Why it's time for a digital detox
Chapter 5 from the CHANGE JOURNAL »
Have you experienced FOMO today? The likelihood is high because the “Fear Of Missing Out” phenomenon is more widespread than suffering from a cold in November. FOMO is the uneasy feeling of missing out on social channels when you’re offline. Neglecting your buddies, disappointing the community, not being present, becoming marginalized — fears like these force us to chat, post, and WhatsApp… nonstop from when we wake up to when we fall asleep. As great as the Internet’s power of seduction is, our capacity for exercising moderation is tiny in contrast.
In fact, media usage that resembles the addictive behavior of an alcoholic or a junkie is not an acutely isolated case. On the contrary, society is so turned on by tweets, emails, and postings that control and regulation within the group are virtually nonexistent. Nobody is alarmed; nobody says: Enough already! Instead, everybody’s back checking their accounts. To clarify this, I do not think Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the devil’s tools. Social media makes us more flexible; we learn from other people’s experiences and stay up-to-date. But as always, it’s the dose that makes the poison. That’s why I like the concept of Digital Detox so much: It fits just like a glove.
The following facts easily illustrate that the dose is currently far too high:
- 61 % of respondents admit to being dependent on the Internet.1
- 50 % of respondents prefer digital to personal
- We use social media for an average of 1 hour
- and 58 minutes daily.2
- On average, we are members of eight different platforms
- It takes an average employee two hours per day to recover
- from digital distractions to focus on actual work again.1
- 43.5 % of respondents would take their computer to a deserted island as one of three things.
- 66 % are unable to spend their holidays without bringing their PC.3
- In 2016, daily TV viewing was 239 minutes … that’s 4 hours — per day!
The list presents an ugly picture: A society has given up control over its freedom and time. It may sound hard, but as I see it, these numbers and the consequences are frightening.
I don’t know where you stand on this or how “poisoned” you are. Do you even know yourself? In all honesty? I suggest that you make an accurate assessment of your situation. Track your own media usage for a couple of days. If you project your use annually, the results will make your head spin.
Now you can test yourself: Do the math by tracking your online time for four days and comparing it to how much less time you could be online in three days. This will show you how much more time you could have for your analog life per year!
Let’s go! Out with digital poison, in with control and spare time!
1 DigitalDetox.org 2016. 2 GlobalWebIndex.net 2016 3Study by Intel and CN St. Gallen 2009.
4 Total population from 14 years of age upwards, according to the German Arbeitsgemeinschaft Fernsehforschung.