Digital detox: Know why doctors advocate this new ‘detox’

A digital detox is switching off electronic gadgets such as mobiles and smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers for a certain period of time. This allows you to spend some screen-free time and enjoy whatever you are doing. According to the experts, digital detox helps to recharge, become more productive and also helps to develop a different perspective


Feeling anxious by just thinking about giving up your smartphone and missing out on social media updates for a day? It may not be as bad as you think – if you’re prepared.

According to the experts, digital detox is necessary it is not possible to keep away from the smart phones. But this can also give rise to various health issues. Dr Harish Shetty, consulting Psychiatrist at Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, explained, “Continuous use of smartphones and other gadgets can cause neck pain, headache, loss of concentration, memory problems, irritability, anger, mental fatigue, sadness, depression, insomnia and increase in blood pressure.”

Digital detoxing lets us dictate how we spend our own time, rather than spending all our time answering other people’s demands. “You are going to get habituated and feel irritated if someone doesn’t allow you to touch the device. Low mobile battery can also make you feel agitated and restless. You start ignoring people around you. Nowadays, people don’t have face-to-face conversations. Constant use of devices at work place can also cause distraction and low productivity. It can spoil one’s professional and personal life,” said Dr Heena Merchant, assistant professor in department of psychiatry, KEM Hospital, Parel.

Doctors say that the awareness on digital detox is now spreading as they are witnessing many patients seeking help for the same. “Many patients consult me regarding digital detox. My advice is to use these gadgets in moderation. Take frequent breaks, while using them. Understand that, live interaction is more important. Regulate the screen time in order to live a healthy life. Research has shown that late night watching the screen can result into a disturbed life, sleep pattern and hormone cycle,” added Dr Shetty.

Dr Merchant informed, “Digital detox is necessary for mind and body and advises to switch off the phone while sleeping. Digital detox will help increase your productivity at workplace, improved relationships. It will help you to become mindful. It’s a gradual process. Take the help of professionals. Involve your family members.”

Benefits of digital detox:

  • Reduces stress and makes you feel active
  • Increases productivity at work
  • Calms you down
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Helps in bonding and improved relationships
  • Improves concentration level