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Advantages of digital fasting



SUMMARY


Be without your smartphone, laptop and tablet for a while: What are the benefits and how does it work? We present practical tips for digital fasting in everyday life.



CONTENT

  • Digital fasting: Benefits

  • Apps for digital fasting

  • Tips for digital fasting


DIGITAL FASTING: BENEFITS


Tech product manufacturers and app developers promise us a beautiful, easier and more exciting life. But there are significant benefits to implementing digital fasting.


1. You come to rest

More and more people feel nervous, driven and stressed. No single factor is responsible for this, but more and more doctors and scientists are confirming a connection between increasing digitalisation and these symptoms of civilisation.


This effect has been known for a long time due to the high blue light content on screens: If our eyes are exposed to this light for a long time, we become restless.


You can solve this problem with a blue light filter: many computers have this as a setting in the operating system (night mode), and there is also a function or corresponding apps for mobile devices.


In addition, there are push notifications, messages, e-mails, etc. Giving up electronic devices through digital fasting gives our body a chance to rest, which it so desperately needs. This period of rest can last a few hours or sometimes a whole day - depending on how and when rest fits into your daily routine.


2. Taming the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

For several years, researchers have been observing a phenomenon called FOMO: the fear of missing something important. For a long time, this phenomenon was limited to young people who, for example, did not want to commit themselves professionally for fear of missing out on something in life.


But this is only partly true: FOMO is a social and digital problem. The range of online courses, webinars, apps and other services has become unmanageable. At the same time, the providers advertise that their digital solutions will change our lives profoundly, bring us more joy, health, time, etc.


A dilemma arises: If we attend webinar A, we miss webinars B, C and D, which might have brought us even "better" input.


Fear of missing out deceives our brain by making us believe that there is always an even better choice. This is where entrepreneurs need to take ownership: Through digital fasting, they help their brain to think in healthy ways again, as it is not permanently flooded with choices.


One solution to FOMO is to realise that every decision has its price and to accept this.

It is all the more important to make your choice consciously. Take a few minutes to check the descriptions and speaker lists of the webinars. Then decide which webinar is most important to you and write down the reason why. If your colleague has doubts later on or afterwards, you can take out your note with the reason you wrote down and remind yourself of it.


 

Tip: Forever-missed opportunities are very rare online. Webinars will be recorded, cheap courses will be regularly available in special offers, etc. Marketing sometimes wants you to believe otherwise through artificial scarcity, don't fall for this advertising trick.

 

3. More time for real life

When was the last time you consciously went for a walk without looking at your mobile phone?


Do you sit with your loved ones and chat over dinner or do you have something quick to eat from the microwave in front of the smart TV?


Too much technology clouds our view of what is happening around us.


Social interaction deteriorates due to too many digital distractions, we no longer even notice changes in our environment. Real life, which consists of more than the internet, passes us by.


To avoid this, schedule regular time-outs, be it 10 minutes or an hour. Drink your coffee consciously, look out of the window or walk around the block or out into nature. You will notice that even a short digital fast can work wonders and provide a boost of energy.



APPS FOR DIGITAL FASTING


Completely giving up or switching off electronic devices is and remains the most effective, because it is the most consistent measure for digital fasting. But this is not always possible, especially for entrepreneurs. Every now and then you expect an urgent call or have to react quickly to a development online, such as a customer complaint. That's when apps are a good help, even if it sounds paradoxical.


Offtime

The app developed in Berlin makes it possible to block selected apps at times that the user can set himself. One conceivable scenario, for example, is to automatically deactivate collaboration apps such as MS Teams or Slack from 6 p.m. until the start of work the next day.


Offtime also works with a small punishment system: if the user becomes weak and wants to end the mode prematurely, the app asks for the reason and sends a small sad emoji to awaken the guilty conscience.


Forest

The app Forest focuses on rewarding digital fasting: those who persevere with being offline and productive are rewarded by Forest with the growth of their own virtual forest.


Great, the reader may think now, but isn't it all about offline achievements? That's what the developers of Forest thought, too, which is why the virtual forest is far from over: the longer you keep up the digital fast, the more coins you receive for each healthy tree. Once you have collected 2,500 coins, you can plant real trees.



TIPS FOR DIGITAL FASTING


The following tips will help you to implement digital fasting in your daily life.


1. Use holidays to kick-start your fast

It is much easier to start a digital fast during holidays than during the working day. While most entrepreneurs are tied to the email client, collaboration tools, smartphone, etc. during the workday, they can go into digital detox completely during these quieter times.


Get into the habit of turning off your smartphone or putting it into flight mode at a certain time in the evening.

If you want to be available for emergencies, try one of the apps above. You can use them to keep communication channels open that are important for urgent situations.


2. Integrate the habit of digital fasting into everyday life

There are many opportunities to practice digital fasting, not just at the end of the day. The lunch break can also be used for it. And the WhatsApp check in bed in the morning can actually be omitted, right?


3. Put away your smartphone, laptop & co.

A study by the University of Chicago has shown that brain performance and concentration deteriorate when the smartphone is on the table for its owner. This does not even include the use of the device.


It can be assumed that similar devices such as tablets and laptops have the same effect. So an important rule of success for digital fasting is: get rid of the technology if you don't need it. It is better to store it in another room than in a drawer. That way, you will be even less tempted to go online "just for a moment".


4. Look for analogue alternatives

For some people, digital fasting feels like withdrawal - with all the symptoms known from other withdrawals: Restlessness, sweating, and the urge to take a quick look at what's going on online.


These symptoms should be seen as an alarm signal of how deeply and comprehensively the digital has already taken hold in one's life and how powerful the absence of these devices is.


It is therefore important not to give in to the urge, which can escalate into addiction - as is the case with internet addiction - but to consider alternatives.


If you are fasting from meat, think about delicious vegetarian recipes in advance; if you are abstaining from alcohol, switch to tea in the evening. It's the same with digital fasting.


Think about what you want to do in your free time instead of the distractions online: go hiking, walking, jogging, read a good book, or play a board game with your family.

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