We live in a time where ‘the digital world’ is part of us. We can be contacted 24/7. We go to bed with smartphones next to us, we check our emails first thing when we wake up. We tweet about the shows we watch, we post the pictures of the places we travel to, or the food we eat.
The latest Digital 2019 report from Hootsuite and We Are Social, shows we’re spending on average 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day.
Another study by Ofcom revealed that most people in the UK are dependent on their digital devices, and are checking their smartphone every 12 minutes. One in five people spend more than 40 hours a week online. These statistics sound absolutely bonkers to me.
There’s just so much ‘digital’ in everyday life that the boundaries are becoming less and less visible.
I like being able to unplug from digital word whenever I want to. It doesn’t come easy (which is a scary thought!) but more and more I find myself making a conscious effort about how much of my day I spent looking at a screen. And that is anything with a screen; laptop, phone, TV.
I have started watching Mad Men again and caught myself wishing I lived in the 1960s a lot – simply because the ‘digital world’ didn’t exist then. They seemed to have so much quality time in their lives without being glued to their phones. Don Draper disappeared for 3 weeks when he was supposed to turn up for a client meeting – and no one could reach him or track his location. It would simply be impossible these days!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m hugely grateful to technology and how it has improved our lives, especially in the last 2 decades. But the more I think about it, the more I think that it’s a bit like ‘all that drinking and smoking you observe in Mad Men’ – it’s become a part of your life, you can’t get rid of it, but you should be able to control it – otherwise it will control you.
We need to prioritize living our lives over watching our screens obsessively.
Here are 3 simple ways that usually help me with the digital detox process.
These are great ways to help you get started with unplugging from online:
Investing in rest – is crucial for your mental and physical well-being. Most smartphones now have extra features enabling you set your own limits of screen-use, as well as manage your sleep. You can keep your phone in another room whilst your sleep, use your ‘night shift’ mode or keep it facing down so the light doesn’t wake you up – all these can help you get better, quality sleep.
So often we’re caught up in other people’s lives. Intentionally or not – having me time is so important in the digital detox process. Everyone’s ‘me time’ is different. Whether it’s spending hours in a beauty salon, having a long walk, cooking or baking – make sure you get a good amount of your me-time this weekend.
Call up a friend you haven’t seen a while and organize a coffee – catch up. Have a meaningful conversation with your partner. Disconnect from online so you can connect offline – have quality time, meaningful conversations with the people around you. Spend a little time unplugged from the digital world so you can reconnect with the world right here, right now.
Do you like unplugging from digital world? How do you do it? Leave your tips below.