Do you ever feel like the digital world has taken over your entire life? You’re not alone. The pressure to keep up with all of our friends and their picture perfect, filtered online lives can drive anyone insane. Sometimes all we want to do is unplug ourselves from all the chaos, and relax for a while. Going on a digital detox may sound impossible, but with a little effort, anything is possible. Read on to find out what can help you succeed in unplugging from the digital world.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Before you go in cold turkey – remember, just like any major lifestyle change, long-term success is best achieved in small steps. Depriving yourself completely from all the fun may make you give up on your purpose very soon. Allow yourself to stay online or watch TV for a certain amount of time every day, and try to decrease that time over weeks.
2. Avoid Screens Before Bed
Ever wondered why you’re unable to get a full nights rest, and always wake up feeling tired? It’s because of your addiction to technology. Be it cell phones, tablets, or computers, they have become a huge part of our daily lives, so much so that we just can’t put them down—even at bedtime. The blue light emitted from digital screens restrain the production of melatonin – the hormone that controls your sleep cycle. To kick-start your digital detox mission, distract yourself from all gadgets a few hours before going to bed.
3. Go For Black And White
It’s not really the apps and games on your phone that attract you — the dynamic colours and animations of smart devices are the real culprits. But did you know most smartphones and devices have a greyscale setting which can make them less attractive? This simple hack can make it easier for you to resist feeling the urge to look at your phone screen every few minutes.
4. No TV In The Bedroom
Bedrooms are a place for rest and are supposed to calm your mind. But with a TV in the bedroom, you will sleep less, and find it more difficult to disconnect. Move it to your living room and try to keep other devices away as well. When you return to your room at night, it should be devoid of electronics and only a room where you unwind.
5. Opt For Non-Digital Alternatives
Smart devices, especially phones, have replaced all our tangible activities such as reading newspapers, books, or playing sports and games. But these options are still available – if we’re willing to consider them. To distract yourself from the digital world, remind yourself of activities like these – you will be surprised to know a smartphone is not the only exciting thing you can spend your time on.
6. Turn Off Social Media Notifications
Disconnecting yourself completely from the world of social media is not easy, but one small step can bring you closer to your goal. Even if you try to stop checking every post on Facebook or Instagram – a notification will always manage to convince you. Start by turning off the post notifications and you’ll be less likely to feel compelled to check your phone. In fact, you’ll forget there’s any reason to.
7. Make This A Group Mission
Good habits are easier to form when the people around you do them as well! And trust us, you’re not the only one overstimulated by the digital world. Try to find a friend who can join you on your mission of being on a digital detox. This will make you feel less alone, and will also motivate you to reach your goals. It could be a fun group experiment!
8. Check Emails Once A Day
Is it important to check an email as soon as you receive it? Not necessarily! Instead of refreshing your inbox every minute, take out one hour every day to check all your emails together. Handling all your emails at once will consume less of your time, and help you focus on other essential tasks.
9. Use Social Media Blocking Apps
Ironically, there are some apps that can help you avoid social media. Apps and browser extensions such as ‘Flipd’ prevent you from checking social media sites during blocks of time that you specify. But these are only useful if you have some control over yourself because they’re also easy to disable. The apps can help, but the motivation and persistence need to come from within!
10. Tell People About Your Digital Detox
One major reason you aren’t able to disconnect from the digital world is because of the people around you — being tagged in clickbait posts and getting multiple texts from your group chats all contribute to your sense of #fomo. Tell your friends about your digital detox, and they will (hopefully) stop messaging you unnecessarily or tagging you in posts. The absence of these makes it way easier to stay off social media.