Are you done with the all the bad news this year? Are you ready to stop being emotionally charged by American politics? Are you done with the roller coaster ride that is 2020? I know I am.
This year has been hard, everything feels like a crisis sometimes and if you are like me, you can’t seem to look away (from our screens mostly). Nor can you remain impartial. It just isn’t in your DNA. We are hardwired to pay attention to bad news as a means of survival. We have to know where the threat is.
Also, in this day and age of physical and social distancing we have come to rely on our screens not only a way of keeping up to date on the news of the world, but also as a lifeline and a means of connecting with our friends, family and colleagues. This has had immeasurable benefit no doubt, but there is a serious downside to being permanently plugged in.
Passively soaking up every distressing detail of what is happening around the world is not not good for us. Scrolling past everyone’s lives that are seemingly better than yours, or reading everyone’s personal opinion on politics or pandemics definitely isn’t either.
It kind of makes my brain (and my soul) hurt.
I do believe we need to stay informed and educated and not knowing what’s happening in the world at all is not a socially responsible option, but what if we don’t have to know everything absolutely immediately?
Answer me this, is it possible to regulate the way you consume the news and stay in touch with people without missing out on the things that matter?
(And maybe you already do this… If you do, good for you, this weeks blog is not for you.)
If what I have said above resonates with you. Or if you experience any of these five signs, according to Becoming Minimalist I invite you to join me on a 7 Day Digital Detox.
5 Signs You Need a Digital Detox
1. You spend more time than intended.
2. You feel guilt/dissatisfaction afterwards.
3. You are motivated by a fear of missing out.
4. You experience urges to check.
5. You never have enough time in your day
What is a Digital Detox?
I get that our phones and computers are a lifeline for most of us and so a digital detox can be whatever you want/need it to be and can take many forms. You might want to try giving up all digital devices for a time, including television, mobile phones, and social media. In other cases, you might want to focus on restricting your use of just one type of digital device such as your phone or iPad/tablet.
Some ideas that you might consider trying:
- A digital fast: Try giving up all digital devices for a short period of time, such as a period of time in a day, a whole day or up to a week
- Recurrent digital abstinence: Pick one day of the week to go device-free or certain periods of each day.
- A specific detox: If one app, site, game, or digital tool is taking up too much of your time, focus on restricting your use of that problematic item
- A social media detox: Focus on restricting or even completely eliminating your social media use for a specific period of time
For me, my challenge is the constant flood of information that I feel compelled to check on regularly basis and so I am going to do a digital fast, picking periods of the day to be device free.
I am going to call it my 3,2,1 DIGITAL DETOX.
3) No social media, or news within 3 hours of bed time.
2) Only check social media, personal emails or news 2 times per day for up to 30 minutes at a time.
1) No social media or news for at least 1 hour after rising.
This means, no constant checking of news updates, no scrolling through social media randomly while I am waiting in line ups, no news scrolling on the screen at work (sorry everyone who likes this…only rainbow and butterfly shows this coming week!)…to assist with this I have turned off all notifications so I am not distracted and tempted unnecessarily.
Doing a digital detox can be uncomfortable and stressful at times. You might feel annoyed, anxious, and even bored without your mobile phone and other devices. While it may be hard, it can be a rewarding experience that will help you better understand your relationship with your devices and be more present and mindful in your other activities and experiences.
So, are you going to join me on my 7 Day Digital Detox?