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How to take a digital detox during the pandemic

Choose quality over quantity

Whenever you choose to spend your time on checking social media, make sure this is not a wasted time.

So why not trying to learn something useful during the days when you cannot leave your house due to different reasons?

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How to take a digital detox during the pandemic

How to take a digital detox during the pandemic

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200513-how-to-take-a-digital-detox-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

Digital anxiety

We are addicted to our phones-that is a fact we are all aware of. Furthermore, in periods of time when we cannot have direct interactions with other individuals, we even tend to obsess over our mobile phones, as we see them as the only ones able to provide us with a sense of connectivity.

Set boundaries in regards to your screen time

Whenever you feel like you are spending way too much time on your screen, consider setting clear boundaries: it is not the same to work and to just waste your time by watching things that might even end up increasing your anxiety.

Therefore, try using a separate device for work and personal activities and, the most important, make sure to set a limit to the amount of time spent while checking news on social media.

Choose quality over quantity

Whenever you choose to spend your time on checking social media, make sure this is not a wasted time.

So why not trying to learn something useful during the days when you cannot leave your house due to different reasons?

Choose alternatives to the screen

While spending your time on Facebook or having video conferences on Zoom might seem the best idea for the days when you stay at home, there are actually other activities even more enriching that would make you happy.

Reading books or magazines, working on a puzzle are just a few examples: try to combine your need of staying on the phone with activities that relax both your eyes and brain.

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Reasons you’re on your phone
Reasons you’re on your phone

Our phones, especially social media apps, may drain our time and energy. Scrolling often starts when you're responding to a message, reading an article, or looking at a few pictures. Then, four...

Consider posting less

If you find yourself posting a lot, ask what specifically you're seeking and if there are other ways that would leave you feeling better.

It's worthwhile to consider what you are posting to the world. Posting stories, tweeting, and messaging lead to back-and-forth responses that glues you to your feeds.

Use your phone for its main purpose: calling people

Even if you love a good text conversation, it might mean that you are more online than you otherwise might be.

One solution is to treat your phone like a phone. If you feel uncomfortable phoning, consider informing your friends that you will start calling more often, so they don't assume the worst when they hear your voice.

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Social media

The rise of social media has meant that we as a global population are more connected than we have ever been in the history of time. 

...
Self-esteem

A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen found that many people suffer from “Facebook envy”, with those who abstained from using the popular site reporting that they felt more satisfied with their lives. 

Becoming more conscious of the amount of time you spend scrolling through other people’s online profiles could help you focus more on yourself and boost your self-confidence.

Human connection

It’s so important for us to be able to communicate and forge personal connections with one another. However, it can be hard to do so when we’re glued to rectangular screens, becoming more acquainted with our friends’ digital facades than their real-life personas.

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that assessed 5,208 subjects found that overall, regular use of Facebook had a negative impact on an individual’s wellbeing. 

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Cluttered digital lives
Cluttered digital lives

If people's physical lives were anywhere near as cluttered as their digital lives, their kitchen sinks would be full of dishes, their closets would be jammed, and their houses would be in chaos.

Become a Digital Minimalist

We can reclaim our time and our attention. Unlike a physical space, we can wipe the slate clean in our digital environment.

If you clear apps from your phone, nothing will happen. You can always reinstall the ones you use.

Digital Declutter
  • Clear your browser history.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, podcasts, blogs, and anything else you consume.
  • Delete all the apps that are currently on your phone and desktop or laptop (as long as you don’t have to buy a new version of anything).

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Taking good breaks

This is important for your daily productivity. Good breaks can leave us feeling refreshed and energized. It can reduce mental fatigue, boost brain function and keep us on-task for extended periods....

The brain and goal management

The prefrontal cortex of the brain is mainly responsible for goal management. It orchestrates attention, working memory and other cognitive resources to help us get what we want.

For a challenging task, briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation. Doing activities that rely on different brain regions is best to restore focus.

Going Natural

Exposure to nature restores the mind. One study showed better working memory scores for people after a walk in a natural environment, but not in an urban setting.

If you are unable to go into nature, find plants, fresh air or a fish tank. Sit down, take a deep breath, and notice the details of nature. Research shows that even looking at some pictures of nature can work.

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Introducing People
Introducing People

People no longer have the option to introduce themselves to new people at their convenience (like in an office setting, for example). With the remote setting, the second someone joins an online mee...

