The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses and provides them with evidence based, practical strategies to build resilience and become happier. They have delivered programs to over 500 schools around the country and have worked with elite sporting teams including the Australian cricket, netball and soccer teams, NRL and AFL clubs. Here they share the motivation behind #DISconnect Day.
On Sunday 10th December 2017 we are encouraging all Australians to attempt a day without devices.
Just one day. 12 hours.
The average iPhone user checks their phone 76 times a day and spends close to three hours tethered to their screen. That’s close to 100 hours a month, immersed in a virtual world and missing out on crucial face-to-face interactions.
If you haven't heard of The Resilience Project, the phrase “DIS” was used by a young boy that founder, Hugh van Cuylenburg, met in India when pointing to things he was grateful for in everyday life.
Now, we note the irony in asking people to take a digital detox, having only just released an app! However, as an organisation committed to promoting positive mental health strategies, we believe that it is critical to learn how to use technology mindfully. There is so much potential for technology to help, rather than hinder our mental health, but there is a fine line between using technology productively and becoming addicted to it.
Social psychologist, Adam Alter, defines addiction as “something that you enjoy doing in the short term, that undermines your well being in the long term- but that you do compulsively anyway.” While addiction to devices, or more specifically to social media, may not result in the same physical harms as addiction to substances, it can still have devastating consequences for our mental health and relationships. Compulsive use of social media can also have serious effects on our sleep and our productivity.
However, to date there is no recognised treatment for social media addiction or legislation to protect consumers from addictive programming in games, social media apps or websites. So it is up to us, as users, to create boundaries for ourselves and our kids, to ensure we are using technology more mindfully.
Which brings us back to the #DISconnect challenge. This Sunday we are asking people to do one of two things:
a) turn your phone off as soon as you wake up, and keep it off until you go to bed at night
OR if you feel that you need to remain available by phone but want a break from social media
b) remove all social media apps from your phone when you wake up, and only reinstall them at the end of the day.
To let people know that you are going offline for the day, it might be useful to send the following to your loved ones via text message or post as a status on social media:
Tomorrow I will be taking the #DISconnect challenge and will be enjoying a day away from my phone. If you need me, I will be online again on Monday.
If you fail, that’s completely fine! Even enjoying one hour without your phone will be beneficial to you and to those around you.