Digital Detox – 4 Steps To Switching Off
by Genevieve Morton
We are all guilty of over-indulging our screen time. The average person reportedly checks their mobile phone 150 times a day and 68% sleep with their devices next to their beds.
According to mobilecoach.com, we also read our texts straight away – 90% are read within three minutes of receiving them.
While our gadgets have made our lives easier and better in many ways, technology has a way of taking over the dinner table – and our relationships. Your mobile can now make you indefinitely ‘busy’ but is all the ‘busy’ robbing you of time better spent?
A digital detox is simply about fasting from your technology. It’s a period of time spent not engaging with your devices. If January is the perfect time for you to switch off, here’s how to do it.
1 Put your digital safety net in place
Before you officially go off-line, let your family, friends and colleagues know you’re taking a break from technology. Set up an out-of-office away message for emails with a return-to-work date. If you need to post on social media for your business during your tech-break, create an automatic posting schedule so you can set and forget. Let people know you won’t be checking your mobile or responding to texts during the day.
2 Create tech-free zones
More than half the population use their mobile phones as alarm clocks or at least sleep with their devices next to their beds. If late night scrolling and notifications are robbing you of sleep, buy a regular alarm clock and keep your mobile in another room. Create spaces that are strictly tech-free around your house such as the dinner table, the kitchen bench and bedrooms. Pile family devices – mobiles, iPads and laptops in a large box, put the lid on and try leaving it alone for extended periods of time.
3 Stop the buzzing
The average person reportedly spends 135 minutes a day on social media. Studies show we’re increasingly addicted to social media but we’re also simply responding to the notifications that pop up on screen. Turn off notifications from not only social media apps but anything that gives you an alert message when someone likes your post or sends you a message. If you’re wasting time on Facebook simply because the app is on your mobile and at your fingertips – delete it. Check Facebook (and other social platforms) on your laptop instead – and set a time for it.
4 Cut the appeal
Finally, go retro. Switching your mobile to ‘greyscale’ and draining the colour from your screen will take most of the fun out of Instagram and Snapchat. Make your mobile less appealing – and your real-life relationships will thank you for it. ■
Follow Genevieve @genevieve.writes (before you take your tech-break!)