The Digital Dilemma – Dubai Psychologist, Alfred, speaks to MOJEH Magazine

Amid the current crisis, we’re glued to our screens like never before – but at what cost? MOJEH explores why taking a digital detox could be the best way to end the year

With social distancing protocols in place and hours of isolation taking a toll on our metal health amid the Covid-19 pandemic, screens have been a saving grace for many. In fact, during the crisis, Facebook reported a 70 percent increase in Messenger group video calls, WhatsApp saw a 40 per cent increase in usage and views on lnstagram Live doubled in one week. For some, these apps feel like less of a timewaster during this period, especially when used for both work and to keep up-to-date with friends and family members we can’t physically see. However, this increased screen-time, as well as the constant onslaught of news, is also having a negative effect on our mental health. “Throughout the last few years, psychological studies have shown a high correlation between social media usage and depression and anxiety,” Alfred Gull, Clinical Psychologist at the German Neuroscience Center Dubai tells MOJEH. “Neurological studies have even shown a changing of our brain’s operation for the worse with increasing dependence on our electronic devices.” […]

If booking a week off work to visit a far-flung location where your phone is confiscated isn’t on the horizon, there are small, manageable steps you can take at home to help curb your addiction. “Deleting social media apps off our phones, starting with a day or two once per month, can help us clear our minds and reset,” explains Gull. “Unsubscribe from online groups that have few benefits or distract you from your goals, and delete unused apps.” He also recommends using a standard alarm clock instead of your phone to wake yourself up in the mornings, as this will help avoid the temptation of looking ot emails and texts just as you are about to go to sleep or wake up. “The next step is to keep your iPhone or tablet out of your bedroom,” he advises. “Always work with small steps. Start with mini goals and make your goals easy to achieve, especially in the beginning. This allows you to improve over time and you will feel like you are succeeding.”

The full and original article was published in MOJEH Magazine