Let’s Talk: It’s Time for a Digital Detox Challenge

July 12, 2022

The average American spends 7 hours a day, nearly half of their time awake, in front of a screen. Nonetheless, the majority of this screen time is spent on mobile devices while scrolling mindlessly through social media, checking emails, watching shows, and listening to music and podcasts. As we spend more time on screens, our children are also exceeding the recommended two-hour daily limit.

Even though technology has provided us with improved connections, like digital mobile banking and online personal financial management tools, it has also provided us with endless hours of entertainment to distract us from the outside world. Thus, the U.S. and a few countries recently experienced a 60-80% increase of screen time during the pandemic according to a few studies.

Like everything in life, moderation is best and too much of anything comes at a cost. An exorbitant amount of screen time has a tendency to cost us sleep, health, and overall daily production. If you are one of the many spending multiple hours a day glued to a screen, it may be time for a digital detox challenge.

What is a Digital Detox Challenge?

By definition, a detox is an attempt to rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances in order to leave you feeling refreshed and restored. Rather than completely removing all screen time, this challenge asks that you slowly lessen your screen time to at least 2 hours per day outside of work. After this Digital Detox Challenge, we hope you feel rejuvenated and inspired to continue a journey with less screen time going forward.

Task 1: Track Your Screen Time

First, how much screen time are you actually taking on? Most mobile devices allow you to track your screen time. If not, you can track your screen time the old-fashioned way with pen and paper.

On an Android device, go to settings→ Tap Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls→ Tap Digital Wellbeing. This is where you are able to view how much screen time you have spent in total and on which apps. You can create goals and even app timers. Also, this is where you go to disconnect by enabling focus mode, bedtime mode, or driving monitor.

On an Apple device, go to settings→ Screen Time→ Tap Turn On Screen Time→ Tap Continue→ Select This is My [device] or This is My Child's [device]. From here you will be able to view reports, set screen time limits, and schedule downtime.

Task 2: Reduce by 1 Hour Each day

Now that you know your actual screen time, it’s time to begin reducing your screen time by 1 hour each day until you reach the recommended amount of 2 hours or less per day outside of work. This may take you 5 days or longer depending on your starting point.

To distract yourself from the screen, a few recommendations include turning off all notifications, setting a rule of no screens during mealtime, limiting yourself to 30 minutes a day of social media, halting the use of screens an hour before bedtime, and removing all screens from the bedroom. In addition, a journal to record your digital detox journey may be a valuable distraction from the screen.

Task 3: Maintain for One Day, One Week, & One Month

Congratulations, you have reduced your screen time and now it is time to set goals. Challenge yourself to stay at the same screen time level or less for one day, one week, and then one month. In the end, ask yourself how do you feel and was this digital detox challenge worth it? A few benefits may include an increase in productivity and focus, less stress, better sleep, and less muscle aches.

In the end, we hope a Digital Detox Challenge can help make a difference in your life. And, as always, please know that Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Company is committed to being the bank that cares about you. If you have any topics you would like us to discuss, we invite you to email them to mailto:marketing@gulfbank.com with the subject line Let’s Talk.