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A Very Convincing Reason to Ditch Your Phone This Weekend

A Very Convincing Reason to Ditch Your Phone This Weekend

Whether you claim to love it or hate it, we all do it: check our phones repeatedly throughout the weekends and evenings for new emails, text messages, and the little lit-up heart icon on the Instagram homescreen that means someone sent you some IG love. And, even though smartphones can make many aspects of life simpler, they also make you available 24/7 to your employer, complicating the boundaries between your work life and personal life.

It's a fairly new way of living—we're the first generation of employees who can carry their offices around in their pockets—and scientists are still figuring out exactly what that means for your health and wellbeing. One recent study however, suggests that being tethered to your iPhone isn't doing anyone any favors. 

According to the new study from Lehigh University, the heavily normalized activity of checking email after work hours (guilty!) is connected to feelings of emotional exhaustion. Researchers considered data from 297 working adults, comparing "organizational expectations regarding off hour emailing" at their workplace and their own personal mental health. Worryingly, they found that constantly opening your email app "negatively impacts employee emotional states, leading to burnout and diminished work-family balance." Hear that? Burn out, imbalance, and emotional exhaustion. 

It's the very fact that email makes you so contactable after hours that is the issue here. "Email is notoriously known to be the impediment of the recovery process," explained the authors. "Its accessibility contributes to experience of work overload since it allows employees to engage in work as if they never left the workspace, and at the same time, inhibits their ability to psychologically detach from work-related issues via continuous connectivity." 

So this weekend, instead of constantly worrying about whether your office is trying to reach out, try switching off your notifications, disconnecting, and enjoying some time away from your smartphone. 

Photo: Little Drill

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