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Should You Stay Away From Screens For 24 Hours?

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

When was the last time you spent an entire day without touching a screen? If you’re like most people, it’s been a while.

stay away from screens for 24 hours

With so much technology at our fingertips, it’s hard to stay unplugged. If you’re reading this, chances are your screen is right in front of you.

But what if you stay away from screens for 24 hours? Could it be worth your time?

As a stress management coach, I’ve seen how screen time can affect your mood and energy levels. I’m also a huge fan of taking digital breaks, which allows you to disconnect from your devices without feeling guilty about it.

Here are seven reasons why you should try a digital break.

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Should You Stay Away From Screens For 24 Hours?

Did you know that nearly 99% of adults own at least one electronic device? In fact, American Psychological Association reports that about 43% of Americans constantly check their emails and social media accounts.

With the advancement of technology, it's hard to imagine living without the presence of computers and smartphones anymore. They help you keep in touch with friends, find new jobs, and even help you find love.

But while technology has made your life easier in many ways, it also comes with some drawbacks.

Stress levels have risen dramatically over the past few decades as we depend more on our devices for information and entertainment.

So what exactly is causing all this stress? We've identified the top stressors that come with the constant use of technology:

Information overload

Information overload

Whenever you open a new tab on your browser or check your smartphone, you're bombarded with more information than you can handle.

From emails to social media notifications, there's always something new popping up on the screen, making you feel overwhelmed and anxious. It seems like there's no way to keep up with everything that's happening around you.

The problem is, most of this information is unnecessary. You end up scrolling and swiping mindlessly, feeling like you have to keep up with everything. You are constantly being fed information that you don’t need.

This leads to feelings of stress and anxiety. Without understanding whether something is important or not, you can't prioritize what deserves your attention.

Fear of missing out

Fear of missing out

Do you feel a compulsive urge to check your phone every time it dings? You're not alone. The fear of missing out on important messages or notifications can make it hard to focus on anything else.

What if it's important? What if someone needs to get in touch with you right away?

The anxiety can eat you up.

I hope you realize by now that most of the time, that 'ding' on your phone is not really important.

This habit of constantly checking your phone is hurting your productivity.

When you check your phone constantly, you interrupt your focus on what you’re doing. And it takes time and mental energy to refocus, meaning you'll get less done in the long run.

Before you know it, you've spent hours on your phone and accomplished little else. It's easy to get sucked in and lose track of time, leaving you feeling unproductive and unfulfilled.

Always available

This is another big problem with being constantly connected to your phone. It's easy to feel like you have to be available to everyone at all times.

This can lead to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It's also a problem because it means people often expect you to be always available, which is unrealistic.

Social comparison

Social comparison

It can be difficult to resist the temptation to compare yourself to others on social media, which can cause you to feel badly about yourself and your life.

People often only post positive things on social media. This creates an unrealistic picture of their lives, making it hard for you to get an accurate idea of what's really going on.

Social media can make you feel like your life isn't as good as everyone else's. It leads to feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and low self-esteem.

Sleep disruption

Sleep disruption

The blue light emitted by your device tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime, which can disrupt your circadian rhythm. This leads to a reduction in sleep quality and quantity.

And lack of sleep can have several negative effects on your health, including weight gain and increased risk of depression.



Instant gratification is one reason why many people become addicted to their devices. The ability to have constant access to information, entertainment, and social interaction can be addictive and hard to resist.

The rise of online video games and entertainment has made it easy to get lost in a virtual world without realizing how much time has passed. This can lead to anxiety when you're not using your device and cause you to use it even more.

Text anxiety

Have you ever found yourself adding extra emojis to a text, thinking it might come across as rude? Or perhaps you added a smiley face, hoping to convey friendliness.

It's easy to see how these small decisions can be anxiety-provoking when misinterpreted by the person on the other end of the phone.

What Is The Digital Detox Challenge?

With the negative consequences of excessive screen time in mind, campaigns like the Digital Detox Challenge have emerged to help individuals reduce their dependence on technology.

The challenge recommends you spend 24 hours without using any digital device. This means your smartphone, tablet, computer, and TV are all off-limits.

While the Digital Detox Challenge may seem daunting, it can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health. So why not try it and see how it makes you feel?

But if it is too hard to stay away from your device for 24 hours, why don’t you start with s single hour today?

I organized a Tech Detox challenge before on my facebook group: Be the CEO of Your Stress, and many participants enjoyed it and found it helpful. The challenge is to keep all your devices away for at least one hour before bedtime.

That seems doable compared to the 24-hour challenge, right?

Although the tech detox challenge has already ended, I still encourage you to take a break from technology and try it out yourself.

Watch the video below for more information about the challenge.

What to do next?

Use this challenge as an opportunity to reconnect with your loved ones. Try not to use any digital device for at least one hour before bedtime.

Instead, spend time with family or friends, read a book, or do something else that is not related to technology. Even if you cannot completely detox, try to spend less time on your device and instead enjoy being offline.

Let us know if this challenge helped manage your stress level and how you felt about it.

Did you experience any benefits from the challenge?


About the Author

Alexa Hanshaw

Alexa Hanshaw is a health and stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.

Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!

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