In today’s modern era we are being consumed by technology. When the average person opens up Instagram up to 150 times a day and elementary children use entertainment technology on the average of 7.5 hours a day, I think we are being used by technology instead of using technology.
Technology was initially designed to help us make our lives easier. That's when WE USED technology. But nowadays:
75% of elementary kids have a television in their bedroom
68% of 2 year olds use tablets
59% of elementary kids have smartphones
44% of elementary children have game consoles
I think it’s safe to say that technology is NOW USING US! And as a result of the over use of technology, we have DIGITAL DEMENTIA. This term was first coined by German neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer, in his book Digitale Demenz.
Have you heard of “Digital Dementia?" It’s a decline in cognitive abilities. There is a decrease in the grey matter in the hippocampus portion of the brain responsible for memory and how knowledge is obtained. This may be premature, however, there is research linking the decrease in grey matter to an increased risk for depression, post traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and dementia.
These negative brain changes are linked to excessive dopamine stimulation via the brain’s rewards and pleasure center. Over stimulation from technology has the same dopamine function in the brain as the use of opiates, methamphetamines, and cocaine.
Some Helpful Tips for Digital Detox
Limit technology time
Limit technology to 3 hours a day. If your work requires the use of a computer, then limit Saturday or Sunday to 3 hours a day with the goal of 24 hours without technology.
Keep a good posture when working on the computer. When your neck is flexed/looking downward it decreases the level of alertness.
Set a timer for 60 minutes and get up and walk around, this will give your brain a rest and minimized extended periods of time in front of the computer.
Not only is exercise great for your physical body, it’s great for brain, especially short bursts type of exercise. It creates BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor, which is like fertilizer for the brain.
Turn off WiFi and phones
Research has linked that cell phones might increase the risk of brain tumors.So it’s a good idea to turn off your WiFi and cellphone at night before you go to bed to minimize additional radiation that can create damage to your cells.
30-60 minute rule
Don’t pick up your phone within 30-60 minutes of waking up or going to bed.