27 Oct How easy is it to do a digital detox?
Smart devices have clearly become an essential part of people’s work and social lives. Here at Time to Log Off, we appreciate the importance of being online, but we are determined to promote the value of having a healthy balance between your life online and your life offline. After all, taking time away from digital has proven to be a major benefit to mental health. But in this ultra-connected world, just how easy is a digital detox?
Routine makes it hard
The day starts. Your phone’s alarm clock goes off. You scroll through your emails at breakfast, check Twitter on the way to work, get to the office and spend all day online. You check your Instagram on the way home, spend the evening constantly referring to your phone or laptop, before going to sleep. Repeat cycle. This routine (or something similar) has become standard for millions of people across the UK. You can even get online on the tube, with WIFI now installed on the majority of Underground stations throughout London. But just because it is now considered ‘normal’ to spend so much time online, this doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem. With so many people glued to their smart phones, tablets and all other things digital, actually going digital-free is much harder than just saying it.
Work makes it hard
One of the main difficulties with taking part in a digital detox is the fact that we rely so heavily on the online world as part of work. Many people fear that they will get behind on their work as a result of going offline and are reluctant to take a long digital detox break, like a retreat. But there are ways around this. In regard to your work life online, the most important thing is that when you are taking a break from work – in the evening, at the weekend or on holiday – you avoid checking those emails. Set yourself a target that by a certain time you will put down your phone or laptop and stop thinking about work. The more you can keep work at work, the happier you were feel, and the easier a digital detox will be.
Friends and family make it hard
What will undoubtedly make your digital detox much harder is if your friends and family are still constantly using their phones. You can’t stop what they do in their own time, but if you are all out together and you spot someone on their phone, don’t be afraid to tell them off! One of our biggest pet peeves at Time To Log Off is people having their phone out whilst eating, so look out for this too. If your friends and family are onboard with the digital detox, or are at least aware of what you are trying to do, it will make your time away from digital much easier. Without this, a digital detox is admittedly not an easy thing.
So just how easy is a digital detox?
Well, going completely offline all technologies is undoubtedly very, very hard. But a digital detox doesn’t have to mean this. Instead, it can mean using an actual alarm clock instead of your phone, or reading a book on the way home from work, rather than scrolling through Twitter. In other words, small detoxes throughout the day are much easier to achieve, rather than one complete digital-cull. Essentially, a digital detox can be whatever you want it to be. If you can highlight what it is in your own life that you are excessively using, then great. If you can’t do this, then try detoxing different parts of your technological life and see what works for you.