Enjoy the Benefits of “Notification Detox”!

It’s time to disconnect from your mobile phone and begin to enjoy life with fewer pings.

Feb 21, 2020

(Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com)

Imagine you are boarding a plane for the next few hours. You finally reach your seat, settle in and mindlessly scroll through your phone. Then, the captain comes on the loudspeaker and you hear, “it’s time to turn off all small electronic devices.” You press the airplane mode button, knowing that you’re now unreachable. But what if we told you that turning off your phone and so its power to grab and hold your attention is actually a good thing? This simple action can benefit your health, well-being and overall happiness. Detoxing from notifications helps you become more present and allows you to fully live in the moment. 

Would it surprise you to hear that, according to a 2017 study conducted by Asurion, 62% of people surveyed would rather go a week without chocolate than lose their phone for just one day! Think about how you would answer that question and consider if you would also give up your coveted chocolate treat. If you are veering towards a “yes,” read on for a full breakdown of the tangible benefits of a notification detox.

Reap the rewards of freeing yourself from your phone’s pings

When you disconnect, you can spend more time bettering yourself and those around you. According to holistic health clinic, Restore Integrative Health, people who are able to distance themselves from their phones have improved brain function, more restful sleep and follow a healthier diet. This promotes mental health, better posture and higher self-esteem. 

You are also less prone to health conditions that are caused by sustained use of phones. Ailments like “text neck”, a term used to describe repeated stress injury and discomfort in the neck resulting from excessive watching or texting on hand-held devices over time.

With your notifications turned off, you can also gain back valuable time in your day. According to a 2016 Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey from Deloitte, people check their phones about 47 times a day.

The above-mentioned 2017 Asurion study found this to be a higher total of almost 80 times daily. Think about how much more you can get done if you were fully focused on the tasks at hand. 

It is not only important to turn off your notifications, but you must also try to forget about your phone and be present in the moment. A 2015 study by Florida State University, found that “mobile phones can disrupt attention performance even if one does not interact with the device.” Although this is easier said than done, the rewards can be tremendous.

Think how many punchlines you’ve missed, or the many times you were you only half-present at an amazing performance or during heartfelt conversation? We are all guilty of quickly checking our phones, sending that last text or scrolling through our emails. 

The key to disconnecting is to do it fully, knowingly and wholeheartedly

Behavioral design expert, and author of recent book “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life”, Nir Eyal, states that “It’s not just about turning off notifications, it’s about knowing what you want to do with your time. You can’t call something a distraction unless you know what it is distracting you from.” 

Consider what you have been putting off or missing. How about finally attempting that new recipe, picking up a forgotten instrument or just sitting down to enjoy a few minutes of uninterrupted quiet? 

So, next time you hear the captain’s announcement to turn off your phone, take the opportunity to sit back, breathe a sigh of relief and know that you are doing yourself some good.

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JACKIE SCHINDLER, CONTIRBUTOR
Jackie Schindler teaches EFL to students between the ages of 5-15. She is passionate about making English relevant, fun and memorable. She always tries to look on the bright side in every situation. She is an avid reader, writer, traveler and always on the hunt for the best iced coffee.