DIGITAL DETOX

I have a friend who, whenever the subject of social media is mentioned, proclaims wholeheartedly and with a certain tone of superiority: “I don’t have any of that.” “that” meaning Facebook and Instagram. The argument invariably sets in, with the counter opinion (my friend’s irrefutable stance) to win by ten to zero. But this friend of mine is the exception to the rule. According to figures published in Dinheiro Vivo, only in Portugal there are about 800 thousand people accessing Instagram (via smartphone), which, to date, continues to lose to Facebook, the leader of social networks. With regard to the community of the excluded, opinions are divided: there are some who consider ridiculous this position of those who say, that they are out of the networks – in reality, there is in that attitude a certain tendency to be different from the coolest in any way you can; those who find it prehistoric to be admittedly out; or those who think that this type of absence is unnecessary. The truth is that used in moderation, social networks can very well be an asset in people’s lives: “In both professional and personal environments, if used with limits, the Internet is a useful tool for life. A good sense and notion of how to filter are, however, essential. “The words are from the psychologist António Tomás who confirmed to me, right at the start of the conversation, that despite the many benefits of the digital world, not everything is a bed of ​​roses. As in life in general, balance is paramount. Nick Bilton, a columnist for The New York Times, for example, recounts in an article published in 2014 that one day, why talking with Steve Jobs about the launch of the first iPad, he asked: “Your kids should love the iPad, right? “The response of the then co-founder, president and chief executive of Apple provoked silence. First to the journalist, then to the other readers: “They have not used it,” he said. “In our home, the use of technology is limited to the maximum.”

“Like drugs and alcohol, the abuse of social media causes an addiction that is a result of the feeling of feeling things continuously,” warns Antonio Tomás. “When you break up with this habit of gratification that arises, for example, through the numbers of likes you receive, or the obsessive tendency to be in constant contact with the world, there is a breakdown in the dopamine levels [one of the happiness compounds released in the brain]. Like drug addiction, whenever we get a new message or any alert, our brain gets a boost of dopamine. “Novelty thus becomes addictive. Taking a break from the digital world – especially in cases of addiction – is not only positive but absolutely necessary. American Forbes has pointed out in an article the 30 reasons why a digital detox should be done. Among them: living life in its fullness without the constant distractions of the notifications; read, walk, sing, dance and do what you feel like; take more time for yourself (how many times, at bedtime, does it get you an hour scrolling through Instagram instead of resting?); breathe deeply; to become more productive (not procrastination provoked by Instagram); because everyone is doing it (#digitaldetox); create a new and healthier relationship with technology; see things more clearly and make better (and more thoughtful) decisions. Finally, to remember that being in the present moment is, even, the most important. Most likely, once you watch a sunset without the urgency of having to share it digitally, you might never again have any doubts about the question: “Are you sure you want to switch off?”


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