11 Jul #SummerUnplugged Digital Detox Challenge 2019
At Time To Log Off, we love digital detox challenges that get you all practising putting down your phones. We’ve run quite a few over the years; the Phone Free Food campaign, our popular Log Off For Love Valentine’s Day challenge and our regular 30-day Digital Detox challenge. But summer school holidays have now come around again, so we’re welcoming back our family Summer Unplugged challenge!
What is the Summer Unplugged digital detox challenge?
It might be a bit challenging in the winter when days are short and the weather is dismal outside, but Summer is the perfect season to start a digital detox adventure. Longer, sunny (we hope), days and balmy evenings will give us all the excuse to step away from our devices more.
And summer holidays are all about spending time with our families and friends, what better time to re-connect with our loved ones and focus on building stronger connections? Summer Unplugged is all about putting down the phone and reconnecting with those right in front of you – your family. And this is not just for kids, more and more young people tell us that it’s their parents who are struggling to put their phones down – so this is for all of you.
How to get involved with 2019’s Summer Unplugged challenge
Print out our print Summer Unplugged challenge poster – stick it on the fridge or on a noticeboard at home – and follow the ten steps to a summer spent unplugged. Don’t forget to let us know how you’re finding the challenge by using the #SummerUnplugged hashtag online, too.
1. Eat: only eat phone free food – no phones at the meal-table
We hope you’re already doing this. But just in case you’re not, or it’s slipped a bit over a busy school term, set a specific intention around phones and food and ban phones whenever you’re eating. It’s a great way to practice mindful eating too, without your screens to distract you.
2. Explore: Have a whole day out without your phones
This one is definitely a challenge! Don’t try this when you’re going out to a place you’ve never been before and hope to be able to cope with navigating without GPS or maps. Incorporate this in a day out to somewhere you all know well. Agree you’ll all leave your phones behind and set out to enjoy the day screen-free. Ready, set, go!
3. Sleep: Buy alarm clocks for the whole family, banish phones from the bedroom
It’s our top tip – and for a good reason. Screens in bedrooms interfere with our sleep in a major way. For the summer holidays buy some retro alarm clocks for the whole family and banish phones from the bedroom when you’re sleeping. Cut down on that middle-of-the-night screen scrolling.
4. Off: Make use of airplane mode to give yourself a break
We love airplane mode and we use it whenever we can. Just toggle the switch to ‘on’ and go about your day as normal. You’d be amazed how much more you can get down without notifications to interrupt you. And your phone is still there to use when you need it.
5. #Goals: Each set a personal unplugging goal and share it
We all use our phones in very different ways which means there may be very different things we want to get out of a summer digital detox challenge. Someone may want to log-off work email every night, another may want to cut down on Instagram scrolling. Come up with your personal goals and share them.
6. Delete: Get social media (and work email) off your phones for your holiday
If you can’t resist checking specific apps on your phone even over the weekends or late at night then they are bound to interfere with your holiday. Decide to delete any particularly tricky apps, the ones that seem to call to you to check your phone, just over the period of your holiday. You’ll find it’ll really help cut down on mindless screen scrolling. And you might just enjoy your holiday more!
7. Go Green (and blue): get outside and connect with nature, and the ocean
Wonderful things happen to us when we get out in nature, our blood pressure reduces, our pulse slows, just two hours a week in a green space has been proven to make us healthier and happier. And being by the sea is even better. They don’t call it Vitamin Sea for nothing. So make a plan to get outside in green and blue spaces as much as possible during your Summer Unplugged challenge.
8. Play: bring out the board games, and the bats and the balls
Screens do have a way of making us quite sedentary. We sit down with them, usually indoors, and we’re not very active. Make a list of all the games you could play off screens and work your way through them this summer.
9. Baby Steps: start with small steps, try 30 minutes off screens and build up from there
A digital detox doesn’t have to be for a week, weekend or even a full day. Just start small with a limited period of time off screens and build up during the time of the challenge. How about setting a target for the end of the summer that you’ll work up to? A while Sunday off screens could be a good thing to aim for.
10. Support: have each other’s backs in being off screens more, don’t nag!
Everyone is going to find some aspects of this challenge tricky at times. So be each other’s cheerleaders and coaches and support each other in doing it. Tackle this challenge as a team, not a series of individuals and you’ll absolutely ace it.
Print out our print Summer Unplugged challenge and follow the ten steps to a summer spent unplugged. Don’t forget to let us know how you’re finding the challenge by using the #SummerUnplugged hashtag online (as long as you’re online only occasionally!) so we can see how you’re all getting on.
* Stop Staring At Screen: a digital detox for the whole family by Tanya Goodin (ILEX, £9.99) is out now.