The average human being tends to spend an average of 6 to 8 hours on his mobile phone checking social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or TikTok, or consuming some type of content from platforms such as YouTube. Nowadays, with the appearance of the digital society, we have gradually lost control of our daily life and we have become totally dependent on our Smartphones, which accompany us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. The times that our smartphone suffers some damage or we lose it, it is as if the world is ending. This feeling of anxiety, bewilderment or stress has its psychological explanation and is closely linked to the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced when trying to quit a drug. Like love, using digital is addictive.
This phenomenon has led to the emergence of a new addiction or syndromes such as nomophobia. Stress, fatigue, stigmatization for ‘not existing’ if you are not connected, fear of loss of privacy and massive social control, job insecurity and the impoverishment of personal and professional relationships are some of the current problems that psychologists point out. Likewise, we must also add the fact of living experiences through mobile phones, such as when we film a concert instead of enjoying it, or the ‘illusory number’ of friends that our accounts indicate on social networks.
Technology can undoubtedly offer us many opportunities, mainly simplifying our lives, but excessive use of it can waste time and develop a permanent blur and lack of attention, favoring above all the habit of procrastination.
Hence, it is necessary to consider –as it happens with other addictions– to carry out a retreat or a digital ‘detox’. It is clear that taking this step is not always easy. But we can start from silencing the WhatsApp groups, going through checking only the strictly necessary emails and dedicating only a daily number of hours pending on the mobile to starting more drastic actions of total abstinence, such as disconnecting completely during the holidays or eliminating our Facebook or Instagram account.
It is about freeing ourselves from that growing need to be permanently connected and thus avoid technological dependence, reconnecting with reality and with ourselves and others through mindfulness.
Disconnection translates into increased creativity, greater capacity for reflection, increased curiosity and questions arising, concerns arise.
For our emotional and mental health, to reconcile our personal and family life and to build a society in which it is not necessary to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we must be able to disconnect digitally.
Living constantly in a model of society engrossed and pending digital elements and accessories diminishes our traditional form of communication, leaving us at the mercy of a technological world that lacks something as essential as personification, distorting reality on many occasions.
Above all, we must preserve our identity and not become dependent and automated. We must find the balance between our digital well-being, taking advantage of the usefulness of new technologies, and our own interior.