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Benefits of Taking a Screen Break In 2020 – Digital Detox

There are many benefits of taking a screen break in 2020. I just read an article in the UC Berkely website about screen-free week.

Both links explain the benefits of taking some time off from your phone and screens.

Phones have become integrated into my life like everyone else’s. I didn’t have my first smart phone until 2009. The first iPhone had released in 2007. Smart phones were not a part of life for myself or my college classmates who graduated within a few years of the first iPhone’s release.

When I think of generations just slightly younger than mine, I realize that growing up in a digital age is substantially different than any other generation’s experience since the first humans.

Boredom Generates Creativity.

Anyone born before the mid-80s experienced boredom and creativity differently than those after the late-eighties children.

I believe boredom serves a value that has been diminished in the last decade.

Boredom allows our minds to wander. It generates an opportunity for the mind to be creative… Creativity, like any part of our mind, needs to be cultivated.

Our minds are not given the opportunity to be creative when there are multiple lights, sounds, notifications, bluetooth connections, etc. happening. Practice makes perfect and if our minds are constantly stimulated from outside, it reduces what is coming from within. The more time we allow our minds to be creative, the more creative they will become.

As I think through my daily life, I can’t think of many moments where I could become bored. I usually have my phone, computer, television, headphones or some type of digital stimulant turned on.

Read the full article and hopefully you will come to the same conclusion as I have… “We can all benefit from some time away from our devices”

Increased Awareness

According to the UC Berkeley article above, many of the students who participated in a fast from digital devices experienced an increase in “present moment awareness.”

A meaningful quote about fasting students in the article: “As children of the smartphone age, some of them were experiencing long periods of uninterrupted attention for the first time in years, episodes of micro-mindfulness that can be deeply nourishing.”

It is interesting for someone who grew up without smart phones to imagine childhood with them.

I am personally grateful that I spent my Summers growing up riding bikes and skate boards. Going to the public pool for swim practice in the mornings and swim meets on the weekends. Soccer practice was after school in the Spring and Fall. At night, I read paperback books when I couldn’t fall asleep. The article shows me that people who are slightly younger than myself see the world through a completely different lens.

Improved Sleep

This study shows that use of light-emitting devices like smart phones, tablets and e-readers have negative impacts on sleep at night and alertness the following morning. The tests compared e-device users to those who read a paper book at bedtime.

I’m as guilty as everyone else about playing on my phone in bed. I should find a paperback book and try reading that in bed for a week and see if I notice any difference.

Deepened Connections

The connection during a short face-to-face conversation is deeper and more complex than a text message or social media conversation. Interacting directly with piers for a week or more in a device-free setting has shown increased social interactions, understanding, and empathy. The mere presence of a phone during a conversation has shown to make people feel less connected and less empathically attuned.

Learning and Focus

A digital fast also showed increased ability to focus.

A United Kingdom Study concluded: “Secondary schools in the U.K. that banned phones on campus saw significant increases in student test scores.” Increased learning was also noticed when phones were placed in a different room instead of in student backpacks.


There is lots of research showing the real benefits of taking a screen break.

Reducing constant interaction with our phones is healthy. It increases present-moment awareness and makes us sleep better. A digital detox will likely increase human connections and increase effectiveness of learning.

You may not be able to live without your phone, but consider turning it off or leaving it behind regularly. Take a screen break so you can capitalize on the many benefits that it will have in your life.

Benefits of Taking a Screen Break In 2020 – Digital Detox

Benefits of taking a screen break

Post by Mike Gamache – Blogger, Event Videographer

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