When is the last time you were without your phone, laptop or tablet? We live in a connected, 24/7 digital world. In fact, a study on digital device usage estimated that people with smartphones tap, swipe or click over two thousand times each day.
Quite simply, a digital detox refers to a period of time in which a person refrains from using electronic devices, in order to reduce stress and interact more with family and friends.
For some, a digital detox sounds inconceivable. We’ve all become reliant on our phones that it might feel as if you are giving up your friends and family relationships.
A digital detox is just the opposite, according to researchers, who say that by disconnecting you are more likely to connect, in person and more often. Having more time to connect also leads to other creative endeavours, better sleep and an awareness of your priorities.
The duration of the cure is dependent on one-self and what goals you want to achieve.
Get off the grid and truly unwind with our tips for taking a break from technology.
Simply turning off the smartphone, computer or TV would be a good start. Do not rush and plan your way forward. Start slow but define how and when.
Turn off your push-notifications, unsubscribe from unwanted email lists. Delete unnecessary apps that you do not use.
Move the mail app to the final screen on your phone rather than the front one so you need to make a conscious decision to check it. That also means you won’t see the red notifications number increase all day.
If you really, really must keep your phone on while on holidays, at least switch your data off so you don’t get tempted to look at your work emails or monitor Facebook constantly.
Try meditating, although you may find it useful to use an app to learn how to get into the zone. Sounds like a contradiction, but it is ok to use tech as an enabler for assisting your detox.
Solitary luxury escapes are all the rage in the travel world. They’re most likely to be in remote locations, but more hotels and spas are creating ‘quiet’ packages without in-room TVs and WiFi.
Do not be tempted to check social media messages after 6 pm and enjoy the moment without posting it on Instagram. Pick up a book, instead of an electronic device.
Tell people you regularly talk to you that are taking a digital break. It's good manners to let those you care about know and some people may wonder why you’re not available on social media.
Start your day without checking your phone for one hour. The first hour you are awake can lay the foundation for the day. Have a proper breakfast, exercise, really talk with your family.
Stepping away from technology and doing other things can allow your brain to recharge. For example, walking in the park beside trees after reading something will increase the chances of you remembering it.
Use tools so you can go online to work, but not be distracted by unnecessary apps. Freedom blocks the internet or social media for a period. Flipd locks your apps for a period.
If you do use social media a lot, consider only following those accounts that make you genuinely happy, connected and inspired.
Get your whole office into digital detoxing like Virgin HQ, who turn off inbound and outbound e-mails for two hours daily to encourage people to get up and go for a walk, meet others and do something new.
Find a tech-free hobby. It may help reduce the urge to check your phone. Exercise, play a game, get creative through arts & crafts or make some music.
Our final tip: We all have two mental states — our brain can create, and it can consume. Often, it is doing both. Think about it — we are always either consuming (movies, texts, YouTube videos) or creating (thinking about your weekend, working on a problem, building something). Tech can help with creating, but most tech time is consuming — playing video games, watching YouTube, scrolling through Facebook feeds. That keeps your brain occupied and doesn’t leave as much capacity for it to think clearly and be creative.