September is here, and the vacations are behind us. Back to school, back to work… and back to the screens! Many people are back to using computers and other mobile devices for several hours a day to do their work. To this time, we must add the time we dedicate to leisure and the reactivation of social relationships after the summer in the digital environment (social networks, instant messaging applications, audiovisual content platforms, etc.). The digital activity of children and young people also increases this month with the start of classes to do homework and access educational content.
Given this situation, it is worth asking ourselves: are we healthy use of new technologies? Are we able to make good use of the time we spend in front of the screen? And the time we want to finish outside the online environment?
I dedicate this article to digital disconnection, including handy tips for the whole family.
What is digital disconnection?
Over the past year, following the changes in the work environment and the rise of teleworking due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have heard the concept of digital disconnection and the right of employees to it many times.
However, this right has nothing to do with the measures adopted to combat the health situation but was already included a few years ago in the Organic Law 3/2018 on Personal Data Protection and guarantee of digital rights.
The right to digital disconnection is the right of employed persons not to attend work-related digital communications outside their working hours. This includes video calls, emails, or instant messaging systems (WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.). By recognizing this right, it is intended to respect daily rest time or vacation time and personal privacy and allow family reconciliation.
But digital disconnection is necessary not only for work but also in our free and leisure time. Excessive use of screens can lead to health problems, such as impaired vision or disturbed sleep cycles. Fortunately, improving this situation is in our hands with small daily gestures. And, interestingly, technology comes to the rescue. Read on and… disconnect!
Tips for healthy use of technology
There are many things you can do to reduce the use of screens and optimize the time we spend in front of them. Here are a few tips:
Think twice before you use screens
It may seem obvious, but one of the main reasons we use screens so much (especially those of our cell phones) is that we do it as an involuntary gesture. Only by knowing how much time we spend using these devices can we know the minutes we use them unnecessarily.
Luckily, our phones give us that information. For Android, you’ll find a feature called “Digital Wellbeing” in the Settings section of your smartphone. For mobiles with an iOS operating system, this feature is called “Usage Time,” also in the Settings section. Check it out, and you’re sure to be surprised!
Many of the notifications on our phones alert us to important and urgent issues. But many others function only as a lure to get you to use an application again. Therefore, our advice is to deactivate all those that are not important or interesting to you. In this way, you will only use specific applications when you decide to do so.
Smartphones also allow you to configure some aspects that can be very useful, such as “Sleep mode,” with which you can define a time when the phone goes into “Do not disturb” mode.
This mode is also configurable, and you can set whether you want to stop receiving notifications, alarms, calls… define what you want to receive!
Less brightness, better view
The brightness of smartphone screens, coupled with the closeness with which we sometimes look at them, can damage your eyesight. A fully illuminated screen forces us to squint and strain our eyes. I work in a paper writing service and I know very well how much my eyes can get tired because of the screen. That’s why I advise you to keep the brightness to a minimum or activate the automatic brightness mode. The screen will regulate the amount of light it emits depending on the ambient light. It is also advisable not to use the cell phone in places with total darkness, it is better if there is some light.
Another tip to take care of your eyesight is to look up from time to time and look at a distant point for at least 30 seconds.
Make the most of your time
There are times when we can’t tear ourselves away from the screen, whether we want to or not. Work, research, and study require us to be almost permanently connected. What to do in these cases?
We recommend using a program or application to help you optimize the time you spend on each task. You can find a wide variety of time management and productivity enhancement software on the Internet, many of them free and very easy to use. Some recommended ones are Asana, Trello, Tmetric, or Todoist.
With them, you will know what your tasks are and how much time you spend on each of them. Organizing daily tasks will help us focus better on each of them and get more out of our work and study day, avoiding wasting valuable time.
Don’t miss this article if you are looking for applications to have everything at hand.
Or sign up for our course Applications in the cloud to improve your productivity and become a professional in the field.
Reduce the use of social networks
According to the “Digital 2021” report, prepared by Hootsuite and We are Social, 80% of the 47 million internet users in Spain spend an average of 2 hours a day on social networks (which is a third of the time we spend on average surfing the net).
With this data, it is clear that social networks monopolize a large part of our daily lives. You can directly check how much time you spend on social networks with the tools we have explained above and reduce it with the recommendations we have given you. And if these measures are not enough, don’t miss the last tip.
Help your willpower
If, despite being aware that you need to “disconnect,” you do not feel able to detach from the screen, technology comes to the rescue.
On the Internet you will find a wide variety of applications that block the apps you use the most, such as AppBlock, available for iOS and Android. With this application, you can independently block all the applications on your mobile. You define the time in which you will not be able to access these apps, either to allow you to concentrate on work or classes or to enjoy the world outside the screen.
As you can see, digital disconnection is not only a right but almost a duty if you want to take care of your health and the quality of your time. Do you dare to put into practice the tips we have given you?