Wednesday night I was asked to speak at the FGI Dallas Fall Forum on the Influencer Panel. During the discussion, the topic of “Digital Detox” came up.
I’ve always felt very passionate about finding a work/life balance that works for you, but I also think it’s important for content creators, influencers and bloggers to know that it’s ok to unplug. In a world where we’re all obsessed with sharing on social media and being on our phones snapping everything, I think it’s so important to take time for breaks. You might think this sounds a little crazy coming from someone whose career is made through social media and a website, and believe me, it’s hard for me too! But there’s something to be said for putting my phone down and being present with friends and family.
You’ve probably seen the phrase “digital detox” before. It’s become a pretty popular form of self-care and even a trend. For me, I try to take one day a week off from being on social media. But as I’ve thought about digital detoxes more and more, I think a real “detox” would be more like a minimum of three or four days. Sounds kind of scary, right? I think so! Which is why I wanted to put this post together. Taking time away from the online world shouldn’t feel intimidating. So if you’re as interested and curious as me in doing an approachable and realistic digital detox for more than an afternoon, here are some ideas on how to make it happen.
Center your detox around a vacation or celebration
I know vacations and exciting times are usually when we feel like sharing even more than usual, so this will take a conscious effort. I think this is the best time for a digital detox, though, because you’re guaranteed some time away from your computer and all the tasks of daily life. Focus on being present and really engaging in conversations during this time. Usually, whenever I put my phone away for just a day, I honestly forget all about it. Stretching it out for an entire vacation sounds like a challenge, but so worth it!
Turn off notifications
One of the reasons I get trapped staring at my phone sometimes is because notifications are coming in left and right. I’ve learned over the years it’s a lot easier to step away when I’m not receiving notifications from all my apps and email, so make this one of the first things you do. You can simply go to each app and turn them off, but I find that switching the phone to Airplane Mode is easiest.
Think about how you’ll spend your downtime
Having downtime while on a digital detox can be high risk. When you’re bored or between activities is when you’re going to want to grab your phone and see what’s been happening on social media. I think the key to following through with your detox here is having a plan for how you’re going to spend this time. Come armed with books you’re excited to read and non-tech hobbies (painting your nails counts!). I also recommend keeping your phone out of sight and on silent so you’re not tempted.
Designate tech-free time and spaces
Because you might have to make a phone call here or there or check your email during your detox, keep things realistic by allowing this time for yourself but setting up some ground rules. For example, say that from when you wake up to lunch time is tech-free. And if you’re on vacation, the pool area or the beach is a phone-free zone. Adding this kind of structure makes a detox feel much more approachable in my opinion.
Set yourself up for less screentime post-detox
To avoid going right back to being glued to your phone/social media after your detox, download a few apps that can help you better manage your time. Apps like Moment and Freedom let your set up time limits for certain websites and even block them if you want to take things a step further. You can also now set up time limits from within the settings on your phone to help avoid being on certain apps (ahem, Instagram).
I hope these ideas help you get you started on a realistic, but effective digital detox! I feel really passionately about this topic and think we all need to take more time away from being online. It’s good to take this time for yourself to be with loved ones and to just reset! If you’ve taken a digital detox and have more tips to add, please share them with the TTD community in the comments!
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