Too much tech can be bad for you! A digital detox refers to a period of time when a person refrains from using tech devices such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and social media sites. “Detoxing” from digital devices is often seen as a way to focus on real-life social interactions without distractions.
With unlimited access to smartphones, laptops, and tablets we are often plugged in. It is important to do a digital detox from time to time.
Here are some tips to help you do a digital detox.
- Remove distractions
Those distractions could be family, friends, health, and work. That means no alerts, beeps, buzzes, or notifications of any kind, perhaps with the exception of voicemails for emergencies. By instituting these practices and removing distractions, we focus on what really matters and make better use of our time.
- Don’t glamorize busyness
It seems silly how proud we are of being busy. Explanations like, “I’m so busy!” are really just our attempts to avoid making hard choices about how we live our lives. Staying busy is easier than taking time to pursue what would really make us happy. Worse yet, the Internet makes it so easy to be “busy” indefinitely. So be careful not to glamorize busyness. By doing so, you can start to think more clearly about how you are choosing to spend your time.
- Always ask “why” when you pull out your phone
Sure, our smartphones are handy tools for finding out answers, keeping in touch with friends, or even checking the time. But often, more often than we think, we use our phones to distract, to avoid, or to ignore whatever is happening right in front of us.
Instead of pushing down our anxiety —perhaps when we’re sitting alone or just feeling alone with a group of people—we can choose not to use our phones as a security blanket. Then we remember how to be present and grateful for the moment.
- Try using the rule of thirds
Divide your life into thirds—8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, and 8 hours free. Working more does not actually make us more productive. Working smart and keeping time free allows our minds to wander in ways that make the hours we do work more effective. So if you let your smartphone be your work ball-and-chain, you’re not doing yourself any favors when it comes to productivity.
- Periodically, fast from electronics
Yes, literally fast. Try spend an entire week—during seasons like once in the spring and once in the fall—with no electronic devices. Although it might seem a little scary at first, an electronics fast forces you to connect with others and with yourself, which turns out to be a pretty amazing experience.
Relax! Release! Relate more to people and happy digital detoxing!