Digital detox or how to find serenity in an anxiety-provoking context

The news of the last few weeks has put the nerves of many Europeans to the test. Rumors on social networks, alarming figures, contradictory information, experts of all kinds were the ingredients among many others of a cocktail of the most anxiety-provoking. What if cutting yourself off from digital information was the solution to regain some serenity?

La digital detox, explications

A digital detox is the act of voluntarily isolating yourself from all potentially time-consuming and anxiety-provoking sources of digital distraction.

More and more users of new technologies are becoming truly dependent on what happens on the web. The social networks are becoming the theater of a re-narcissization through the cult of image and appearances, Google the holy grail of instant response that lowers our threshold of tolerance to frustration every day, YouTube that converts us into spectators of a world where anyone can deliver the good news, etc... The information is swarming, the real ones rubbing shoulders with theinfoxes. Everything is there, the best as well as the worst, within reach of a click. Enough to become addicted!

The brain likes ease and the less constraints, the better it is. The immediacy of the internet is bread and butter for our brain: with each little pleasure, each "like", it secretes the dopamine making us completely dependent on social networks because we need our "fix".

Moreover, this need to be always connected also expresses this fear of missing something (information) of importance. We will then constantly check our mailbox, our accounts on the networks, our bank accounts, etc... We always want to be aware of what is happening in real time losing the notion of the present moment and the real usefulness of being constantly connected, submerged by the information. 

Faire une digital détox maintenant est-ce le bon moment ?

The Internet has become the best friend of many isolated people. It is their only access to the outside world and their preferred means of communication. The digital detox could then be experienced as a new deprivation. It should not create additional frustration. In this case, perhaps limit access to social networks, to anxiety-provoking information and direct one's digital activity towards positive and inspiring sources.

Don't be afraid to cut yourself off from the news. Experience it for a few days. You will notice that they will come to you no matter what through a phone call from a loved one for example. You will filter out all the useless and unfounded information, the media hubbub, the rumors, the opinions of false experts. Your mental load will only be lightened!

Concrètement, que mettre en place ?

  • don't watch the news on TV (especially the continuous news channels!)

  • Limit your access to your mailbox: 1 time in the morning and 1 time in the afternoon and not on the weekend.

  • cut with social networksor determine a restricted time slot for viewing

  • Take the opportunity to sort out your newsletter subscriptions and the accounts you follow.

  • turn off notifications.

  • Uninstall the time-consuming apps.

To discover more tips on how todisconnect from your screens, feel free to read this article in English on "How to Unplug Your Home for the Ultimate Digital Detox .  In addition to tips, you will discover interesting information about the consequences of being always connected as well as the negative effects it has on the brain.

Les bienfaits de la digital détox

  • An eco-citizen gesture: internet power plants consume a lot of energy. You need a lot of air conditioners to cool down the devices in operation. 

  • Come back to "real" life and live in full awareness of the present moment.

  • Regenerate your vital energy.

  • Keep yourself busy in a different way, develop your creativity and yourconnection with your close environment.

  • Take a different look at current events without letting yourself be sucked in by the fears of others and caught up in the collective "song". 

  • Regain a sense of inner freedom.

Partir pour mieux revenir

The digital detox is like the detox in naturopathy. The idea is to purify the body and mind but above all to start again on a new basis much healthier than the previous ones. 

By taking the time to cut yourself off from screens, you can take the opportunity to rethink your digital life and why not, institute new habits that are more in line with your needs and not based on your desires. 

The digital detox is an opportunity to review your priorities to readjust them.

Pour conclure

Although in these times of isolation the internet has become a significant source of distraction, its use can just as easily lead to anxiety. A digital detox over a weekend or several days can prove to be regenerating. Those who have tested it may, of course, have experienced some withdrawal in the first few hours, but all agree that once the discomfort threshold was passed, they felt a certain inner freedom.

Alexia Bernard 27 April, 2020
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