Recently I came to the realization of just how ‘connected’ I always am. My friends have teased me for years as always having a phone in my hand but it is only recently that I have noticed it myself. It’s the constant notifications and emails and tweets etc. and enough is enough.
Also, have you noticed that when you want to know something you automatically ‘Google it’ rather than trying to think of the solution? So this month I decided to do a 48 hour digital detox. I was thinking of just doing 24 hours but I thought that 48 hours would really show me exactly how addicted I was to being ‘connected’.
What my detox involved was a full 48 hours with no laptop, no ipad, no internet, no TV (or Netflix) and most importantly no phone.
Here are the steps I took pre-detox;
- Decided the days to do it – I couldn’t choose a workday as I work in an office so need to be on my PC for most of the day and that includes the internet so it had to be a weekend
- Set an out of office on my emails to cover the weekend as normally I reply on the day that I get an email
- Plugged out any device that didn’t need to be used
- Set my iphone to ‘Do not Disturb’ mode (I still wanted to be contactable in case of an emergency)
- And finally, roped my boyfriend into doing it as well – otherwise he would be putting on the TV!
What happened during the digital detox?
So the weekend turned out to be MUCH tougher than I expected in some ways and much more productive in others. What I struggled with most was the habit that I have of using my phone. When I wake up I check Facebook without even thinking and then I reach for my phone so many times throughout the day. How many times a day do you check your phone? I had not realised how often I was mindlessly just wasting time browsing different Apps, my social media accounts and even just being on Depop. Such a waste of time!!!
I was also seriously craving some screen time by lunchtime on the Saturday. Serious FOMO going on. What I also noticed is that when I went out to walk along the Prom is how many people are fully just stuck into their phones. I have not really noticed it before because my head was also in my phone. Also, I missed the camera on my phone – I am so used to seeing something pretty and just snapping it.
What was great was the amount of time that I had. And how productive I was. When you don’t waste 20 minutes here and 10 minutes there the weekend can actually feel longer. I also felt calmer. Now I cannot 100% put this down to being switched off but not constantly looking at other people’s thoughts and lives certainly makes you more focused on yourself and living more in the moment as there are not distractions.
Over the weekend, I went through my wardrobe and packed away clothes I am not wearing at the moment, sorted clothes to go to charity and also I intend to start selling some shoes and handbags on my Depop. We then also sorted out our garden shed (my least favourite job!!) as well as having every bit of washing done 🙂 And then one of the best things – I read in the evening. I mentioned this before here, but I love reading and having the ‘spare’ time to do it was great.
Would I do it again?
I don’t think that I will do it to the same extreme again but it seriously made me rethink how much time I am spending being unproductive online. I don’t watch too much TV so it was certainly the internet that I missed.
Some changes that I have made since are: (1) I have tried to stop going on Facebook as soon as I wake up (2) I now have the Do Not Disturb setting on my phone active from 21.00pm to 07.00am – so no disturbances at all during the night (3) If I open up my laptop I now have a specific reason for doing it – I am trying to not just browse online for the same of it anymore.
What are your thoughts – would you consider doing a digital detox? I am certainly glad that I did one and it was eye-opening to how much I was reaching for my phone every other minute of the day!