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 05.12.2017

digital detox? yes, use technology - but in healthy ways and means

experts know: the right balance is important

how was it when we actually had to organize our lives without a smartphone? when we could not keep a digital diary and had to look up telephone numbers in yellow phone books if we hadn’t memorized them.

for example, in the 1980s. the family phone was downstairs in the living room or hallway. you had one single device at home, which had a meter-long cable. it was so long that you could disappear into your own room together with the phone. otherwise, you didn’t have much privacy when making calls. unimaginable. what if we had not been able to make appointments for the evening while at school? the whole family was there in Person.

early mobile digitization

at the beginning of the 1990s, the first cellphone with a gsm standard (global system for mobile communications) came onto the market. this opened up brand new possibilities for communication. admittedly, the item was not cheap. you had to fork out just under 3,000 deutschmarks for it. in return, you got a cellphone, which weighed just over 500 grams and had absolutely nothing in common with our current devices in terms of handling. could it receive and send e-mails? nope. surf the internet? that, too, was still a long way off.

cellphones were something for business People in the early years. the breakthrough began in the middle of the 1990s. the devices became smaller and more powerful. and the contract costs, basic fees and prices per minute also became affordable. for everyone.

technology makes a lot of things easier

today, we enjoy the progress and simplifications that these technologies have brought. if we’re running late, we can just text the friend we’re meeting. we can check restaurant opening times or reserve a table, plan routes with up-to-date traffic information, purchase goods by cellphone or organize a bachelor party via whatsapp - everything was much easier than it was before.

added to this is the high recreational and educational value. digital-game panoramas transport you into realistic 3d worlds, letting children tame and ride dinosaurs, figure out math problems, or learn programming.

media rules help in everyday life

but there are two sides to this - as with any achievement. the continuous accessibility can also make you ill. media consumption should be kept within healthy limits, especially for children. according to a recent study by the german federal government's drug commissioner, marlene mortler (http://www.drogenbeauftragte.de/presse/pressekontakt-und-mitteilungen/2017/2017-2-quartal/ergebnisse-der-blikk-studie-2017-vorgestellt.html), 70 percent of all kindergarten children already use a smartphone. not their own, but those belonging to their parents. a growing trend.

that is why it is important to introduce clear rules early on and to provide digital-free alternatives to media consumption. children should be taught from the beginning that real life takes precedence. when daddy calls them to eat, the pc should be shut down. if you plan a trip, the cellphone must be charged in time, so as not to delay the departure. it is only through planning your life with integrated but subordinate media use that it is possible to counteract internet addiction or physical development delays.

media usage can cause sleep deprivation

but media competency is not only important for children. excessive consumption can also harm adults. this year's dak report (https://www.dak.de/dak/download/gesundheitsreport-2017-1885298.pdf) focuses on sleeping problems. the numbers are alarming. 80 percent of the 5,200 respondents complained of sleeping problems. the experts diagnosed the obligation to be constantly accessible as the reason for this. 68 percent of those surveyed dealt with private matters on their laptop or smartphone in the evening. about one in eight takes care of official e-mails late at night, whilst mentally planning the next working day. this does not do us any good.

farid zitoun and christian rüger from naturheilzentrum bottrop have also experienced this, over and over again. many patients come to the health experts with problems, which have inexplicable causes. "during the conversation, they then report that they spend many hours in front of the computer for work-related reasons, and also carry digital devices after work. they clearly spend an insufficient part of their lives offline. even in their free time, they use tablets and smartphones, watch youtube videos, and are active on facebook or instagram."

a digital detox to strengthen offline life

the relationship between real life and the online world seems to have collapsed. it's exhausting; makes you tired and listless. we feel incomplete, lonely. if you immerse yourself completely in the digital world, you can miss out on a lot. real relationships, real conversations with real People. the digital world, the internet and social networks offer endless possibilities. that is beyond question. "but a healthy approach to technology is important," as the alternative-medicine practitioner recommends. "we must not lose ourselves in it."

"digital detox" is the term for a more conscious use of digital devices such as smartphones or tablets. it's about a better quality of life and it’s especially important for the generation of so-called digital natives. the nabos also know what they are talking about in terms of digital presence. they are on many networks themselves and have been for years. their motto is: the right balance is important.

3 compact tips for your digital health

deliberately create cellphone-free times. this includes mealtimes, in any event. if you’re going for a walk, your smartphone does not necessarily have to accompany you. the goal is to have cellphone-free days. deliberately interspersed.

do not start the day by looking at your cellphone. this causes your stress levels to rise unnecessarily. your mood can immediately sink when you see upcoming appointments, calls from your boss in absentia or negative comments on your last facebook post. it’s therefore better to first have breakfast in peace. this will give you strength for the upcoming tasks, and it ensures a certain routine for the course of the day.

attentiveness is important – both when dealing with yourself and with your cellphone. do we relax or raise our stress levels? why is it so hard for us to look away when the cellphone display signals the arrival of a new message? is it a lack of self-discipline? or the beginning of an addiction? self-reflection is important. impulse control. we have to remain master of the technology. what matters is what counts. only one thing helps here: cellphone off and full concentration on what challenges us and pleases us.

 

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*important note: till now, the statements met here concerning the effect and the interdependencies of the therapies and means are not accepted generally among scientific experts,particularly the orthodox medicine.

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