Simple Steps for Digital Detoxing
We've all heard how great detoxing can be for your body, but have you ever heard how a "digital detox” can change your life? Detoxing is everywhere, but you can apply this health craze to other parts of your life, and reap benefits other than physical health. A digital detox is exactly what it sounds like, removing digital technology from your life for a short period of time and instead relying on other sources. We’ve become so reliant on unnecessary technology, it really puts things in perspective to take a break!
If this thought seems too scary (which for many, it may be!) you can take small steps to reduce the amount of time you use digital devices.
1. Designate one hour a day as your browsing time.
Whether it’s to peruse social media, catch up on some blogs, or what have you, internet browsing takes up most of the time on our digital devices, no matter your age. Figure out a stretch of time when you can catch up on whatever it is you don’t want to miss. Maybe the best time for you is when you get home and want to unwind after work, or maybe when you first get up in the morning and need something to scour as you eat breakfast. But this designated hour is the ONLY hour you can be browsing your feed. That also doesn't mean you need to spend the full hour refreshing your feed, but make sure to limit yourself to no more than an hour or else you won't see a difference.
2. Do it the old-fashioned way.
Instead of using an e-book, use a physical book. Instead of Pinterest-ing recipes, use a cookbook. Get your news from a, you guessed it… newspaper (or magazine)! Exposing yourself to less blue light (emitted from digital screens) can do wonders for your health, including helping you sleep better at night.
3. Get moving!
For anyone that's tried to run and scroll through their feed at the same time, you know it's difficult. If you feel tempted to play around on your phone just because, try to perform activities that make it difficult for you to do so. Go for a run or a hike, go see a movie or a play, and not only will you be unable to pull out your device, you won't feel the need to because you’ve found another task to occupy your mind.
4. Be social, without the media.
Instead of texting your friends because you have something to fill them in on, make plans to get together and spend some time face-to-face. You'll feel closer, and better yet, you can find other things to talk about that don't have to do with a post you saw on Instagram today. Face-to-face conversation sparks more discussion than texting, so you’ll actually end up getting a lot more out of the conversation.
5. Find a different outlet for the same purpose.
If you find yourself missing social media because of the self expression you feel from it, you can try a different form. Instead of tweeting, try journaling. Instead of Instagramming, try making a piece of art (it doesn't have to be great!). You'll ultimately be left with the same sense of expression, just with a different audience: yourself! In the end, we place too much on others’ perception instead of valuing our own. We might find our enjoyment of something comes from others acknowledging we did it, but the truth is, we should learn to enjoy these things for ourselves instead of needing an audience!
- Shannon Kaszuba