Every so often I just want to throw my phone across the room and live an internet-free life. Then I remember that my job is on the internet and that the internet and social media are great ways to connect with people. While the internet and social media are amazing inventions and can be used for so much good, there comes a time when every person simply needs a break. I get to this point a few times a year.
Have you ever thought about doing a digital detox? or what it even is? A digital detox is simply a step back from the online world or a “detox” from it. Take a long enough break to rid yourself of the negative impacts of it so when it’s time to go back you feel refreshed and ready.
Here are a few reasons why you should do a digital detox:
- To start a new hobby or get back into an old one
- To have more time to see friends/family
- To maintain a healthy relationship with social media
- To de-stress
For myself, I knew it was time to do a digital detox when I constantly needed to be stimulated. Like taking my phone to the bathroom and spending way longer than needed in there. Or having to have some sort of video or podcast playing even for short tasks like brushing my teeth.
How to do a digital detox:
1. Determine why you’re doing a digital detox
Knowing why you’re doing something is one of the only ways to motivate yourself to actually do it. If you go into this just deciding on a whim one day to do a digital detox, you’re going to cave pretty quickly. For me, I was sick of constantly looking at a screen. Like, I was getting headaches from it. Knowing this helped me stay on track every time I got bored or wanted to scroll on social media.
2. Decide how long it’s going to last
If this is your first digital detox, maybe start with a few days or a week. Starting off big will only end up being overwhelming. Set an amount of time and then schedule it in.
3. Let others know
This isn’t always necessary but if you need to you can let the people in your life know you’re taking a break from the digital world for a while. You can even ask for their help to stay on track. This especially helps if you’re living with someone who can help keep you accountable.
4. Do other things
Now is the time to do things you don’t normally get to do when you’re scrolling for hours on end. Get outside, paint a picture, read a book, bake or learn a new hobby! Now is your guaranteed distraction-free time to do something not digitally related!
5. Ease back into it
When it’s time for your digital detox to end you may feel tempted to just dive right back in and catch up on all the things you’ve missed. But I would encourage you to ease back into it. Try just a few minutes at a time and work your way back into the digital world. Having done the digital detox in the first place, the goal isn’t to return to your usual patterns of excess use anyway.
I hope this little guide helps you learn how to do a digital detox successfully! I promise you’ll notice the benefits like better sleep, reduced stress and a healthier relationship with the web in no time.
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