It’s safe to say the internet and social media can be a pretty addictive thing. As well as having so many incredible benefits – think about our recent lockdown and how everyone stayed connected online, dated virtually and did everything online – it also certainly has some downfalls too. I’ve spent most of my life within the past decade online, I’ve definitely fell victim to it once or twice. Which is why I think everyone needs to have a digital detox.

How To Have a Digital Detox

If it wasn’t for social media and the internet, I wouldn’t have a job. The same can be said for a lot of people who rely on the internet for their businesses. The internet has opened up a whole world of opportunity. And for that, it’ll never be considered a bad thing. BUT… and there’s always a but. Like everything, it comes with it’s negative points too.

If you’re a blogger, you’ll be familiar with the drama that can found online and within the blogging community. Even less serious things like FOMO and feeling like you’re getting addicted to your phone are all valid reasons why having a digital detox is important. So…

What is a digital detox?

A digital detox is spending a given amount of time away from anything digital. Of course you make your own rules when it comes to how you’re going to approach your digital detox. You might go cold turkey and not look at your phone, use your laptop or watch TV at ALL during your digital detox.

Or you might go a little softer and just not use social media (which is what I do). But whatever you choose and however you decide to go ahead with your digital detox, it’s important to do it for the right reasons and gain the incredible benefits from getting offline and off of social media for a while!

Why should you have a digital detox?

It helps you stay present: Whenever I have a digital detox, it really helps me be more present with my “actual” life, as opposed to my “online life”. It helps me connect and stay grounded to what is RIGHT in front of me. Not what I’m looking at through a screen.

It allows you to have a more productive day: We’ve all had those days where we have stuff to do but instead, find ourselves scrolling aimlessly through Twitter and wasting an hour of our lives. Admit it. Not having that option encourages us to have a more productive day and get those pesky jobs done that need doing.

It helps you focus on self care: Self care is best off the screen. In my humble opinion anyway. I feel like you can really get into your own mind, body and spirit and work through what you really need when you’re not influenced by forces online, like blog posts, tweets and news articles.

It’ll help you reevaluate your FOMO: This is a big one for me. I hate being offline for this very reason. I like to be active, I like to be updated, I like to be constantly “on it” (which is another problem I addressed here!) But why? What does it achieve? The internet and social media will still be there when you get back and a digital detox can really help you evaluate what’s really important and worth your energy.

Tips to help you succeed at your digital detox:

When you’re so obsessed with your phone and being online, a digital detox isn’t as easy as just switching everything off and getting on with your day. Because a lot of our days do revolve around technology in some way.

Find a system that works for you: I used to give myself completely work free, social media free, internet free days off – which just left me feeling bored and miserable every single time. I would just end up napping for hours, giving myself a headache and then not able to concentrate on anything. So I quickly realised that DOESN’T work for me! Your digital detox might look different from someone else’s and that’s okay!

Choose a day where you’re busy: It’s much easier to stay offline and off of social media if you’re busy anyway. So to make things easier for yourself, try and choose a day where you already have plans. Perhaps you’re going out for the day or you’re busy in work meetings.

Or make plans for that particular day: Or if you have no days coming up where you’re actively going to be busy all day, then make plans for yourself. Pencil in a day in your diary to have a de-clutter of your house or re-vamp your garden. Something that will encourage you to stay away from your phone.

Set screen time limits on your phone: If you have an iPhone, you can set screen time limits on all apps. This is a great option for anyone – like me – who’s like a magpie when it comes to notifications. If i see a notification… I have to read it! So I set my screen time limits so I can’t see the notifications!

Okay, so what do I do instead?

Well of course that’s entirely up to you what you do instead, it depends on your individual hobbies, goals and passions. But it’s important not to go straight to the “well, what shall I do now?” mindset when you’re having a digital detox. Because yes, there’s a LOT you can do online. But there’s also a whole world out there away from the screen too! Here are some suggestions of what you can do instead:

Things To Do When You're Having a Digital Detox

I hope this post has encouraged you to step away from the technology for a while! Do you digitally detox on a regular basis? Do you struggle with FOMO and find yourself obsessed with your phone? Let me know!

