Article Written by Home Doctor Sunshine Coast Team

Studies show more Australians are addicted to digital devices

Smartphone, digital and social media addiction…we’ve all heard of it, we might be currently be affected or we may not even realise how hooked we really are.

According to recent studies, switched-on Australians are spending close to five hours every day on the internet. For some, this is having a major effect on their personal relationships, due to factors including online pornography and dating sites, as well as impacting their working life due to constant distraction.

With constant connectivity and the expectation we are available 24/7, many Australians are struggling to limit themselves on digital platforms.

Just how many of us are being affected, and how many of us may not even know?

Is it really that bad?

There are many concerns that arise from digital addiction, including its impact on our mental health. Depression, loneliness, low self-worth and anxiety are quite common with people who are addicted to social media.

For instance, an image online can easily turn into people comparing themselves to others – whether it be their bodies, clothes, holidays or work life.

A recent observation is the detrimental effect it’s having on couples. Social media has made it easy for jealousy issues to arise, through private messaging and cyber-cheating.

As well as this, many couples are getting into arguments over messages which can easily be misinterpreted due to there being no body language, tone in voice or eye contact.

Internet addiction has become such an issue, some rehabilitation clinics are now offering treatment. An example is The Buttery Private, a drug, alcohol and gambling rehabilitation centre near Byron Bay.

Clinic director Jenny McGee mentioned clients are checking in for up to a month because of work stress. This stress is usually caused by the constant need to check email and answer phone calls.

Tips to taking a digital detox

Though it may seem difficult to take a complete digital detox, particularly with most work places using digital platforms, there are ways to minimise your screen time.

These include:

  • Turn off notifications on apps such as Facebook to avoid interruption
  • Create phone-free times, for example, during dinner
  • Schedule specific times to respond to emails
  • Have your bedroom as a phone-free area, especially before sleeping
  • Leave your phone at home during social outings.

Have you tried a digital detox before? Let us know how you went.

This article was written by the Home Doctor Brisbane Team.