Wednesday, 22 March 2017

4 reasons to embrace the digital detox


If you're anything like me, when you're finally conscious enough to to turn off the snooze on your morning alarm, you'll spy a little red notification symbol on one of your apps and fall down a social media black hole. You scroll through reams of tweets and Instagram photos, and before you know it it's twenty minutes later and you're gonna be late for work. It's a struggle not to check the likes and on your latest posts as you go about your day, and come evening you fall into a comatose state on the sofa watching cat videos and makeup tutorials on YouTube. If this is the story for you most days, it might be time for a digital detox.

The term itself sounds a bit faddy, and it's a trend that seems to have been created by the very influencers who depend on our technology addiction to make a living, so I have to admit I was a sceptic at first. But I've been paying more and more attention to just how much time I spend consuming digital media, and it's worrying. I've tried to keep count of how many times I check my phone throughout the day and I can't. I have to put my phone and iPad in another room or zip them away in my handbag in order to resist the compulsion to use them. And that just doesn't seem healthy.

So for me, a digital detox is all about breaking these habits and curbing my phone/social media addiction. The anxiety I feel after a day of not checking on the Snapchat stories of those I follow closely just seems wrong. Like many, I use my devices as a form of escapism. Tired? Have a scroll. Bored? Watch a video. Stressed? Read a Buzzfeed article or two. It helps me avoid dealing with the day-to-day crap I'd rather not deal with, but it sucks the life out of me too.

The more I use social media the more addicted I become, but it also makes me jealous of others, negative about my own life not living up to the glamour of others, and sucks up a hell of a lot of my time. That's why I'm ready to embrace the digital detox. The idea is pretty much what it says on the tin. You switch of your notifications (or just turn your devices off altogether), abandon your emails and take a set period of time away from all the online crap in your life.

It's pretty sad that so many of us feel the need to do this, but I'm all for a bit of a change in the digital department having grown a bit too attached to my tech over the last couple of years. How many of us have found it hard to put our phones away for a family meal or seen people walking into things because they can't put their phones down?

Here's why I think the digital detox is a great concept.

You can be alone with your thoughts

Quiet time is good for us, yet we've grown so uncomfortable with it! When my brain isn't being bombarded with white noise and pinging sounds, I can actually get an accurate gauge of what's going on inside my head and be in the moment a little bit more.

You can read actual paper

Given that I've got a literature degree you'd think I'd always have my nose in a book, but since graduating my reading material is more 140 characters than 50 chapters. It's a huge shame that so many of us are in this habit, so if I'm taking time away from electronic screens I'll definitely be indulging in a spot of reading, whether it's with a new book or an actual magazine *gasps*. It's better for your sleep too!

Less time scrolling, more time doing

It goes without saying that if you added up the time you spend each day on your phone over the course of a year the result would be shocking, but think of all the things you can do instead! You could read, learn a crafty skill like calligraphy or jewellery making, play board games with family or head to the pub with friends. And you'll probably enjoy the experience a whole lot more if you're fully present rather than thinking about checking Facebook.

Focus on real interactions

That leads nicely on to my final point. I can't tell you the amount of times I've been in a social situation and suddenly realised absolutely everyone is on their phones. Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just sit at home doing this? What was the point in spending time together? I also regularly get told off for scrolling by the boyfriend when I'm supposed to be watching a film or chilling out with him. If we all made more of an effort to put our devices away we'd remember that real human interaction is far better than commenting on someones Instagram or posting a Snap.

Have you thought about doing a digital detox? Do you think they're necessary?












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2 comments

  1. I LOOOOOVE reading actual paper magazines, I find them so relaxing and luxurious.

    I do have a 'No TV No Phone' night once a week with my husband where we play games, or just chat and drink wine. Its quite lovely

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  2. thanks for sharing.for more information : see more

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