February 28, 2020
by Jillian Cecchini, Managing Editor
Do you recharge yourself as much as you recharge your phone?
While I was home this past weekend visiting my family in the Niagara region, my five-year-old nephew told me that he lost a ‘digital detox contest’ that my brother and sister-in-law challenged him to. I’m not surprised. For his birthday last June, he was gifted a Nintendo Switch (a handheld gaming system) and to be completely honest, I don’t think he’s put it down since. Without sounding overly judgmental, especially because I don’t have children of my own, the amount of screen time these days is somewhat alarming. Though I do have to admit that watching a five-year-old skip ads on YouTube, understanding how to FaceTime, and beat an entire Nintendo game in one day is quite impressive.
We are all guilty of being attached to our devices – myself included. I’ve often been told by friends and family that they never see me without my iPhone in hand. Upon reflection, they’re right. The first thing I do when my phone (alarm) wakes me up in the morning is check my email, scroll through social media, and read the news. But I know I’m not alone. Our phones are our main form of communication. They’re our calendars, alarm clocks, news outlets, to-do lists, photo albums, and bank accounts, just to name a few. For any of you reading this with an iPhone, you must be aware that Apple created an app that automatically sends a report of your screen time. I’d rather not disclose what my last report said but trust me when I say that I was shocked (and slightly embarrassed).
I can almost guarantee that most patients who book appointments at your practice use their cell phones to do so. They look at your website, read online reviews, check your location, map the fastest route to get there, and maybe even post a selfie with their freshly cleaned teeth or smile makeover. Smartphones have become our lifelines, but have you ever considered the benefits of unplugging?
It’s obvious that taking a break from all electronic devices for a designated amount of time is beneficial. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the company you’re with, or time alone, without looking at a screen. Practicing presence will without a doubt increase your joy and reduce your stress. Not to mention, as much as I love social media, it’s training us to compare our lives to others instead of appreciating everything that we are and everything that we have.
I’m not going to challenge you to a digital detox but what I will do is ask you to make a solid effort with me to start being more conscious about how much time we spend on our phones. Our phones won’t care if we don’t make eye contact, but our family, friends and colleagues will.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.
RELATED ARTICLE: How To Take The Stress Out Of Taking Time Off
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