Digital Detox vs. Digital Well-being

"First we shape our habits, then our habits shape us."

John Dryden

Short-term or long-term impact?

In this short article we will understand the practical difference between digital detox and digital wellness. What are their advantages, but also their disadvantages. You will then know which solution is the most suitable for your digital consumption!

We imagine that if you are reading this, you have already acquired some knowledge on the subject or felt the need to learn more about the use of digital tools, such as your smartphone, tablet or computer. You may have tried a digital detox, but found that it didn't work for you. We can only congratulate you on this first action to change your digital habits and behaviour.

Because it is always difficult to take the first step. We are not responsible, when we look at it closely, for our attachment to digital tools. For several decades, technology and social media have taken a certain hold on our daily lives. The industry has carefully tapped into some of our brain's vulnerabilities, such as dopamine and other pleasure neurotransmitters.

Moreover, technology will not disappear and will continue to develop. It is the individual and collective responsibility to learn how to master it.

 

What is addiction?

For the sake of clarity, we will first explore the notion of detoxification, which is specific to digital detox and refers to the detoxification cure. So what is an addiction?

Here is its definition:

Addiction is the loss of autonomy in relation to a product or behaviour.

It is characterised by the combination of two dimensions.

  • The suffering of the person,
  • Changes in his relationship to the world (alienation).

It goes without saying that addiction must be treated by a health professional, a psychiatrist for serious subjects or a psychologist. Since it has serious consequences for the patient's health.

As far as we are concerned, the use of smartphones by most people is not an addiction, but rather a behavioural and daily habit. There is no need to be alarmed!

 

A first popular method to better control the use of digital tools is the digital detox.

It consists of going without your smartphone for a few days. It is in fact a digital fast.

Just like food fasting, where you go without food completely or partially for a few days to allow your digestive system to take a break and regenerate your intestinal flora. In this way, you get short-term benefits. But you do not change your eating habits, which are the only ones that can offer you optimal health in the long term.

During this "withdrawal", your body and brain will have to fight against the lack of pleasure, dopamine, and stimulation generated by the repeated and automatic use of your smartphone. The first effect, in the short term, will be to lower your need for dopamine. However, during the fast, this lack will cause irritability, lack of concentration and sadness. If you choose this method, we can only encourage you to be well surrounded, to do it during your holidays for example, or in a setting conducive to this activity.

The difficulty is that once the digital detox is over, you will return to your normal habits. Despite your strong will, your brain will push you back into your "comfort zone", and the stimuli of everyday life, insidiously... You will want to get back all the dopamine you missed. In record time! Perhaps, increase your use of digital tools then. It's a vicious circle. In the same way that after a fast, you rush to the first pastry shop you come across. It's human!

 

 

 

So is digital detox useless?

No, it is a first step, an awareness and an experience!

During this fast, we become factually aware of our lack of, our need for, and the habits we have developed with digital tools. It is a good time to consider what we would like to change. Also, to get back to activities that we really enjoy and that give us a completely different kind of pleasure. This is a good starting point.

For such a sudden change in the way we live our daily lives requires much more than a simple detox. It requires discipline, patience, a strategy and the will to follow it.

In the book Being presentWe also insist on this fact:

"What if, in the end, in the modern world, the real wealth lay in being disconnected?

Because it is obviously easier to discipline ourselves when we know that at the end of our effort we will have real satisfaction!

 

There is another approach to this, and that is digital wellness.

In short, it's about understanding the technological tools around us so that we can use them wisely, free up time to do what we really want to do, and above all learn to disconnect.

Let's get back to food! If you are serious about changing your eating habits, you should visit a nutritionist. He or she will explain your needs in terms of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, where to find them, how to balance them and how to proceed.

With Digital Well-being, it's the same! You are accompanied by a specialist who will help you identify your needs, your behaviours and help you organise a strategy to reduce your time on digital tools. This support allows you to understand your habits, to put a plan into practice, without going too fast, because you need to learn to appreciate calmer moments, which are not in the instantaneous. You need to slow down and be able to manage different types of moments in your life, rather than being in a dynamic of constant hyper-connection and hyper-communication.

You will go through the steps step by step, at your own pace, and fundamentally change your digital habits. As you go along, you will experience a new sense of well-being. You will find it necessary to maintain it. You will reach a virtuous circle and find the balance of use that suits you, according to your life goals. Because it is not a question of depriving yourself of technology, but of using it according to your personal needs and goals.

For example, you will spend more time with your friends and family. But also, you will develop your business, you will start new projects, you will spend more time taking care of yourself, because if you don't do it yourself, who will?

Finally, you will increase your performance and concentration and fully achieve your goals!

To achieve this, I have developed a method that covers all these aspects and that integrates theory, examples from everyday life and practice as well as role-playing. This method is called MASTER YOUR DIGITAL HABITS®. It is a step-by-step approach that allows you to gradually change your habits.

Understanding the difference between digital detox and digital wellness is a great first step in making the changes you want to achieve in your daily life. Congratulations!

Master your digital habits. Boost your life!

Gabriel.

 

Discover the MASTER YOUR DIGITAL HABITS® method with this link

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continue to keep yourself informed through the other articles and podcasts on this site in order to increase your motivation a little more!

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