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Digital Detox to see beauty of nature

Have you ever made a note of how many hours your spend either on the computer or your mobile phone?

I am sure you will be quite shocked if you counted up all the hours. It is reported that UK adults now spend a total of 25 hours a week online where as back in 2005 it was an average of 9 hours a week for office workers. You may have noticed that in the busy city streets young people are walking or cycling around with their faces totally locked into their phones. This will make them un aware of experiencing the day in any form - that would bring additional values to their busy lives. Its is healthy state to get yourself into I ask?

The latest trend for 2021 is to make a conscious effort to become aware of your usage on the phone or computer. According to scientists in America – they are finding that it is serious damaging our mental health. What they have found is an imbalance in the brain chemistry in young people addicted to smart phones and the Internet in 2017.

Neuroimaging research has shown that excessive screen time actually damages the brain. (Structural and functional changes have been found in brain regions involving emotional processes, executive attention, decision-making and cognitive control).

When delving into the subject further this is what I found, courtesy of which I find terrifying.

There is a growing dependence on Internet, that is fast becoming addictive

The number of smart phone users worldwide today is over three billion and is projected to grow by several hundred million in the next few years (3.8 billion by 2021). 34% of people have checked Facebook in the last ten minutes.

Two in five adults (40%) first look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, rising to 65% of those aged under 35.

66% of UK smartphone owners in a study self-reported suffering from ‘nomophobia’, the fear of losing or being without their phones at any given time – obsessively checking to make sure they have their phone with them, and constantly worrying about losing it somewhere.

The first inpatient facility for treating internet addiction in the US opened in 2013. China has opened 300 teenage bootcamps imposing a strict digital detox to deal with increasing problems of teen internet addiction and computer addiction.

62% of polled UK adults say they ‘hate’ how much time they spend on their phone.

More than two in five (43%) of UK adults admit to spending too much time online.

A study found that just seeing the Facebook logo can spark cravings that are difficult to ignore.

27% of UK children say their parents have double standards about technology.

46% of Americans say they could not live without their mobile phones.

A recent study by Binghamton University found that women were more likely to exhibit susceptibility to smartphone addiction than men.

Dr Richard Graham, lead technology addiction specialist at London’s Nightingale Hospital sees around 50 new cases of digital addiction each year.


A link has been found between the surge in screen-use and mental health struggles, especially amongst young people.

One study from Notre Dame University-Louaize on university students found that high avoidant attachment, low self-esteem and high anxiety level may lead to a tendency for smartphone addiction, compounding the negative impacts of digital technology itself.

A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University found that people who sent or received more messages, comments and Timeline posts reported improvements in social support, depression and loneliness.

However, passive use of social media leads to negative results, so it is how you use the technology that matters.

In its 2017 Stress in America survey, The American Psychological Association (APA) found that “constant checkers” – people who check their emails, texts, and social media on a constant basis – experience more stress than those who don’t. More than 42% of respondents attribute their stress to p

olitical and cultural discussions on social media, compared with 33% of non-constant checkers.

Almost half of the 18-34-year-olds said their social media feeds made them feel unattractive.A study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that heavy social media users were twice as likely to report experiencing social isolation. In 2017, Instagram was rated as the worst social media platform for its impact on the mental health of young people.

Gaming addiction is to be listed as a mental health condition for the first time in 2018 by the World Health Organisation. There is a strong link between heavy internet use and depression, with heavy users 5x more likely to suffer from depression than non-heavy users.

52% of school-age students said social media makes them feel less confident about their appearance and how interesting their life is.

A study by the National Institute of Mental Health has found a strong and significant association between social media use and depression. Scientists have also found a link between heavy Facebook use and depressive symptoms, including low self-esteem.

Conclusion- So what do we need to do to crack out of this addiction?

If one looks at the issue from a broader perspective – it is easy to see why there is a lack of connection with the natural world. The promise that once upon a time computers would provide more free time for recreational purposes has gone in the opposite direction and instead of increasing time out has in fact locked us further into its world of internet socialising.

Does this mean there is no easy way out – other than going on an all out total detox? We need to remind ourselves that there is more to life to be experienced but importantly to protect the health of our brain.

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