Sometimes we feel like we’re becoming lost in the world of technology and social media, and the only solution is to have a digital detox. It’s certainly not easy in this day and age, but with the right mindset and a little determination you will no longer feel lost without your phone in your hands, but instead, truly live in the moment and make the most of your life.
1. Turn off notifications
If you’re not willing to disconnect completely straight away, you can at least switch off all alerts and notifications in your Settings. This way, you will no longer automatically reach for your phone when it rings or beeps, but check it more periodically when you have the time. You’re also more likely to be productive because you’re not constantly being distracted by someone having updated their status on Facebook. Yes, a digital detox really can be this simple.
2. Make use of ‘Screen Time’
If you have an iPhone, you might have noticed that there is a fairly new section in your Settings called ‘Screen Time’. When you click on this, it tells you just how much time you have spent on your phone that day, as well as giving you the option to schedule time away from the screen or even set time limits for your apps. If you’re used to spending three hours plus just on Instagram alone, perhaps start allowing yourself, say, half an hour to have a scroll each day. This might seem completely crazy, but you’ll definitely feel a lot better for it, and it doesn’t even require any effort on your behalf.
3. Spend more time with the people you love
This might seem like a cliche thing to say, but you’re missing out on quality time with your friends and family if you’re constantly sat on your phone. If you are the sort of person who starts feeling isolated without frequent communication with your friends, why not just organise to meet up with them instead? Make a point of putting your phone out of sight and completely focusing on the company that you hold. It’s a lot more fun to actually go to the cinema or for a meal rather than just talking about it, and you might even find that you don’t think about technology for a while.
4. Add it to your calendar
This one might sound a little silly, because why would you physically add something like a digital detox to your calendar? However, you never know, it might actually be the way forward for you. Physically scheduling time out from all your devices, for example not allowing yourself on them each Sunday, will also help you prepare for your detox mentally. You can allow yourself to go on them as much as you like the rest of the week, but you may surprise yourself and actually look forward to your tech-free Sundays. It’s a great way of truly treating your Sundays like the day of rest it should be.
5. Swap your phone for a good book
Reading is a much better habit to have than scrolling through social media. It’s a well-known fact that reading helps us to relax, and you’re less likely to feel isolated or lonely because you’ll be so wrapped up in the story and the characters’ lives. Ideally, you could read for half an hour before you go to bed and half an hour when you get up – this way, you will stop wasting time scrolling through meaningless tweets and memes, but start actually nurturing your mind. You’ll most likely feel a lot more content and refreshed with your new routine.
While it certainly may take time to get used to a digital detox, it’s not an impossible task. Have you ever had a digital detox? How did you manage it? Let us know in the comments below!
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I'm a University of Birmingham Undergraduate studying English and Creative Writing. I love music (I'm especially partial to a bit of Ed Sheeran), reading ('The Lovely Bones' is genius) and, obviously, writing! I hope you enjoy reading my articles.