May 26, 2022

In a world where smartphones provide access to infinite information and instantaneous communication at all times, it can be as important to unplug as it is to stay connected. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Americans check their smartphones an average of 96 times a day – or once every 10 minutes of our waking hours!

That is why it is important to cultivate conscious smartphone and device habits that encourage a healthy digital/analog life balance. When practiced consistently, the benefits of a digital detox – or temporary timeout – could include sharper focus, reduced stress, improved relationship dynamics, and better time management.

Although you may not be able to go analog cold turkey, these 3 tactics can help counterbalance the effects of electronics overload:

1) Turn off audible notifications.

We are constantly being alerted to a new email, social media notification, or message; however, aside from an actual emergency, there are few alerts that require one’s immediate attention. Rather than reacting to every blip and beep, turning our notifications to silent mode – if only for a period of time – can help us to stay focused on a specific task at hand.

2) Take a break from digital media.

While we may value staying informed by checking our favorite news and social media sites, it can also be mentally and emotionally cleansing to pause consumption for a period of time. In its place, we can connect to what is happening in our immediate environment – and find positive ways to affect our sphere of influence.

3) Limit smartphone use to specific times/places/occasions.

It can become habitual to have your smartphone in hand morning, noon, and night – also known as phonehand. Mitigate this compulsive tendency by creating healthy boundaries between you and your device such as:

  •  Create a beginning/end time to device usage for the day; for example, at the start and end of your work day.


  •  Maintain your bedroom as a place of rejuvenation by leaving your device at the door before you enter the room; or, if you need it as an alarm clock, set it to airplane mode.


  •  Resolve to put your phone away while interacting in-person with colleagues, friends, or family members; giving them your undivided attention demonstrates that you respect their time.