A digital detox is where we voluntarily disconnect from virtual communication and step away from the phone calls, texts, email, social media and other digital ‘noise’ that has become the soundtrack to our day-to-day lives. Choosing to take a break from this endless chatter gives us the opportunity to connect more fully with our own inner voice, and to be more present in the moment. When we remove external distractions and our compulsion for ‘busy-ness’ as a hiding place, coping mechanism or method of ‘zoning out’, we gift ourselves the space to focus inward.
On the Process
Cast your mind back to the moment when you handed in your mobile phone (and any other digital devices) on the first day of your Process. How did you feel in that moment? Were you relieved, a little anxious? Did you wonder what you would miss in the seven days when you couldn’t ‘check in’ with the world?
Now recall the moment when you were given those devices back, on the Friday afternoon of your Process. How did it feel to have your phone returned? What difference had it made to you on your Process week, not to have it? What would be possible in your life if you could give yourself a digital detox on a regular basis?
Using this tool Post-Process
There are various ways of incorporating a digital detox into your life.
- Unless you are expecting a scheduled or important call, keep your phone on silent and in your bag or pocket so you are less likely to be distracted by it.
- When meeting with a friend, agree to put your phones away and give each other your undivided attention.
- Encourage your family to keep mealtimes a device-free zone; instead, savour the flavours and aromas of your food, and enjoy the opportunity for a distraction-free catch-up.
- Give yourself a phone curfew – switch your phone off at a particular time each evening and leave it in another room until the morning. (You may need to buy an alarm clock for this one!)
- When you wake up, make it a your routine to give yourself a block of time before you switch on your devices. This allows you to have some protected time to yourself before the messages, demands, news and social media updates come rushing in.
- For one day each weekend, switch your phone off all day and avoid going online on any devices.