6 Signs You Need To Go On A Digital Detox

by Helena Negru

Everyone talks about the importance of having a digital detox, but few people actually go ahead with it. As mobile devices take over our lives we've become connected to them as if they are vital to keep on living.

No other generation before us, Millennials, was in need of a detox, because no other generation was so addicted to their devices. Not even the 1960s teens, who were the first to have their own teen clothes, devices, music and rental homes, were this obsessed.

We are spending more time than ever in front of blue screens -- swiping dates, scrolling through filtered Instagram posts and searching Twitter hashtags -- in the quest to gain popularity on Facebook and to feel in touch with everyone around us.

I “live” online just as much as any other 20-something, but I really love to have my peaceful moments, with the phone notifications turned off and a good book in hand.

I do miss my online life when I forget my phone at home, or when the internet isn't working. But does that mean I need a digital detox? Am I suffering from digital addiction?

Here are six telltale signs that you need a digital detox:

1. Your vision becomes blurred.

This is one of the first signs of digital addiction. Due to extensive squinting while staring at the screen your eyes become dry and this causes you to blink less.

Another major danger of high tech devices is the actual blue light they emit. It is able to penetrate the eye deeper than regular light, causing redness, blurred vision and general eyesight decay.

2. You experience panic attacks.

Do you panic when you forget your smartphone at home? Well, this is a major sign of digital addiction and is really nothing to laugh at, despite the fact that it sounds funny.

Around 73 percent of Americans experience a certain degree of panic when they don't have their mobile devices with them. The symptoms of a panic attack can include chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea and shaking.

3. You're working in your free time.

Another sign of digital addiction is working in your free time.

When you're constantly connected to phone and texting or scrolling through social media, you are also prone to answer emails from work.

In fact, 80 percent of Americans admit they work during their spare time outside of their daily office hours just because the work is right there in front of them. This leads them to spending an average of up to seven hours working out of the office each week.

4. You suffer from frequent headaches and memory loss.

Staring at the blue screen can also lead to frequent headaches as well as a more frightening symptom: Cognitive impairment.

Scrolling and hunting likes alters our brains leading to short term memory loss, which is only one symptom of what doctors call digital dementia.

5. You've lost your awareness.

Humans now live in concrete jungles, where they need to be self-aware of cars, other humans, buildings and random obstacles.

Studies found that a symptom of digital addiction is the loss of this vital awareness. This is how people can die while texting: They simply lose their ability to avoid obstacles, such as a lake or hole in the ground.

Texting while driving is another common problem; it is so common that some states banned it in an attempt to reduce the number of car accidents.

6. You have bad posture.

Many things can lead to bad posture, but the most recent one seems to be the smartphone.

Dr. Alton Barron, orthopedic doctor, says the body leans forward when using mobile devices causing the neck and back to ache due to unnatural posture.

If you suffer from one or more symptoms on this list it might be time to leave your phone at home for a day, or to at least re-evaluate your digital use habits. A digital detox can be good for you, even if it only starts with a few hours.