As per a recent study research by Nielson, the average Indian adult spends around 11 hours everyday interacting with digital devices. This is inclusive of listening, watching and reading. People are immensely immersed in digital devices, especially those in the IT sector. International publication ‘Worklife 101’ states that an increased Facebook use strongly does correlate with a decline in physical and mental well being.
This fact is acknowledged by Silicon Valley too; where in order to keep their employees off social media, they have introduced features like ‘Apple’s Screen Time’ and ‘Android’s Dashboard’. This initiative was lauded by Google CEO Sundar Pichai as well, as he said that the features would bring out ‘JOMO’: The Joy of Missing Out! To add to it, Instagram also announced that it’s working hard to remove the ‘like’ counts.
Why is Important For IT Employees to Detox?
The IT sector in India is quite massive, with a market size of around US$181 billion in 2018-19. As per a Nasscom report, India’s IT sectors are expected to grow by 9 percent in fiscal year 2019-20. Now, imagine the number of people working in it. Recently, exports from the industry increased to around US$137 billion in 2018-19 in FY19, whereas domestic revenues advanced to US$44 billion.
Digital detoxing for people working in the IT space, might lead to a much fresher, broader and changed perspective in people. This is even more important because people working in the IT sector are immersed in technology all day long, thus some form of detoxing would definitely help them in the long run. Here’s highlighting some important points:
- Too Much Tech Can Be Stressful
Mostly, people working in the IT industry often voice the opinion that they can’t imagine their life without tech. A senior employee working with a leading multinational company (requesting anonymity) said, “I can never really imagine myself without tech. I have always been a tech enthusiast, even before I joined the tech industry.” Another techie from Bengaluru, Biswarup Das Sharma, opined that it’s impossible for tech people to work without technology. “It’s practically difficult to avoid tech these days. Socialising, travelling, learning and education, healthcare and finance, everything is intertwined with tech.” A recent study conducted in Sweden conveyed that the use of heavy technology among adults often leads to sleeping problems, depression and increased stress levels.
- Sleep Disruptions Are a Common Affair
As per the international publication Global Paediatric Health, children that use digital devices at bedtime have significantly worse and less sleep. Researchers also state that around 70 percent of people working in the IT space mostly check their phones while in bed. Among this, around 15 percent of them spend an hour or more on social media while in bed. These researchers came to the conclusion that using social media at night when one is in bed, increases the chances of anxiety, insomnia, and shorter sleep duration.
- Work-Life Balance Seems Like a Challenge
Most IT employees’ families feel that even when they are at home, it is hard to resist the temptation to check their emails, respond to a text from their colleagues, or even logging in to social media accounts.
In such cases, digital detox might help in getting a healthier and less stressful work-life balance.
Real FOMO Gets Onto You
Fear of Missing Out or FOMO is the continuous fear that one is missing out on all the experiences that others are having. Most of the times it so happens that every time one spots an image about someone else’s life, it makes them feel that their lives are less exciting than others. FOMO can keep coaxing people to keep checking their devices every now and then, based on the fear that they are missing out on an important text, call or DM.
When Do IT Employees Need a Detox?
Ideally stated, you need a detox if you show the below patterns –
- You get a constant urge to check your phone every few minutes
- Likes, comments and reshare counts obsess you on your social posts
- The impression that you might miss something if you don’t keep checking your device haunts you
- Your level of concentration depends on your checking the phone
- You discover that most of the times you stay up late or wake up early, unable to get quality sleep
Some Tips for IT People on Digital Detox
- Look for ways continuously to stay distracted and engage yourself in other activities
- Try deleting social media apps from your phone to reduce the temptation
- Inform your friends and family that you are on a digital detox and ask for their help and support
- Try journaling, in order to keep a track of your progress and also try jotting down your experience about the same
As mentioned earlier, with such a gigantic market, it is essential for every employee, especially the ones in the IT domain to give it a break sometimes. A popular saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!” This statement holds true for IT employees too, more so because their whole lives revolve around tech.
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