The Waiting Room

It is advisable to enable the waiting room option for new joiners so that they are made to enter one at a time and provided with a proper introduction.

It also takes care of the risk of your meeting getting crashed by someone suddenly.

The Art Of The Pause
  • Video chats with multiple participants have a lot of cross-talk and people talking at the same time. This problem is compounded by dodgy internet speeds.

  • It is possible to listen to only one person at a time, so one has to learn the art of the pause. Stopping and staying silent will allow others to calm down.

  • Zoom also has a raise hand feature, which helps facilitate the meeting in an orderly fashion.

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Hobbies for relaxation

Americans have roughly 5 hours of leisure per day. However, watching TV takes up more than half of those hours. Then, when we do make use of those leisure hours, our hustle culture makes...

The“fantasy self”

One mistake people make when starting a hobby is picking something aspirational rather than something they enjoy. When you pick a hobby, stay true to what you enjoy. If you like cooking, try to take your current skills up a notch. If you like writing, try a fiction workshop.

If you want to try something totally new, start small. To hold yourself accountable, enlist friends in the effort.

Hobbies and side hustles

A hobby is not a side hustle. It is important to develop hobbies outside of our economy with no financial motives attached.

Since a leisure pursuit is an outlet for stress, the pure pleasure of engaging in a hobby should be enough. A hobby not only helps to refuel us for a busy work life but also helps us to practice deep focus.

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The Distraction of Digital Technology
Email, chat apps, social media, and other tools can be just as productive as they can be distracting. How do we get the most out of the good parts of technology while protecting ourselves from...
How technology became so exhausting

We spend all day staring at screens, read books on Kindles or iPads, and come home to relax by watching a movie or TV.

Digital technologies lump together the good with the bad.

Digital minimalism defined

As Cal Newport defines it, Digital minimalism is:

“A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.”

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Boredom sparks creativity
Boredom sparks creativity

Boredom is one of the most important factors in creativity. Boredom is a productive state as long as you don't let it get to you.

Agatha Christie said there is nothing like boredom...

Our mind when we're bored

When we're bored, two key things are happening in our minds: One is a 'desire bind' where someone wants to do something but not anything that's on offer. The other is when your mind is itching to be engaged.

Don't fill the void

Our first instinct when we experience some boredom is to fill it with Netflix lists, Instagram feeds, and TikTok videos. Riding out this boredom is vital though.

Boredom is not in itself creative. It's what it leads to that is significant. In the gap of boredom, you're motivated to look for something else, and there's a real chance you'll discover something new.

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The Start Of Online Shopping
The Start Of Online Shopping

While online shopping was huge enough before 2020, it has become truly mainstream due to the push provided by the pandemic.

  • It started in Gateshead, England, when an old lady used th...
Online Shopping In The 90s
  • Pizza Hut started selling pizzas online in 1994, using a flat, grey website to take the addresses and phone numbers of pizza-hungry customers.
  • Amazon.com too was launched in 1994, when we could only buy books on the site and is now the biggest online retail store, making the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people on the planet.
Online Shopping and The Smartphone Push
  • By 2017, Smartphone usage hit 80 percent worldwide, and online shopping apps became a common thing to use.
  • Since then, online shopping has been topping every sales chart, with Shopify providing the worldwide sales figure of USD 3.5 trillion in 2019.
  • A majority of stuff ordered online included electronics, books etc., with groceries not a huge priority, until this year.

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Dating In The Times of Pandemic
Dating In The Times of Pandemic

As offline activities for dating couples have to be avoided, the dating brands of the internet have adapted themselves fast to accommodate virtual activities and in-build video chats. 

Video Dating Or No Dating

Apps like OkCupid and Tinder see a decent surge in daily conversations in the last month. Ironically, the feature that they have recently introduced, Video Dating, wasn’t asked by anyone before the pandemic, as everyone preferred real dating. Now, due to everyone in lockdown, it is the most used feature and has shot up the app engagement.

Video dating, which has witnessed a 200 percent increase in OkCupid, lets the dating couples check the ‘vibe’ of their partner, and decide if the person can be dated in future.

Digital Date Ideas

Some of the interesting digital date ideas that are proposed in the dating Apps:

  • Build a playlist together
  • Watch TikTok Videos, trying to understand Millennials and Gen Z
  • Draw pictures of each other
  • Tackle a crossword puzzle together
  • Watch an old concert on youtube together
  • Read the same book and discuss it on video chat.

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