108 Comments

  1. Such an important post! I can often find myself overwhelmed if I spend too much time online, and stepping away from social media on occasions does wonders for my mental health. I like your list of things to do instead, that’s usually an area I struggle with so I found that super helpful! Thanks 🙂 x

  2. I really need to have a digital detox. It shouldn’t be difficult as I’m expending many hours outside nowadays because of the good weather. Thanks for the tips!
    fleetinggyal.blogspot.com

  3. I think this is so important. Being online all the time can be so encompassing and the detachment from reality is very real. I try to take most Saturdays offline as I find it the easiest day to do other stuff and not feel like I’m missing anything x

    Sophie

  4. I love, love, love to digital detox on a fairly regular basis! I always feel so much better after a day away from social media because it can be so toxic and annoying. Nothing like living in the moment and being super present with your environment and the different things or people you’re surrounded with!

  5. I’ve had an accidental detox of recent days and it has felt good! I depend on my blog and my phone for so much but it’s been nice to spend some time away!
    Rosie

  6. This is a great post with some really helpful tips. I’ve been trying to limit how much time I spend on my phone too. We are lucky that there are ways to schedule content and tweets etc so that we can still have a social media presents without constantly being online.

  7. This was an interesting read. For me, a digital detox is more on how I can use social media in a positive and a productive way. I find speaking to amazing friends and using Facebook to promote my blog posts are 2 productive and positive ways of using social media which I find improve my wellbeing. If I am using social media in a productive way rather than using it to scroll through my Facebook feed for an hour then I am happy. Of course, what counts as positive and productive use of social media is different for everyone. But I do think a digital detox in terms of using social media less helps realise the ways in which you can use social media in a more positive and productive way.

    Are there ways you can use social media in a positive way? Just something to think about 🙂 – thanks for a great article!!

  8. Thanks for sharing this it was what I needed to read! I completely agree that keeping busy is a great thing to do when going through a digital detox too. I’ll often sit down to watch a film or a couple of episodes of something but end up reaching for my phone after the first few minutes – the only time I don’t end up doing it is when I’m ironing or something at the same time! 😂 I’ve had a couple of days off work recently so I’ve been making an effort to sit and read a book – I find books are such a good way to have a digital detox as you have to focus on the text in front of you rather than anything else! x

    1. Totally agree! I actually love watching movies and things when I’m having a social media detox because it’s the only time I’m actually focused on the film rather than scrolling through my phone!

  9. I decided to take a break from Twitter a few weeks ago and I haven’t felt the urge to go back. You’re right about the blogging drama over there… Somewhere along the line I decided to extend my detox to all other social media platforms and I feel so much more relaxed. I never thought I would get to this point since I used to be so addicted to social media, but I definitely agree that everyone should do a digital detox!

  10. I’m actually thinking of taking one of these next weekend – the past few weeks have been insane and I’ve been consistently glued to a screen, which isn’t great. I’m thinking of maybe focusing on some creative activities to re-energise my brain!

  11. I totally agree with you about doing a digital detox. I try to do this during the weekday to avoid burnouts. I only touch my DM group chat at most. Love the alternative activities!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

  12. Excellent post! We all need a digital detox on a routine basis. When we were children, we made time for ‘daydreaming’. This might have happened almost anywhere; we would slip into a private reverie. Children play and they daydream. They learn about the world and they learn about themselves; they ‘grow’ their imaginations. As adults, we need time when our minds can rest from the world, so to speak. In these quiet moments we discover so much. It is not wasted time, but time well-spent recharging our batteries.

