Digital Detox Experience

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Digital Detox Experience
As with most people my age, I am pretty much obsessed *some may say addicted* to social media and generally just being online and it is a by product of the progress and commercialisation of technology which I don't think is a bad thing but it has lead to a nation of social media junkies, of which I am definitely one. Also as I am a blogger and freelance writer, I spend even more of my time online and on social media because of I have to...and because I want to.

Last week, I took part in a digital detox whereby each day there was a new challenge and the aim is to reduce the time spent online and to live in the real world rather than a world of likes, page views, hits and general over stimulation. I have mentioned in a previous post about how at night, I am always on my phone, iPad or iPod which has definitely been affecting my sleep pattern and quality of sleep because my brain always needs to be connected and scrolling, constantly scrolling.

So I embarked on this digital detox with a lot of trepidation and like a parent leaving their child at school for the first time, I didn't know what to expect, I didn't know if I could deal with it and I didn't know what I would do with my time. Would the internet miss me? What would I miss if I didn't check social media or my emails every half an hour? Would my blog views drop if I'm not constantly online? The latter did happen but overall it's been a enlightening and positive experience, even though it was very difficult!

I was kindly sent a few products to help with the digital detox including:
  • Newgate Covent Alarm Clock 
  • Colouring Pencils
  • Secret Garden Adult Colouring Book
  • Notebooks
  • How To Connect With Nature By Trisan Gooley

Day One: Turn off your phone alarm and turn on your alarm clock
This wasn't a difficult first step as I don't use my phone alarm anyway, my body just always wakes up at the right time pretty much everyday - I have no idea why, maybe I'm a freak of nature! Also the Newgate alarm clock was a much nicer alarm clock compared to my cheap one from Ikea; it also fits in my with minimal, natural toned bedroom really well - I love the design! The alarm noise is quite loud and it was a bit of a shock, thats for sure but I have been able to stick to this task. You have to stick to each goal everyday for the whole week of the detox.

Day Two: Leave your phone/digital devices outside your bedroom when you go to sleep
I have to admit this is the challenge that I was dreading the most and I knew it would be the hardest for me to stick to and in all honesty I did cheat once because I'm just used to using my phone/iPad before I sleep - it's a habit for me and it definitely does negatively affect my sleep which I mentioned in my Wake Up Ready post. Not using my phone, iPad or iPod before I go to sleep was so difficult and I did struggle with it especially the first night as I was thinking about how much I wanted to scroll through social media *especially Pinterest which I'm obsessed with recently* or how much I wanted to watch videos on Youtube or read through my blog. As I said I did cheat once, on the third day but overall I think I've done quite well and I find that I am getting to sleep quicker compared to when I use my digital devices before I go to sleep.

Day Three: Eat all of your meals in a different room to your digital devices
Assuming TV doesn't count then this one was very easy as I don't usually eat with my phone, iPod or iPad next to me most of the time anyway - unless there is a blogger chat on twitter and I've poorly timed my dinner! If TV does count then I've completely failed at this challenge!

Day Four: Remove email from your phone
I didn't remove it as then I'd have to remember all of my passwords again (as I have three email accounts) which is just a hassle so I added it to a folder on my iPhone and disabled notifications. This was quite difficult as usually throughout the day, whether I'm blogging, taking photos, baking, cleaning etc, I'm usually checking my emails *and social media* at least once every half and hour - unless I'm at a friends house, shopping or reading. As a blogger I do need to check my emails fairly often throughout the day as I am very lucky to get a lot of amazing opportunities with regards to my blog and I always want to reply as soon as I can. As with the challenge from Day Two, I did cheat a little bit but only for a few blog emails, oops! *hides under the desk*

Day Five: Leave your phone at home when you go out for the evening or for a walk 
The aim of this challenge was to be without my phone for a minimum of three hours and although I didn't go for a walk *it's damn freezing in Manchester and I didn't want spend the next few days thawing out*, I did spend most of the day away from my phone as we finished off redecorating my office. I painted, used an electric sander *and accidentally inhaled most of the dust, I probably shouldn't be allowed to use one again* and spray painted pretty much every a copper colour. When I have physical jobs like that to do then I really don't miss being away from my phone because I'm so preoccupied - I need to do this more often, although not the sanding part...that didn't go too well and my lungs won't thank me for it either.

