The average American spends almost 11 hours a day looking at screen. Too much technology has been linked to stress, relationship problems and even health issues. But lifestyle blogger Kallie Branciforte has some ways to finally put that device down.
“It allows you to be a little more present if you’re not constantly checking in to your phone all the time,” Branciforte said.
Branciforte is behind ButFirstCoffeeBlog.com. She says one of the best ways to ease into a tech detox is by putting away your devices for a set period of time.
“In our household, we don’t use tech during meals, especially if we’re going out or we’re with friends,” Branciforte said. “My husband and I, if we’re out to dinner and we want to like check the weather or we want to know a fact about something, we actually check with each other first; ‘Is it okay if I take out my phone?’”
One time to especially limit tech use is before bed.
“The blue light that comes from your devices actually decreases the production of melatonin,” Branciforte explained.
Whether you’re trying to sleep, or just trying to get stuff done, put the ‘do not disturb’ feature to good use.
“I like to turn mine on when I drive so I’m not distracted while I’m driving,” Branciforte said. “I’m not tempted to text somebody back, but it’s also great if I’m trying to focus on a project.”
Another way to dampen distraction is by turning off push notifications.
“I don’t need to be notified every time someone likes my Instagram picture or comments to me on Twitter, I have specific times that I go on social media and check those things,” Branciforte said.
Aside from social media, one of the most time-consuming types of technology is email.
“There’s nothing more overwhelming than opening up your inbox and you see you have like 57 emails from yesterday, but clearly the only important ones are maybe four or five,” Branciforte said.
So once a month or so, log in and unsubscribe to those newsletters you never signed up for.
“There are so many hobbies we have nowadays that are reliant on tech, which is fine, but I like to actively find hobbies that I can fill my time with that rely on no tech at all,” Branciforte said.
Hiking or crafting are her favorites.
“It’s something you can actively do and enjoy and you don’t need to be plugged in at all to do it,” Branciforte explained.
A University of Maryland study found disconnecting from technology improves quality of life. Those who participated reported spending more time with their family and friends, exercising more and eating healthier.
For more tips from Branciforte, visit her blog ButFirstCoffeeBlog.com.