Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County - Some people get a little anxious if they momentarily misplace their cell phones, so imagine giving it up on purpose. That's exactly what one Monroe County woman did as part of the Eyewitness News Digital Detox Experiment.
Charise Henry lives in the glow of her IPhone screen. So giving it up was a nail biting moment. There would be no more Facebook, no more Instagram, no more messaging.
A nurse monitored Charise's vital signs as she handed the phone over for a 48 hour break. Her blood pressure went up and her heart rate jumped. She felt uncomfortable. "My heart racing, anxious, thinking like what am I gonna do without my phone," she explained.
Doctor Robert Morrow of Pocono Health System said those are typical withdrawal symptoms. He added, "It can alert people to the fact that there really is a problem here and that we do need to take it seriously."
Charise struggled on day one but she said the second smart phone free day was easier. "I honestly realized like after day one and that hurdle of anxiety was over, how stupid the addiction is as a whole and it made me not want to have that phone with me at all," she said.
She found she had more time on her hands for things like chores and smiled, "I was much more productive around my house."
But would that last? Did the two day digital detox work? Charise powered her phone up as soon as she got it back. But she insists she learned she doesn't need to check it so often. "I do think I could spend less time on it, for sure," she added.
Her husband Jeff has complained about her phone use. He was happy about the experiment. He said, "I think it did help her. I think she did understand that it takes away from a lot of time."
Charise now believes her smart phone is enabling her habit so she may get rid of it. She said, "I know myself well enough to know that that might be a challenge for me, so downgrading may be my best option."
Doctor Morrow said realizing there is a problem is the first step to making a change. He added, "I would say to Charise, if you're having a hard time managing this on your own reach out for help and support."
Support from friends, support from family, and a few days of digital detox could help you silence your cell and focus on what really matters.
Doctor Morrow has some tips for you to start your own digital detox.
- Experiment with short periods without your technology. For example try a cell phone free Sunday or Facebook free Friday.
- Write down times when you plan to ditch the digital and stick to them.
- Tell your plan to a friend who can hold you accountable
- If all else fails contact a professional counselor.
To see part one of Charise's digital detox story visit http://pahomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=313612