Why You Should Consider a Digital Detox
January 8, 2021
Social networks like Facebook or LINE are a great way to keep in touch with friends and share your favorite memories. However, a lot of people spend way too much time on their phones, which can affect their lives negatively. That is why you should consider doing a digital detox once in a while. In this article, we show you how it works.
What Exactly is a Digital Detox?
Let’s be honest, how much time do you spend per day on your social media accounts and phone? If you can answer this question by saying less than 1 ½ hours, you are all good. But if you really have to think hard and realize, that your time on your phone adds up to way more than this, you might want to consider putting it down for a while.
Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook while waiting for something or when you’re bored might kill time. But this time could actually be used so much better. We don’t say that you should say good-bye to your smartphone forever. However, you should really be considerate of the time you spend on it and what kind of content you look at.
The best way to get a grip is to do a digital detox. That means you step away from all your social accounts and your phone to regain consciousness over how much time you spend on them. If you want to give it a try, here are a few ways to get started:
1. Delete all the apps you spend too much time on
Your first step in making it work is to delete all the apps that you usually spend way too much time on, but not necessarily need. In most cases, that means all your social media apps and games you play. The goal of it is to start using your time more consciously – not only during your detox but also in the aftermath.
2. Get an app to control your screen time
Some smartphones let you track your screen-time. If you can’t find this option on your phone, you can also download an app to track it. Chances are, you might be surprised how much time you really spend with your phone. Don’t forget: If you work in an office, you also spend a tremendous time looking at your computer screen. So you should really consider cutting down and using your free time not looking at yet another screen.
Your detox doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to use your phone at all. In the end, if we want it or not, we are connected to it in our daily life. You can allow yourself to still make and take necessary phone calls, and use it for your mobile banking. But in total, try to limit the time with your smartphone to a maximum of one hour a day. This will be very hard in the beginning, but it is not impossible.
3. Set some rules
To make sure that you can limit your phone time, you need rules. Think of certain times you allow yourself to use your phone, for example during lunchtime. In any case, stop checking your phone first thing in the morning, and before you go to sleep. If you use your phone as an alarm clock then stop that immediately. Instead, use an analog alarm clock to wake you up in the morning.
Another way to stop you from using your phone in the morning and evening is to create conscious routines. Start your day slow with a cup of tea and coffee, read the newspaper, or meditate. Do whatever helps to start your day right. The same goes for your evenings: Sit down for dinner without any distractions from your phone or TV. If you live with family, a partner, or roommates take the time instead to share about your day. You can also work out, do yoga, or read a book before you go to sleep. Simply find out what works for you to wind down.
4. Create phone-free areas in your home
Further, you should think of rooms in your home, that your phone is not allowed in. The bedroom is always a good idea, but besides that, it can also be your dining room. Stop taking your phone inside these rooms. If you must, you can even hide your phone to make sure you really don’t use it at home that much.
5. Find other things to pass the time
Chances are, that you use your phone when you are waiting for something, and when you feel bored. To pass these times, try to find other activities and things you can do. If you don’t have a hobby, try to find one, like playing sports or taking a course. Start reading books to pass the time while you wait for the train, or get crafty at home.
There is probably also something you would like to do but never have enough time for. Well, now is the time, so take advantage of your detox and start doing it. In the end, life is too short to spend it scrolling. So take the power back and put your phone down.
6. Reconnect with your friends in the “real world”
A digital detox is a great way to reconnect with your friends by meeting them in real life. Instead of texting back and forth, you now have to meet up regularly to catch up. To set a date to meet, you can either call or text them. Since you should also delete your messenger apps, e.g. LINE and WhatsApp, you might have to send them a text message like in the good old days.
Making The Most of Your Digital Detox
You might ask yourself, how long your digital detox should take. We recommend you decide for yourself, however, set a certain time frame and really stick to it. Saying you do it for a month, and then you stop after only a few days, doesn’t really do a lot. Rather start by telling yourself you do it for 2 weeks. And if you feel like going longer, feel free to do so.
Anyways, you will most definitely feel the positive effects a digital detox will have for you. The first couple of days might be tough. But after a while, you will get used to it and enjoy spending less time with your phone. In the end, it will give you more freedom.
A digital detox really opens an opportunity for you to change your life positively. It can help you to refocus and to live more mindfully. If you feel like you are actually addicted to your smartphone though, you might want to consider getting professional help. Smartphones are not only bad of course, but they should never control your whole life.
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