Are digital detoxes the latest trend?
The first thing most people do when they wake up is check their mobile phones for emails and notifications. Then, whilst eating breakfast, some might browse the news or their social media feeds. At work, we usually use our computers and phones all day. Even during lunch breaks, phones are kept handy in case someone needs you or there’s something you want to take a picture of (#lunch).
After work in the evening, you might go to the gym and listen to music or watch Netflix on your phone. If you stay at home, you might watch something on your laptop, tablet or phone. Most of these experiences are incredibly common, if you feel as though they’re familiar to you, you might want to consider spending less time in front of your screens.
The average user touches their mobile phones about 2,617 times a day on average. That’s quite often, don’t you think? We know from experience that being in constant physical contact with your mobile phone can have a negative effect on your health.
Trying a digital detox every once in a while might help you understand how much time you dedicate to using your phone throughout the day. It might help you make conscious decisions in terms of the ways in which you could spend that time differently.
We want to make it easier for you, so here are some tips and examples that will help you take a break from your beloved phone!
Watch this TED Talk:
Meet more people in real life.
Have a meal with your family or friends. Turn off your smartphone first, though!
Here’s a cautionary story (and a film recommendation):
There are a lot of digital detox methods you can implement.
- Don’t multitask all the time, enjoy living in the moment.
- Read a physical book or magazine in situations where you’d usually read something on your phone.
- Find mutual support, this is very important. Relationships with people who use their phones all the time can be very difficult to navigate when you’re trying to use yours less.
- Try not to take photos of every part of your day, maintain some privacy.
- Use a paper calendar or a notebook and make checklists, it can be as just as useful as reminders on your phone. Try to memorize as much information as you can.
- Work out without music and without any sports apps (such as Endomondo or Nike+ Running). You’ll see that it’s as joyful and beneficial as ‘sport with technology’.
- Leave your phone at home and recognize how being without it makes you feel.
- Hobbies such as playing an instrument (even if you’re using your phone for the notes) and some form of craft or sport can be an interesting way of occupying hands that are usually kept busy by phones.
- Look around yourself! You might discover something that you didn’t notice before.
- Turn on aeroplane mode even when you’re not on a plane! It’s very useful, it helps you focus on your work, the people around you and yourself.
A digital detox can be quite a challenge nowadays. For some of you (yes you, workaholics …) it probably seems almost impossible. Still, try to spend a few hours without your smartphone after work and during the weekend, you’ll see how pleasurable it can be!
Maybe you’re even ready for a digital detox holiday? What about two weeks without any technology? Think about it! Perhaps the phantom limb syndrome, this false feeling that your phone is vibrating in your pocket, will disappear and your mobile phone will stop feeling like a part of your body.
In our other articles ‘The Top 5 Destinations for a Digital Detox‘, ‘72 Hours Offline: A Digital Detox Experience‘ and ‘30 Offline Hobbies to Try Outdoors‘ we go into more detail about digital detoxes, time management and sports that don’t require the use of technology!
Is there anything you’d like to add, have we missed anything? If you’re interested in sharing your experiences with us or writing a guest post for us, send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org!
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