We are a tech savvy generation. With a wealth of information at our fingertips, our world is open to new and exciting experiences. We love connecting with like-minded people on the internet and creating a digital community across multiple social media channels. The buzz of notifications and updates makes us feel part of something.
This is all good and well, but how genuine are our interactions with people on social media? Are we consumed by social media angst, constantly worrying about how many likes we get; or followers we have on Instagram or Twitter? These are important questions to ask. Before we fall down the social media rabbit hole, we must know that it’s okay to take a healthy break from our digital devices every now and then (they are not going anywhere).
Yes, the thought of cutting ties with the digital world is scary and we have the nagging worry that we will miss out on something (FOMO is a real thing!). Where do we even begin to digitally detox? (Disconnecting from our devices is easier said than done, right?!) We need to start somewhere, so here are a few suggestions that can get us detoxing from our digital devices.
2 daily habits to practice
We must be reasonable with ourselves. Detoxing cold-turkey is no easy feat. Here are two strategies to cut back on our digital habits.
- Daily digital dose: setting aside a specific time period to do all our social media updates, networking and browsing.
- Daily digital break: cutting back on the amount of time spent on our digital devices. We can start with 10 minute breaks and gradually extend our offline periods until we feel we don’t need to be online (we have better things to do).
Fight digital with digital
It may seem counterintuitive, but there are some great apps out there to help us manage your digital cravings. Flipd (download Android; iOS) helps us “find the joy of missing out’ and kick our digital temptations to the curb. We can also block our social media apps using Offtime (download Android; iOS), or “Find Your Phone Life Balance” with Space (download Android, iOS); and actually do something productive with our lives. Turning your phone onto airplane mode can work wonders to resist the seductive allure of social media.
Invest in an Alarm Clock
Our phones are essentially our favourite cuddle buddies. We take them to bed with us, alive with constant streams of notifications and messages. And most importantly, they are our wake-up call, so that we can groggily stumble out of our beds every morning and won’t be (too) late for work. Switching to a good old-fashioned alarm clock (which seemed to have worked in the past) means we won’t be tempted to stay glued to our screens, while we should be getting a good night’s rest.
Spark some creativity in your life
Digital platforms tend to stifle our creativity and productivity. However, if we take the time to express ourselves through art, writing and music, we will less likely feel the need to communicate our feelings and thoughts on social media platforms. Here are a bunch of ways to get those creative juices flowing:
- Admire aspiring local talent at art galleries and exhibitions;
- Check out Betty Edwards book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and try her drawing exercises to open up your creativity gateway;
- Paint a pretty picture;
- Write down your thoughts in a journal;
- Read a good book (there is something so magical about physically turning the pages of a book and getting lost in in the story);
- Make a playlist of your favourite tunes
How to be less dependant on your digital devices
Here are a bunch of activities to replace our digital dependence and curb the need to be digitally socialising:
- Jam to viby music at your local band nights.
- Exercise is all we need to get those feel-good endorphins’’ flowing. It doesn’t even need to be anything too intense, a leisurely walk and a simple yoga routine will also do the trick.
- An awareness for the beauty of the world around us will decrease your need for digital stimuli.
- Simply being in the presence of nature is a great way to unwind and unravel your cluttered thoughts, often caused by social media (Luckily for us there are great hiking trails right on our doorstep).
- Retail therapy is a thing.
- Organise a strictly ‘no-phone’ girls night, where you can have a fat gossip sessions over homemade cocktails and pizza.
- Treat yourself to wine and tapas, or even visit the new Camelot Spa Val de Vie. You do not need your phones to enjoy the luxury of pure indulgence.
- Embrace the inner-kid. It’s okay to have fun and be silly every now and then (you don’t need to worry about what other people may think).
When you go out with friends, instead of merely documenting the experience on social media, simply enjoy the moment of being together with a cool bunch of people, let the banter flow and take time to engage in proper conversation.
What are your digital detox experiences? I’d love to here. Feel free to drop a comment below.