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3 Major Signs That You *NEED* to Take a Digital Detox

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"In case you missed it," there goes Twitter serving what has become your daily breakfast in bed.

Most of us are probably guilty of checking our phones first thing in the morning regardless of being half-awake. If someone entered your room and took away everything inside it, you will first know Katherine's tweets from an argument with her boyfriend last night; everything that happened at Michaela's birthday party from another island through her Instagram stories; and what half of your 1,500 friends are up to through your newsfeed before noticing that everything inside your room—except for your bed and your phone—is missing.

Being on the internet and engaging ourselves in social media isn't totally a bad thing. But just like everything else, we need to be responsible users and consider our limitations and see that there are a lot more things outside the internet that we should engage in and prioritize. How? Here are the three major signs:

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  1. You fail to accomplish school/org work because you spend too much time on your social media accounts.

Sure, it's okay to check your social media accounts occasionally and be updated with your friends and whatever is happening on the internet, given that this also tells you about what's happening in your community or even in the world. But it would be better if you accomplish your necessary work first before lying down and scrolling through your accounts. Constantly refreshing your feed when it has nothing new and relevant to show just means you can now log out and do something more productive.

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  1. During events or gatherings, you are always busy finding the perfect angle for your photos and videos that you end up missing the fun.

Capturing photos and videos of memorable events are your way of having constant reminders of how these days and certain people made you feel. But there are certain memories that are enough to be enjoyed especially when you are in the moment, without you holding your phone and missing the little things because you are busy with getting the perfect angle. 

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  1. You are more connected to the people on the internet than the actual people around you.

The internet has truly made it easy for us to reconnect with people who live miles away from us and even those we have never even known. However, spending too much time trying to connect with people that we find impossible to personally communicate with also somehow disconnected us from the actual people around us.

We find ourselves scrolling our phones most of the time that we forget to spend time with the people who live exactly in the same house as we do. When we get good news, do we tweet it first before even telling our loved ones? Exactly.

Taking a digital detox doesn't mean you need to take down all your social media accounts, never go online, and go live in a cave. It just means that you need to take a break from using social media and try to correct any of the three issues stated above that you have. We are in a modern world, there is nothing wrong in catching up with modernism as long as you don't get all caught up.

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How long do you think you'd last on a digital detox? Give it a try and tell us how it goes!

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About the author
Melissa Francine Quinal
Candymag.com Correspondent
Your socially relevant girl next door.
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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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