It’s rare these days to be without our phones and most of us are constantly checking them.
Some days I find myself looking at screens for twelve hours, and wonder where did my day go? Electronics make it easier to connect to the world, but what are the effects of always being on?
Being connected to a device can wear on our well-being in ways that we may not even notice. We can feel disconnected and more alone due to an excessive amount of time communicating with electronics, rather than communicating face to face.
The benefits of taking a digital cleanse or 'detox' or even small steps toward one are huge. People who have taken a break from technology report a sense of feeling more closely connected to those around them.
When we’re tied to our devices, our priorities shift from spending time with our loved ones. When I start to notice I am on my device more than I am connecting with my husband, that's when I know I need to schedule a day for a digital cleanse that week. Now it's become part of my weekly routine.
I make the time to disconnect from my digital realm and connect to my partner, to nature and to my mind, body and spirit.
A digital cleanse doesn’t have to mean you cut out technology completely. You can take gentle steps toward using your devices less and listening to your body, mind and heart more.
Here are a few guidelines to create your own digital cleanse. Use as many or as few as you desire:
Ditch unnecessary electronics. This approach can apply to entire devices all the way down to the apps on your phone. Take time to be critical about which devices, websites and apps you use regularly. Even eliminating half the apps on your phone narrows down your digital clutter. It can lighten your mental load, even if you don’t stop using your phone altogether.
Schedule your social media posts. If you run an online business or just want to keep up a following, take a little extra time to schedule social media posts ahead of time. Doing this frees you up to post on social media at your leisure. There’s no need to update every page every day if you already have content scheduled. I like to schedule my posting on certain days of the week.
Journal. Take your eyes off the screen and lay the pen to the page. Give yourself a break from structuring every sentence to be perfect for your social media posts. Some free writing in a journal can ease your mind and ease your desire to tweet every thought.
Give yourself "digital breaks." You don’t have to give up your devices for a very long time if you’re not ready to do so. Schedule a small digital cleanse for an afternoon or an entire day. You could take the weekend off, or if you can’t commit to that just yet, stop at a certain time after work. For me, heading into nature is the most powerful way to digitally detox and I forget all about my devices. Over time, you may even find these breaks to be addictive!
Have you ever attempted a digital detox? How did it go? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!