How to do a digital detox?

If you can’t stop yourself from using digital devices that make our daily life easier and happy, and if you experience tension and irritability when you stay away, you may be digital addicted. The formula to get rid of addiction: Digital detox…

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Due to our age, our relationship with technology is increasing day by day. We make calls for minutes on the phone, we can easily find an address we have never been to, with the program on the phone, we can get information about our school friends from social media, and we can even learn a foreign language with an application without the need for a teacher. The digital world makes daily life easier and makes people happy, but digital addiction can also cause stress and depression.

Maltepe University Hospital Psychiatry Department & AMATEM Unit Lecturer and Psychiatrist Dr. Hidayet Ece Çelik says that while people spend more time on digital devices, they unwittingly devote less time to their work, friends and family. Stating that many psychological and physical symptoms such as a feeling of distress, tension, and irritability can be experienced after a while, even if they are away from these digital devices for a short time, Çelik, who draws attention to digital addiction, continues as follows:

not being able to keep it, losing control about it, thus failing to take responsibility in various areas such as work, school, home, causing social or interpersonal problems, experiencing various withdrawal symptoms such as feeling of boredom, tension, irritability when staying away from technological devices, using these devices “Digital addiction is a situation where people have an intense desire for a device, spend much longer time on the device or on the internet than they planned, and spend a lot of effort to stay away.”

Digital addiction causes distraction from reality and sleep disorders

Stating that a person with technology addiction, who exists with a completely virtual identity on social media, can get away from reality, Çelik said that he spends most of the day on the internet. He emphasizes that some people who have a tendency to spend time with digital devices or with digital devices may experience various psychological and physical symptoms such as sleep disturbance, body aches, anxiety, and depressive symptoms.

Stating that problems or job losses can be seen in interpersonal relations because he cannot spare enough time for his social environment or work, Çelik says that besides the benefits of technological tools, they also cause physical and mental problems in the person. Dr. Çelik explains the process that leads people to digital addiction as follows:

“Increasing cortisol, which is the stress hormone in our body, can be the trigger of many diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases. The release of our hormones can be disrupted due to blue light. This causes symptoms such as sleep disturbance, weakness, fatigue, and distraction. Fake identities created on social media can lead to various psychiatric problems such as anxiety and depressive symptoms after a while. It can cause symptoms such as negative identity development, loneliness, alienation, behavioral problems and depersonalization to various social events, especially in children and adolescents.”

Digital purification is needed!

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Saying that it is not possible to completely get away from and not using technological devices, Çelik said that digital detox means that we realize the relationship established with technology and actively redefine our role in this relationship. Noting that, he draws attention to the fact that with digital detox, it is aimed to minimize the effects in life without completely cutting the ties with technological tools. Çelik emphasizes that in this way, the time people spend on themselves and those around them increases, they focus better, their sleep is more regular, and their self-esteem increases.

What can be done in digital detox?

Çelik offers the following suggestions on how to do a digital detox, which can vary according to the needs and wishes of the person:

  • It can be applied as leaving a single social media platform or dedicating certain times to this area, or as a way of staying away from all technological devices.
  • Notifications of social media applications can be turned off, the time spent on these platforms can be controlled with various applications.
  • By observing when the person uses technological devices more, devices can be turned off or removed when they think they are unnecessary.
  • The free time that emerges as a result of these practices can be filled with various activities.
  • The processes underlying technology addiction may also be processes that require pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy. For this reason, it is often necessary to get support from a mental health professional.

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