Digital detox has become such a buzzword lately. So many social media influencers have been taking a digital detox and I started wondering if I should take one too. So I did. Here’s what I learned:
What is a digital detox?
A digital detox is basically when you don’t go on any social media or really engage with technology at all. It’s a pull away from your phone, laptop and tvs. For some it’s for a day, for others its a week the length really depends on you and what you feel is necessary. For me the first one was for a couple of hours and I know that doesn’t sound major but have you ever truly been so unplugged for more than 3 hours at a time?
Chances are no.
Why take a digital detox?
A lot of influencers take them when they’re on vacation to connect with their present life. But a large majority also take them to reduce any stress or when their mental health is at a low. For those who struggle with anxiety a digital detox might work to curb a lot of it.
Technology is also known to be a sleep killer and attention shortener. So for those who struggle with focusing or getting to bed easily a detox might be a step towards rebooting your brain and really taking some needed time off of the screen.
As a blogger and Youtuber being on a laptop or phone is pretty much a requirement to grow and engage with my followers or subscribers. However when I find myself deep into the comparison game or just feel a bit frazzled and burnt out I’ll take myself out on a date and make sure not to touch my phone.
It’s easy to get caught up in the constantly moving digital world and to want to be a part of it. But that doesn’t mean it’s beneficial to our overall health
- Better sleep
- Reduces stress levels
- Aids in focus
- Aids in memory retention
- Keeps you present
- Allows for deeper and meaningful conversations
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce Depressive Symptons
I’m not going to claim that a digital detox will cure you of your anxiety or depression. But it can reduce or minimize certain symptoms.
What was my experience?
Instagram is probably my biggest vice. I love scrolling on it and probably look like a creeper whenever I like someone’s photo they literally posted 30 seconds ago. Not checking it is actually a lot harder than I realized. On top of that my FB messenger is usually going off 25/8. I went on a hike as my first kind of slice into not having my phone near me. It was only about 2 hours but in that two hour time span I felt a weight come off of my shoulders. I was really present in the moment and the truth is that it was because I had to be. I had nothing to distract me. I definitely kept reaching over for my phone every couple of minutes or so but soon that lessened and I was able to be fully present and peaceful.
The next time I decided to not touch my phone was actually this weekend. I went to the Museum of Natural History with a friend and kept my phone on airplane mode. I didn’t text or check social media at all from the time I got on my train until about 8 at night ( except when I was trying to find my friend). It was totally freeing to just explore exhibits and not feel my phone vibrate around me and compelled to look. There’s a huge pressure we don’t realize is on us until we unplug and feel this weight come off of our shoulders. We weren’t made to constantly look at screens and have everything at our fingertips. Its an amazing advantage with some pretty serious pitfalls, particularly when it comes to our face to face interactions.
Something that I’ve tried to be really intentional with is getting off of my phone about 30 minutes before bed. I don’t sleep with it near me and I want to become better at 0 screen time before sleep to see if it helps me fall asleep quicker. But I will say that that break from my phone really does ready my mind for the rest ahead and implementing that if you have trouble falling asleep might help you in some way.
All in all a digital detox can only serve as a positive rather than a negative. I dare you to give it a shot whether its a few hours or a whole day or even week off of social media and let me know how you feel! My next bite is a whole 2 days with no social media to see how that feels!
Until next time