The Internet and smartphones have changed the way we live. People are constantly checking their email, text messages and social media accounts. As a result, they are disconnecting from their real lives.
When it comes to our kids, the results may be even more disconcerting. Studies have shown that too much time in front of screens can increase narcissism, cause insomnia, and make our children less empathetic.
Kate Unsworth, CEO of Kovert Designs, decided to learn more about how technology is changing our lives, bodies, and behaviors. Her company produces products that allow individuals to implement boundaries with their technology. For example, she has created a variety of connected jewelry, which permits the wearer to put away their device, but to be alerted if there is something that requires their immediate attention.
Unsworth is also conducting experiments and gathering information in order to help people detach from their technology and live happier lives. In a recent experiment, Unsworth studied 35 CEOs and business owners to see how they behave with and without technology. Below are a few of their findings:
- After several days without their devices, the participants’ posture changed. They looked forward into each others’ eyes and their shoulders realigned their head with their spine. This made them appear more approachable and they tended to have more relaxed conversations.
- Without the use of Google or other online searches, conversations about general trivia lasted longer. Not being able to jump on the Internet and discover the answer promoted the individuals to discuss, joke and continue looking for an answer. These types of conversations are what forms bonds between people and keeps them engaged.
- Without using smartphones and other devices, the participants were more likely to remember details about each other. Being more present in conversations improved their memory and permitted them to retain even minor details.
- The participants reported feeling more rested when they were not using their devices. It is believed that the blue light from screens suppresses melatonin and prevents us from getting quality sleep.
- Individuals who took time to disconnect also made important changes in their lives. Without the distractions, they were able to focus on important matters such as their relationships, health, work, and other significant aspects of their lives.
When you consider the above results and think about the time your children spend in front of a screen, it is easy to see that parents should improve their digital habits. A little digital detox can go a long way in improving your child’s life and relationship with others.