Celebrities Talk About the Importance of a Digital Detox

All May we talked about mental health and took a closer look at how technology is negatively impacting our well being. There are endless studies that show a worrying correlation between too much screen time and heightened levels of depression and anxiety among users of all ages. In all of our research, it was very reassuring to see that we aren’t the only ones concerned about the nature of our relationships with our digital devices. Since pretty much everyone has a smartphone these days, it is an issue that impacts all of us, from newborns to adults.

Social media is perhaps the main area of concern, not just because it is so popular and so much of our screen time is devoted to social apps, but also because scientists say it makes us anxious, depressed and lonely. We are also starting to see a number of high profile celebrities, musicians and athletes alike being vocal about digital addiction and mental health. Many have detailed their struggles with balancing screen time and real life—often forcing them to take breaks from their phones or even delete social apps altogether. Selena Gomez went a step further and took a full 90-day break from her phone and social media, which is particularly impressive when you consider she is the second most followed person on Instagram.

But, Selena isn’t the only high-profile star to speak up about digital addiction and mental health. Here are some great celebrity quotes that you’ll appreciate if you’re trying to find the perfect digital balance.

Taking a Break from Social Media

Selena Gomez was very vocal about taking a 90 day break, not just from social media, but from her smartphone entirely. She said the experience was “the most refreshing, calming, rejuvenating feeling.” She also had some helpful advice that anybody can relate to, "[Social media] can be great in moments, but I would just be careful and allow yourself some time limits when you should use it and when not… It is not that healthy to be on all the time. I noticed with me, I got kind of depressed looking at these people who look beautiful and amazing, and it would just get me down a lot. Taking breaks is really important.”

instagram

Kendall Jenner also took a short but well publicized break from social media. Even though she only stepped away for a couple of days, she told her millions of followers, “it’s really nice… I suggest it. You start to engage in real life, even when you start to deal with real people right in front of you.”

Our very own Stephen Curry goes on a social media blackout every year during the NBA playoffs so he can focus on his game. Considering he’s well on his way to bringing home his fourth championship in five years, it seems to be working out pretty well. “When you’re really trying to zone in and keep your focus, you don’t want to have any unnecessary distractions during this point of the season. We have goals to accomplish, and you want to make sure you’re giving your all… It’s just a way to help me keep my focus on what’s important.”

In 2015, British musician Ed Sheeran took to Instagram to announce that we was going on a full-scale digital detox so he could travel the world. His post read: “Hello all. I’m taking a break from my phone, emails and all social media for a while… I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes so I’m taking this opportunity of me not having to be anywhere or do anything to travel the world and see everything I missed.”

sheeran

Although she's one of the most famous supermodels in the world, Kendall Jenner also spoke of her experience of deleting social media and living outside of her digital screens. "I suggest [deleting Instagram]. I'm away from my phone so much more. You start to engage in real life and how you have to deal with real people right in front of you, so it's kind of really nice to be away from it even if it's just Instagram."

Balancing Digital and Personal Relationships

Even Madonna the Queen of Pop isn’t immune to the stresses of balancing social media and family life. She said social media “ended my relationship with them [her children], really. Not completely, but it became a very very big part of their lives. They became too inundated with imagery and started to compare themselves with other people, and that's really bad for self-growth.”

instagram

Kerry Washington also spoke candidly about missing out on her own life when being consumed by social media. She said, “Social media is a beautiful invention that has given everyone a voice. But, if you're waking up to social media, updating feeds throughout the day and going to sleep watching the lives of others, you may be missing out on your own.”

Hailey and Justin Beiber are two of the most famous people on Earth, but they sound very relatable when they speak up—which they do quite often—about the anxiety that social media adds to their lives. They say the stress caused by constant online scrutiny became amplified once they started dating. Hailey talked about her experience with Instagram in particular, describing the "immediate anxiety" she feels when she opens the social media platform. "Being off Instagram is the best thing ever," she wrote. "Whenever I take breaks from it I feel so much better so much happier as a person. The second I come back on I get immediate anxiety, I get sad and I get worked up." She added, "It's hard to focus on your well being and mental health when each time you open Instagram someone is tearing apart your job, or your relationship or essentially any of the things in your life that are positive."

Even some of the most famous people in the world need a break from their phones, despite the fact that many of them make a living on social media. Everybody can use a reset and rebalance from time to time.

kardashian

Mental Health Month is coming to an end but we'll continue talking about how screens, social media and digital consumption affect mental health because the conversation is at the very heart of why we created Palm. We made it small and smart so that it doesn’t consume your life—a perfect solution for people who want to stay connected but don’t want to be consumed by a huge phone. We believe technology should enhance our real world interactions, not detract from them. If you’re interested in finding a better digital balance, now is the perfect time to buy a Palm.