Better than Scrolling: Digital Detox in the Search for the Ideal Self

Article


Vialle, Stephanie J., Machin, Tanya and Abel, Susan. 2023. "Better than Scrolling: Digital Detox in the Search for the Ideal Self." Psychology of Popular Media. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000496
Article Title

Better than Scrolling: Digital Detox in the Search for the Ideal Self

ERA Journal ID214009
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsVialle, Stephanie J., Machin, Tanya and Abel, Susan
Journal TitlePsychology of Popular Media
Number of Pages9
Year2023
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN2160-4134
2160-4142
2689-6567
2689-6575
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000496
Web Address (URL)https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fppm0000496
Abstract

Many popular press articles promote the benefits of undergoing a digital detox for people who believe screen-based digital media is detrimental to their well-being. This qualitative study aimed to better understand the experiences of people who undertake digital detoxes. Semistructured interviews were conducted with five women and two men. Reflexive thematic analysis of the data generated two themes: (a) resisting temptation: the digital diet and (b) in search of the perfect self: actual versus ideal. The motivations to undertake a digital detox focus on a discrepancy between an individual’s ideal self and how they perceive themselves when using digital technology. Here, digital technology, especially smartphones and social media, is seen as a threat to values, self-regulation, and self-esteem. While the undertaking a digital detox is viewed as a way of reducing self-discrepancy, many people consider their digital technologies vital tools to manage their work and social lives. Individuals experiencing self-discrepancy may benefit from greater exposure to research articulating the benefits of digital technology to shift their perception of abstinence being ideal when some consumption is almost inevitable in modern life. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)

Keywordsdigital detox, social media detox, digital technology, self-determination theory, thematic analysis
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020529999. Other psychology not elsewhere classified
441016. Urban sociology and community studies
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Wellbeing
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