So that taking advantage of technology does not harm our health, we need to recover a little analog life. How to incorporate digital hygiene measures into the day-to-day?
It is not a question of separating ourselves from the world or renouncing the advances of our century, but of dosing them. Let’s see how.
1. Establish disconnection times and stick to them
For computers, tablets and smartphones to be at our service, instead of making us slaves, the first measure is to strictly limit their use. Decide how much time of your day you want to dedicate to social networks and follow that “diet” to the letter.
When you return home, at least two hours before going to bed, you should turn off all devices to close the day in a climate of serenity and relaxation.
2. Go for a walk or do the shopping without your mobile
If the fact of forgetting your smartphone at home gives you a feeling of nudity or restlessness, it means that you are hooked on the obligation to always be available. Detox from this habit by deliberately leaving it at home when you go out for air or run any errands.
Walking without being aware of anything other than the world around you is an extraordinary pleasure. Any calls or messages that come in in the meantime can be answered later.
3. Introduce “retro” elements in your day to day
A good supplement for the digital diet is to recover things and processes that return us to the slowness of other times.
Take pictures again with a real film, choosing the subject well – instead of shooting at rhymes or just because it’s free – and then waiting for the development and the copies with excitement. Listening to vinyl records on a turntable, as was done 30 years ago.
Writing letters to your loved ones like those of before , using a pen or pen and paper to then take the envelope to a mailbox, returns us to the ritual of waiting and is an excellent slowdown exercise.
4. Treat yourself to more analog weekends
There is nothing so urgent that it cannot be taken care of on Monday morning, so don’t be afraid to take a 48-hour disconnect. If for family or work reasons it is not possible, put your life in airplane mode for at least one day. If you have a bad conscience, imagine that you are traveling, on an intercontinental flight, and that you will already attend to messages and calls when you “land”.
5. Practice Shinrin-yoku
The Japanese art of “forest baths” is a purifying therapy to complete your digital diet. First of all, because fortunately in many natural places there is no coverage. Second, because walking through nature brings us back to the natural rhythm of life.
For this we must put our five senses in what we are doing, aware of each step, of the shapes and colors that surround us, of the fragrance of plants and trees, of the sounds of forest life.
6. Don’t answer the phone just because it’s ringing
This was advice Elaine St. James gave in her classic book Simplify Your Life. Others will get used to you being unavailable 24 hours a day, and they won’t be alarmed if it takes you a couple of hours – or whatever it takes to finish your stuff – to answer.
Regaining control of your time and your attention is one of the great goals of the digital diet.
7. Have more real friends
In his book more friends and less likes, Ferran Ramon-Cortés says that since we live “kidnapped by useless contacts, by people who don’t interest us, by constant WhatsApp, e-mails and messages of all kinds and styles, we are neglecting our true relationships”.
Recovering analogical encounters with friends, face to face and without haste, even better if we silence the mobile, will improve our links and we will resume a much more human rhythm.
8. Get into bed with a paper reading
There is no better sleeping pill than a good book before bed. Preferably, choose works that do not have to do with your work or subject of study. A little bit of literary avoidance will allow you to disconnect from the daily stresses, with which you will rest better, while at the same time you will put into practice the art of doing one thing at a time with all your attention.
It is not a question of separating ourselves from the world or renouncing the advances of our century, but of dosing them. Thus, the very useful tools that the latest innovations in technology and communication have brought us will continue to be tools and will not become chains that harm our health and social life.