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Digital Detox for Summertime

Re-imagine your relationship with Technology

By Ashley Geist, LPC-MH SupV, LPC, QMHP, NCC, M.S.Ed.


Longer days, brighter evenings, shining stars; summertime is a feast for the senses.  As fruits and vegetables ripen, flowers bloom, and birds chirp, there is so much to see and enjoy, it would be a shame to miss it while scrolling mindlessly on our phones.  So with your flip flops on and lemonade in hand, read on for quick and practical ways to put some healthy space between yourself and your technology this summer. 


1.   Delete Some Apps

Take some time to delete both frequently and non-frequently used apps.  Deleting the non-frequently used apps frees up space, and deleting the frequently used ones, especially social media apps, makes it just a little harder to scroll these sites mindlessly.  This opens a door (behaviorally speaking), to engage in a different activity like going outside, starting a conversation, or engaging in a hobby. 


2.    Disconnect to Reconnect

Make it trickier to hop on the internet automatically by signing out of accounts or apps, thereby forcing yourself to intentionally connect to internet or data and sign in to the apps or sites you want to use, each time.  Making it harder to hop on the internet creates a space in which we must mindfully decide, do we really want to go on social media or the internet or do we want to do something else?   


3.    Know the Facts

It’s not an accident that a quick “check” of our tech can turn into hours spent without us quite knowing what we did in that time, or how much time went by.  It’s also not a secret that the tech industry utilizes both our neurobiology and psychology to drive our engagement with technology. 


This causes us to spend more time online, being exposed to more advertisements, causing us to spend more attention and, many times, money.  Knowing how our technology relates to our brains is key to managing our use.  Ask yourself, are you hopping on your phone because you want to do something specific?  Because you are bored?  Or has it simply become a habit? 


4.    Find a Buddy

Everything is more fun with a friend!  If you are looking to reduce your screen time, find an accountability pal who also wants to reduce their tech time this summer, or at least supports you in your goal and get started.  Cheer each other on when you are successful, and process setbacks and difficulties together to find creative solutions.


5.   Embrace Healthy Use of Technology

Did you know that not all screen time for adults is a bad thing?  While kids and teenagers need varying degrees of tech restrictions to support their growing brains, older adults and senior citizens can benefit from learning to use new technology. 

Also, intentionally texting, creating content, or engaging with a photo or language app can be creative, fun, and even good for our brains.  While scrolling is not good for us, intentional use can be beneficial.  Decide what you’d like to use your tech for, before hopping on the device.


6.    Plan Something Fun or Relaxing

To reduce a behavior we don’t want, we must replace it with what we do want.  Go for a walk, listen to music outside, take a nap, do something fun or give yourself permission to sit on the porch swing and do absolutely nothing.  Allowing our minds to wander and even be bored sometimes is good for our brain health.  Now is the perfect time to look at clouds, bird watch, or star gaze – no technology needed.


Looking for more ways to support your mental health?  Our compassionate and skilled therapists are here to help!  Call The Support Circle at 605-845-2058 to connect with our clinicians, currently licensed in SD, ND, and MN, offering in person services in Aberdeen and Mobridge, SD and virtual services in the states listed above. 


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