A couple of weeks of spending long days online and working hard have prompted me to embark on this year’s digital detox. The last one I did was in November 2020 and focused on the Data Detox Kit.
Since I tried out the kit, there has been a new addition, HOW MANY TREES DOES IT TAKE TO POWER THE INTERNET? which definitely looks worth checking out.
In 2018 my digital detox focused on my digital shadow, and I learnt a lot through the process.
This time, I am going to focus on an approach for wellbeing for my physical rather than my digital self.
The first two tasks are:
Monday: Switch push notifications off
Tuesday: Unsubscribe from mailing lists, chat groups, facebook groups etc
I found both of these useful reminders to check in with what I am actually doing v what I think I am doing. For example, I think I have all notifications switched off, but a few new apps have sneaked in.
Similarly, a number of apps for projects, conferences, a particular friend etc have started to appear and once they are on my phone, I use them. So I deleted all work-related ones.
I don’t have work emails on my phone and I already refresh manually, so Wednesday’s task is easy. Checking my emails late in the day is less easy. Similarly, I think I rarely use my phone at the dinner table, but actually leaving it in the hallway is a reminder that even here picking it up to check something can sneak in. So Thursday is all about leaving the phone in a different room during mealtimes.
I find that hard during breakfast.
The next task, for Friday, is to switch off all devices 90 min before bedtime. It’s been interesting for me to reflect how I do use my devices before bed, particularly as I am a big fan of listening to audio books as I fall asleep. One suggestion I found useful is to enable airplane mode instead of switching the phone off all together.
Pausing (work) emails until Monday morning is another suggestion I might be trying out – although I rarely check work emails at the weekend anyway.
Social Media free weekend
The task for the weekend is to start building in 1 hour periods during which you are without a device and then to expand those to eventually include a whole day. One bit of the advice that chimed with me was to enjoy moments and not post them on social media.
I have done that a lot over the past two years, first prompted by a lot of personal upheaval during a time of divorce, moving house and then lockdown, but also for holidays. I probably still take pictures as I love doing that, but not post them.