Life during the most connected era in human history has many positives — faraway family members are just a FaceTime session away, and the answer to nearly any question that pops into your mind is at your fingertips.

But too much technology — whether it’s time spent on smartphones, social media, or in front of other digital screens — can have unintended consequences. That may signal the need for a digital detox.

“Excessive technology use can take away time from activities such as sleep, exercise, and socializing, which are all important for well-being,” says Carol Vidal, MD, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

A research review noted that frequent technology use has been linked to heightened attention-deficit symptoms, impaired emotional and social intelligence, technology addiction, social isolation, impaired brain development, and disrupted sleep in some cases.

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