  13. I try to do this, to some extent, every once in a while. Like you I find limiting social media is the most effective way to do this. We really can waste so much time scrolling through endless feeds on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. It’s liberating to have a break every so often. I might try the screen limits trick!

  14. These are such a great suggestions! I personally don’t touch my phone when I use my laptop to work (for hours). If it’s not important, I won’t check or reply any single messages or notifications lol. It helps me to stay focus and productive every day 🙂

  15. Like you, I rely on my phone and laptop for my job and have done for the better part of 20 years. Switching off is hard, and never more so now I’m a blogger too (!) but a digital detox is a must. Being wholly present in front of my loved ones at the weekends is so important, for my relationships with them as well as my own peace of mind. I treasure my digital-free weekends, you’re right, it’s like a reset button. Great post, Jenny! xxx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  16. This is a really interesting and different article. I love the way you write and how honest you are. We all need this. I guess it’s time for a detox in my life now. Thank you for sharing with us.

  17. This is a great post. I find myself on social media wayyyy too much. I always find something else to do or more blogs to read. Having a break is really important, especially as the light isn’t the best for your eyes. Thank you for sharing this list, I love the checklist. It’s very cute!

    Em | http://www.loveemblog.com

  18. Tbh, I think that you are way more disciplined than I am! Sure, I stay off of social media except WP and YouTube, but I feel like you already have the discipline to accomplish big goals…. I think it’s super cool that you wrote not only one, but two eBooks! That’s so cool!

    I feel like our digital devices are designed to hook us and get us addicted to the same routines, day in, day out. I am slowly trying to break free of these routines that are not only big time wasters, but don’t really contribute much value to our lives. Everything I can do from my phone, I can do from a laptop. There are maybe 2 or 3 apps that only work on my phone but either than that, I am slowly making the switch. I am much more aware when I am working from a laptop compared to mindlessly scrolling through my phone.

  19. Great post, its definitely important to take some days every so often for a digital detox. If I’m having a day from any screen then I like to play board games or card games or go out somewhere. I don’t do it very often I have to admit, but I do have a few days here and there where I won’t go on social media or do blog things – mainly because I’ve been staring at my work laptop most days anyway so after work my brain is just too exhausted! Fab tips!

    Chloe xx

  20. Love this! This is something I really need to be better about. Especially lately. I haven’t worked in months due to covid-19, and we’re being encouraged to stay home as much as possible. So I work in my blog alot and am constantly connected. Much more so than I used to be when working (although I’ve definitely always been the obsessive notification checker). I love your tip of doing this on days you’re busy already. I’ll try it!

  21. Thank you for sharing your suggestions! Reading this, all I could think about was which day I could choose to do this. Being in nature makes me feel the most relaxed and I can’t wait to plan a day outside and not check my phone all day! X

  22. Love this post! I find it so hard to stay off social media / technology (unless I’m working or with friends / family), especially as a blogger and when there is so much going on in the world!

  23. I loved this !
    I love how you said social media detoxes are different for everyone and look different for everyone !
    I personally don’t touch my phone at all when I’m on a digital detox and only use my laptop to check for important emails.
    It’s very important to detox and give yourself time to be present and to spend some time in your real life !

  24. These are all amazing suggestions! The thing I find the hardest to do in terms of keeping away from my phone is keeping away from listening to music, I literally have to hide my phone and headphones haha 😂

  25. Love the idea of a digital detox, it’s so easy to get consumed in everything that’s going on online all the time! Your tips for having a proper digital detox are great too, so I’ll definitely be trying them out!

  26. I always try to have a digital detox once a week, which usually ends up once a month because I fail. But even if I fail I end up doing some busy work, like gardening or cleaning ^^
    You really have some great suggestions here 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  27. This is so useful! I’ve been trying to do it staying off social media but then I end up spending the day scheduling social for blog stuff so I may not have twitter open… but I have three different apps related to it instead. This is really inspiring me to actually try it properly and have some decent internet free time. Thanks for the tips on how to do it!