New disorders have been named to accommodate the growing number of people addicted to specific technologies; World of Warcraft and other video games, Facebook, Smartphones at dinner, Candy Crush, and more. Anyone remember the craze of the most addicting Facebook game of them all, Farmville?! Most Americans can say they would like to be less glued to their technology. Screen time has been known to cause sleep disturbance, and with work becoming more mobile, it becomes more and more invasive of our personal time. You can set boundaries, and a priming technology cleanse might be just what the doctor ordered to begin living in the real world and online with balance. Follow the following suggestions to have a successful technology cleanse.
Without a plan, you plan to fail. Technology cleanses are probably one of the hardest cleanses to endure because it’s not a physical challenge, but a mental one. Decide how long you will cleanse for (typically 2-3 days or a week) and plan to begin 2-3 days prior so that you are not quitting cold turkey. Also set parameters of what technology you will obstain from, or when you will be able to use them. During this planning phase, decide what you want to spend your time doing instead. You will need this outline to refer to when you are feeling the itch, which brings us to our next point; relapse prevention.
Decide why you are doing this technology cleanse and write your answer down. Place this card somewhere you will see it daily as a reminder, or keep it on you at all times. I’d suggest you take a picture with your phone so you always have it, but during a technology cleanse, you may not have that luxury. Revisit your “why” when you feel “the itch”.
Some last important suggestions before you get started are to notify anyone who needs to know you are doing a technology cleanse. This may be people you work with or for, Facebook friends or groups you normally converse with, or people closest to you that can help support you during your cleanse. Prepare for your return to technology, too. One of the best ways to do this is to unsubscribe to any email subscriptions you no longer care for. Go through and uninstall any unnecessary apps and turn off unnecessary notifications of the apps you are keeping. The last suggestion of this article is to learn to use ‘Airplane Mode’ which disables your phone’s ability to send or receive text messages, calls, or notifications. This mode may also be sometimes called flight mode, standalone mode, or offline mode and can be used in a number of situations. You can enable flight mode when you don’t want to be disturbed, when going into important meetings, to charge your battery faster, or reserve the battery life you already have.