The Psychological Society of Ireland



The Psychological Society of Ireland,
Floor 2, Grantham House,
Grantham Street, Dublin 8, D08 W8HD.


 PSI President speaks about digital detoxing

Dr Paul D'Alton, President of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), has recently written and spoken on the overuse of Smartphones and the need for digital detoxing. In a recent article in the Sunday Times, Dr D'Alton highlighted the possible risk of an increase in OCD-like symptoms that could be caused by Smartphone overuse.

Speaking with Keelin Shanley on RTE Radio One show Today with Sean O' Rourke, Dr D'Alton spoke about the effect that high use of Smartphones may have on people's lives - "high use [of a smartphone] saw a dramatic and significant increase in anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance." This information was based on research conducted in 2013 where 4,000 people participated. Dr D'Alton pointed out that high use was considered to be 11 or more telephone calls or texts a day.

Whilst appreciating that technology is very important in our everyday lives and considering technology as being effective in enhancing relationships, Dr D'Alton also believes in the importance of keeping our use of technology in check. It is important to allow the brain to turn off as, according to Dr D'Alton, this gives the brain "an opportunity to restore".

On helping people to reduce the amount of time they might spend on their Smartphones and other deivices, Dr D'Alton feels that people need to change how they behave when it comes to technology. The following are some examples:

  • Leave the Smartphone, tablets, and other electronic devices in another part of the house when you go to bed so as to allow yourself to relax and sleep. It is important to recognise that you might feel some anxiety not having access to your phone/ tablet; however, this will plateau out and decrease;

  • Parents need to be aware of the example that is being set to their children and perhaps agree, as a family, some rules around useage of phones and tablets. An exmaple might be of not allowing any use of technology during mealtimes when a family might sit down together.


Dr D'Alton also spoke on Today FM and Highland Radio with regard to digital detoxing.

Please click here to listen to Dr D'Alton's interview with Keelin Shanley on the Today with Sean O' Rourke show on RTE Radio One

Please click here to listen to Dr D'Alton's interview with Neil Delamere on The Anton Savage Show on Today FM


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