Turn it OFF
The digital detox is nothing more than taking a break from your devices. While on vacation, we are constantly connected over social media, email, and by using our devices to find the best restaurant on Yelp or the best route on maps. “Some of the changes I’ve noticed in clients after they’ve taken a digital detox are that they are more balanced and calmer in their lives due to periodically stopping the continual digital exposure throughout their day.”Try to have at least one hour before bedtime where there is no digital stimulation so you can unwind. Don’t let digital devices stay on at night next to you unless it’s mandatory.
And although others take a more hardcore approach with week-long ‘summer camps’ or designated holidays, pledging to take just one day offline while you travel means you can reap the benefits of a detox, without sacrificing the joy of staying connected to your family and friends or taking the perfect Instagram or Snapchat shot.
Some suggest that the discipline in these smaller detoxes can be hugely beneficial to your mental state, and you can implement them on a smaller scale in your everyday routine.
This video points out the daily grind, and why we could all use a break.
This concept can be difficult at first, the benefits are real. Many detoxers find a real world connectedness that enriches and enhances our lives in a way no Wi-Fi connection can.
These short-term benefits are just part of the story. Mentally, even a short break from electronics can have long-term benefits that can make you happier and more successful in every aspect of your life.
Today, in a world where the average user logs almost 2 hours per day on social media alone, this idea is somewhat terrifying. Dr. Yvonne Thomas, a psychologist and therapist based in Los Angeles, puts it simply: “You can be so preoccupied with your digital devices that it’s all too easy to inadvertently sacrifice time, relationships, sleep, focus, productivity and balance in your life. Many people are not even aware of the toll their extensive usage of digital devices costs them until they have suffered a loss or upset because of this.”.
Could this cure-all of the tech world provide more benefits to the humans using the tech than the devices themselves? Digital detox devotees think so, and they’ve started a movement that seems to grow louder and larger with every tech announcement or app update.
Not convinced? Try it for one week.
How to detox without losing your job or social life.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to detoxing. Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, believes in a ‘digital sabbath’, while Google chairman Eric Schmidt believes in scheduled ‘on’ and ‘off’ times, and commits to gadget-free meals.
When traveling and taking a vacation, every notification you receive– emails, instant messages, text messages, social media notifications– takes a moment to acknowledge, another to process and another (or a few depending on how soon that deadline really is) to forget. Suddenly the notification, even if you neglected to react or respond to it, is a significant distraction from what should be a chance to explore another culture and enjoy some time away from the screen. Multiply this by the 50+ notifications many of us will receive in a day, and you can start to get a sense of what you’re losing to your device.
Dr. Thomas has seen first-hand how deep the benefits can be. “Some of the changes I’ve noticed in clients after they’ve taken a digital detox are that they are more balanced and calmer in their lives due to periodically stopping the continual digital exposure throughout their day.
“Try to have at least one hour before bedtime where there is no digital stimulation so you can unwind. During this digital-free time period, try to connect with yourself through meditation, reflection or awareness. Don’t let digital devices stay on at night next to you unless it’s mandatory.