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We know that being hyper-connected to the internet and social media can be damaging. It's been associated with negative mental health outcomes such as depression, narcissistic behavior and a lack of empathy. It can cause harmful physical side effects, including insomnia, stress, vision problems, and back and neck pain. It can lead to lower productivity.
To get away from 24/7 connectedness, a new trend called “digital detox" is emerging. Some companies even offer a recovery-center approach, providing a few days or weeks where people voluntarily give up access to their phones and the internet in a secluded environment. That sounds nice, but many lawyers can't take a weekend vacation without checking their work email, let alone living off the grid for weeks at a time. Any discussion of a “digital detox" for lawyers must account for the very real demands placed on attorneys to be available.
With that in mind, here are some practical ways to limit smartphone use without compromising your accessibility. You may even find some to be a helpful way to increase productivity.
There are pros and cons to our 24/7 connectedness. But minor adjustments to daily routines can make a difference in the negative health impact associated with too much smartphone use.
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