Doing Life Together

phone-1889403_1920We often hear that there are problems associated with being too connected to our technology. Everything from becoming more narcissistic from social media, phones causing sleep problems and less empathy due to our obsession with screens is thought to be related to too much technology. Perhaps you’ve tried a digital detox to lessen your dependence on technology devices.

One company decided to test the results of a group of people going on a digital detox for a period of time and study the impact. They took a group of CEOs, entrepreneurs and other influencers to the dessert of Morocco and forced them to completely unplug? The company, Kovert Designs out of London and New York, wanted to know how the detox affected these people. They found some interesting results:

  1. Posture changed. When people didn’t have their phones to look down at, they changed their posture and looked people in the eyes more. That posture change translated to being perceived as more approachable, relaxed and engaged with others.
  2. Conversation content changed. People did more talking, told stories, jokes, etc. Overall, people were more engaging than when they had their phones to look up information rather than talking things out.
  3. Memory improved. When people are more present (not distracted in a conversation) they remember details about the person better. Distraction interferes with the brain’s ability to process and store information.
  4. Better sleep. When you shut down the screens, you turn off the blue light that interferes with melatonin used to help us shut down versus stay alert. No screens and sleep improved.
  5. Attention to change. Without all the distraction, people were able to think more about the bigger picture of their lives, what they wanted to change and what they thought was important.

Interestingly, at the end of the study, people reported the digital detox as transforming and set a goal to change their digital habits. They felt it important to at least try and shut down more on week nights and weekends. Perhaps this is a good lesson for all of us. Looks like we could all benefit with less technology and more personal contact.

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