Device addiction. keep taking digital breaks.

Finn MacLean / Design Health  / Device addiction. keep taking digital breaks.
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Device addiction. keep taking digital breaks.

Device addiction is a strong a term. There is no other way to explain the attachment to our portable screens. The intimate one to one experience is our own private escape.
 
Closing a laptop screen at the end of the day was once a liberating feeling. The notification bubbles started popping up to inform us of interactions. We spend our screen free time, catching up on social feeds. Ignoring the environment on the commute home, we appease our device addiction instead.
 
At home, we sit on either end of the couch from our partners, scrolling content. Missing out on this valuable evening time was impacting my mental fitness.
 
I found too much time spent in front of screens very limiting for my imagination. It is crazy for me to think that trying to absorb so much content would help with my creativity. I went through a spell where I was trying to force ideas out of my brain. The formula to consume as much as possible did not inspire, it became invisible.
 
It took a holiday in Rome to appreciate the impact that device addiction was having on me. Leaving all technology at home, lead to so much more discovery. No Google maps resulted in me and wife getting lost. It forced me to look up and around rather than down. There were no random light beams illuminating our room at night, or ping noises to disrupt our sleep. Exploring an inspiring city like Rome is more rewarding with out using a mobile phone.
Our bedroom is now a technology free zone. Turning off the device an hour before bed provides a decent break for my mind to relax. My sleep has improved as result. When I wake up, I no longer reach for the phone. Switching the device is now an interaction on for the commute to work. Taking time off from work is an opportunity to reduce the amount of digital noise we pile on to our brains. Leaving devices at home allows for spontaneity to happen.
Studies are starting to emerge highlighting the dangers of screen fatigue.  Adjustments to evening and morning habits can have a great effect on your mental health. Despite changing my digital lifestyle, I look for excuses to turn my phone off. Device addiction is very real. How many breaks do you take from your screen buddy?