Day Six: Remove all social media apps from your phone 
Again, I didn't do this because I don't remember half of the passwords, so I added them to the folder with my emails and disabled notifications. The temptation to check social media and my email is so strong, I didn't think it would be quite as difficult as it has been. Although I have to admit that disabling notifications really helped, it made me stop checking my phone every five minutes so I think I will definitely disable most of my social media notifications from now on, but not twitter, I love twitter too much to do that!

Day Seven: Spend the day with loved ones without the distraction of your phone
After the whole week of slowly weaning myself from social media, emails and my phone in general, this last day wasn't as horrendous as I thought it would be in the beginning. Sure, I did still want to check social media, my blog and my emails but it wasn't that difficult. After an awful driving practice in which I cried for about an hour, I watched the six nations match *are rugby games called games or matches? You can tell I know everything about the sports* with my dad and set to work on my colouring book which has to be the prettiest colouring book ever!

Overall, it has been a difficult process and I did cheat a few times but on the whole I have done so much better than I thought I would - to be honest, I didn't think I'd get past day two! While I did miss social media, my emails and the internet in general, I didn't realise until now just how much of my time it consumed - without the internet for most of the days, I found myself with so much time on my hands and the days seemed so much longer. I won't be sticking to most of these challenges in the future but what I will be taking away from this experience is that disabling notifications from my phone is amazing and it stops me from checking my phone constantly, having a day without the internet is sometimes a very, very good thing and not having my digital devices near me before bed can help, to some extent, with my sleep quality. For the latter point, I will be keeping my phone, iPod and iPad in the office a couple of nights a week and who knows, it might be a permanent daily task.

For more information on digital detoxes, retreats and facts, definitely check out the Time To Log Off website.

Have you ever taken part in a digital detox? Are you a social media addict like me? Could you be without your phone for a whole day? 


20 comments

  1. As I was reading this, I became more and more interested in the digital detox! I should do this too.

    http://modaodaradosti.blogspot.ba/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should try it out, even just for a few days x

      Delete
  2. I make sure I stay away from all blogging related accounts like twitter and blogger on weekends. Instagram though is my problem and I see myself scrolling down the feed until right before i go to sleep. My sleeping is definitely messed up!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is such a good idea, I would definitely say I'm obseesed with social media and often find myself refreshing a feed over and over again waiting for something new to appear. I think I will take a leaf out of your book and try this! xx

    Charlotte | Just Charlotte

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm the same but this detox week did help xx

      Delete
  4. I sometimes put my phone in the other room and it's then I can see how attached I am. I keep reaching for it but it's not there. It's not even as if I want to do something specific on it, it's just a habit to reach and scroll aimlessly!
    Amy at Amy & More

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds like a really interesting process, and something I definitely need to participate in! I'm not too bad with Ada still being a baby, but as she gets older I don't want to spend so long on my phone that she gets interested in it and becomes a tech addict too!

    Catherine | Hey, Mama

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was, I think it could be beneficial even just for a few days x

      Delete
  6. I love this post! A digital detox is definitely needed, I think you did well, regardless of cheating a few times - it can't be helped really can it?? x

    Abi | abistreetx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can't especially when I'm so used to checking my phone/emails/social media constantly x

      Delete
  7. This is such a great idea! I've never heard of it, but I'm going to give it a try. I think it sounds really beneficial!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ahh I got the email for this too and would've absolutely loved to have done it but obviously with my job, being off of email doesn't quite work ha. I do absolutely love these steps, they sound so simple but are actually really blimmin tough for us phone addicts. The last step is actually something I try to do quite often, family time is the best time!

    Elle
    www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last step I think is one of the easiest actually as a day out or family time would mean that you wouldn't want to be on your phone all of the time anyway xx

      Delete
  9. This is such a great/creative post! I have never come across something like this before. It is such a brilliant idea though, keeping your phone away from you can make you feel so relaxed and proper chilled out! <3

    The Dazzle Guide

    ReplyDelete
  10. This sounds like such a beneficial but difficult idea! Reading through the list of challenges, I'm not sure I could do it but I'd love to give it a go. It sounds like you did really well with it. It's tough disconnecting from digital devices when you're in the blogging industry so well done!

    Angi www.twodifferentworlds.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is such an interesting idea. Not sure I could do it as I use my devices to get info for my kids, their school etc, but it sounds ideal for vacation time.

    Angie | Chocolate & Lipstick | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this idea, we all definitely need to spend less time glued to our technology that's for sure X
    Love Vicki | victoriajanex

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to leave me a comment, I read all of them!

If you would like to contact me with a question or PR information email me at: heathernixon4@gmail.com