search logo

As part of our ongoing efforts to support the health and well-being of our haumāna, the Kamehameha Schools Mālama Ola Division presents the Mālama Ola Minute series. This month, we focus on digital detoxes.

Mālama Ola Minute: Tips for doing a digital detox with your ʻohana

Feb. 29, 2024

Imagine a world where all screens fade to black, Wi-Fi signals are offline and notifications go silent. No, it’s not doomsday but the realm of digital detoxes!

Digital detoxes are a period during which you intentionally reduce the amount of time you spend online on your devices. This is when phones, tablets and TVs turn off so you and your ʻohana can tune in to each other.

As we share manaʻo from experts about the benefits of reducing screen time, the obvious irony is you are currently reading this story from a screen and everyone who put this story together has been using screen time. Our daily lives are dominated by digital devices. However, there is a growing body of evidence that too much screen time can cause stress, insomnia and low self-esteem.

Here are three compelling benefits that could persuade you and your family to embark on a digital detox: 

  1. Enhanced mental capacity
    Throughout the day, you are inundated with people to care for and things to do. You might have a running to-do list sitting next to you right now! While it might be easier to scroll on social media to unwind, your brain is still actively processing all this information, negating the brain break you probably need. Plus, switching your focus so often may diminish your productivity and ability to stay on task.

    Try creating digital-free zones in your home, making sure TVs are off during dinner and phones are stashed across the room at bedtime. Consider scheduling time blocks for your mind to focus on the tasks at hand and taking a walking or stretching break when needed.

  2. Improved social behaviors
    An overabundance of screen time can impact a child’s ability to understand nonverbal and social cues. A UCLA study of 11 to 13-year-olds showed that children with more face-to-face interactions are better at picking up social cues. When kids are more aware of the people around them, they can better communicate, empathize and resolve conflict.

    Go analog by switching out iPads and YouTube videos for board games and physical books. Instead of rewarding your keiki with time on their tablet, entice them to play outside. Several studies have linked outdoor play to improved problem-solving skills and creativity.

  3. Better emotional well-being
    According to Statista, teenagers spend an average of 99 minutes on TikTok, 84 minutes on Snapchat and 39 minutes on Instagram every day. Especially for high schoolers, it may be harder to unplug when their friends and interests are online. However, social media platforms are comparison’s playground. Constantly being connected can lead to anxiety and a lowered sense of self-worth.

    Beat FOMO (the fear of missing out) by encouraging teens to meet IRL, like hanging out at your home or a nearby beach. Plan a no-phones day ahead of time, so your family can choose a tech-free activity that everyone is looking forward to. Unplug the Wi-Fi router for accountability! And don’t give in to the pressure to post; enjoy the moment together with no outside distractions.

Turning off our screens and toward each other can allow your ʻohana to explore new hobbies, have curious conversations and spend meaningful time together. Let's embrace a healthier relationship with technology and find a better balance between the digital world and real life.

For more tips and information:
The do's of social media
Screen Time vs. Lean Time Infographic
Digital Citizenship Resources for Family Engagement

mālama ola,malama ola minute,kamehameha schools

Kaipuolono Article, Regions, Kona, O’ahu, Themes, Culture, Community, Employee ‘Ohana, Ka ʻohana Kamehameha, Hawaii Newsroom, KS Hawaii Home, Kapalama Newsroom, Kapalama Home, KS Announcements, Malama Ola, Malama Ola Minute, Maui Newsroom, KS Maui Home, Newsroom, Hawaii, Kapalama, Maui, Hawaii campus, Kapalama campus, Maui campus

Print with photos Print text only