Written by Stephanie Koathes

Unplugged: How to do a digital detox

Our lives are lived on social media, our phones, on the computer and dominated by buzzing, pinging, ringing and flashing notification lights.

It’s scarily easy to waste away hours scrolling through Facebook statuses, and silly videos on Instagram. According to an article published in the UK Telegraph, some estimates show that we spend the equivalent of three weeks every year on social media and checking emails.

Maybe it’s time to take a digital detox. A digital detox is disconnecting from technology for a certain period in order to reconnect with other parts of life and to break the cycle of dependency.

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Here are some tips to help you start and successfully carry out a digital detox.

  • Turn off your phone’s push notifications for apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest, dating apps, etc.
  • Establish a maximum daily time allowance for your devices. By restricting the time you spend on your devices you’re encouraged to focus on the ‘real world’ and to enjoy social interactions in person.
  • Ease yourself into the idea of digitally detoxing. Set aside small tech-free times during the day be it at the gym, your lunch break, or when you’re at the supermarket. Slowly weaning yourself from technology during certain parts of your day, will make your detox easier.

No mobile phones sign over white

  • Choose one technology habit to change at a time. Choose one technology habit to change at a time, for example don’t bring your phone to the dinner table or try not to scroll through Instagram before bed. Make sure that you stick to it for at least a week.
  • Give yourself a curfew. Choose a cut off time at night after which you’re not allowed to look at any screens (TV included!).
  • Get comfortable leaving your phone in another room or in airplane mode as you do activities or tasks. Just a few hours away from your phone and the constant desire to check it can help break the cycle.
  • Plan a full detox. Pick a realistic time to switch your phone off for at least 24 hours. Weekends and holidays are great times to try a digital detox. Make a note of it on your calendar to ensure you remember. Also, let people know what you’re doing to avoid unwanted panic and miscommunication.

Sources: The UK Telegraph, Healthline, Forbes, Shape






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