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.
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: