programs, which can be used in various and useful ways for reading books and news, studying, playing games, cooking, and etc. In the era of COVID-19, the smartphone has been used for the most convenient and useful device for watching the lectures non-face-to-face and participating in the class face-to-face online. The long dark and isolated periods due to COVID-19 have made people more dependent on the smartphone, even making lots of people regardless of ages addicted to it. In this article, I am to talk about why and how to remain aloof from the smartphone, other devices, and the Internet in the era of the Artificial Intelligence with a topic of Digital Detox. Let me first describe what ‘detoxification’ means, and later talk about digital detox and the reasons for it and how to do a digital detox.
What is Detoxification?
Detoxification, which is often named ‘detox’ or ‘body cleansing,’ is aimed at getting rid of unspecified ‘toxins’ which are believed to be accumulated in our body over the time. Detox diets are involved with consuming highly limited sets of foods such as only water or juice or fasting or avoiding certain foods such as fats. The supporters generally view brief ‘detox diets’ as harmless, whereas some dispute the value and need of detox diets due to the lack of evidence to support it. Nevertheless, detoxification has become so popular as to coin a related term such as ‘digital detox.’
Digital Detox and the Reasons to Do It
A digital detox means a certain period of time when we voluntarily refrain from using digital devices and the Internet such as smartphones and computers, and SNS. People have various motivations to start a digital detox. Have you ever have thought of refraining from all digital devices and the Internet? What motivations make people start a digital detox? In an article for Forbes, a journalist and blogger, Frances Booth, states 30 reasons to do a digital detox. I summarized them into 10, with which I assume people would agree to some degree:
Which of the above 10 reasons to detox is closely related to you? I want to regain my lost time due to the use of smartphones or the Internet, and I am going to detox to restore my estranged relationship. Are you not extremely dependent on or addicted to digital platforms or media? If so, why don't you take a moment to distance yourself from digital devices and the Internet and take time to get back to people and nature?
Methods to Practice a Digital Detox
As most experts agree, moderately doing the digital detox by reducing or allocating the time of the uses seems more efficient than completely alienating from the digital world. How many hours have you been spending your time using smartphones and the Internet? More than 3 hours every day? If you bring the smartphone to the bathroom, or watch it while eating with others, or you feel restless unless you get an instant reply to your text messages, you are more of an addict, too. Now is the time for you to start to do a digital detox. Now, let me show you how to practice a digital detox. I found a lot of tips for a digital detox on the website and I will summarize them into 10 for you from the easy ways. Here ‘it’ means the smartphone and other digital devices:
Do the above-mentioned ways sound difficult for you to practice? Don’t try to apply every way to your digital detox life. Just choose one or two, and then start to practice it or them. For me, No. 4 sounds a little easier. I have to practice No.10. For many years, before going to bed and after waking up, the first thing I look for is the smartphone. Even, I cannot fall asleep without listening to the stories through the smartphone. Sometimes it helps but sometimes it disturbs my sound sleep, causing a headache when I wake up. Currently, I am practicing No.8, growing flowers and vegetables and planting fruit trees. Don’t expect too much things. Just practice from small things, and you will gain something meaningful and valuable.