What Exactly is a Digital Detox?
Let’s be honest, how much time do you spend per day on your social media accounts and phone? If you can answer this question by saying less than 1 ½ hours, you are all good. But if you really have to think hard and realize, that your time on your phone adds up to way more than this, you might want to consider putting it down for a while.
Scrolling through Instagram and Facebook while waiting for something or when you’re bored might kill time. But this time could actually be used so much better. We don’t say that you should say good-bye to your smartphone forever. However, you should really be considerate of the time you spend on it and what kind of content you look at.
The best way to get a grip is to do a digital detox. That means you step away from all your social accounts and your phone to regain consciousness over how much time you spend on them. If you want to give it a try, here are a few ways to get started:
1. Delete all the apps you spend too much time on
Your first step in making it work is to delete all the apps that you usually spend way too much time on, but not necessarily need. In most cases, that means all your social media apps and games you play. The goal of it is to start using your time more consciously – not only during your detox but also in the aftermath.
2. Get an app to control your screen time
Some smartphones let you track your screen-time. If you can’t find this option on your phone, you can also download an app to track it. Chances are, you might be surprised how much time you really spend with your phone. Don’t forget: If you work in an office, you also spend a tremendous time looking at your computer screen. So you should really consider cutting down and using your free time not looking at yet another screen.
Your detox doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to use your phone at all. In the end, if we want it or not, we are connected to it in our daily life. You can allow yourself to still make and take necessary phone calls, and use it for your mobile banking. But in total, try to limit the time with your smartphone to a maximum of one hour a day. This will be very hard in the beginning, but it is not impossible.
3. Set some rules
To make sure that you can limit your phone time, you need rules. Think of certain times you allow yourself to use your phone, for example during lunchtime. In any case, stop checking your phone first thing in the morning, and before you go to sleep. If you use your phone as an alarm clock then stop that immediately. Instead, use an analog alarm clock to wake you up in the morning.
Another way to stop you from using your phone in the morning and evening is to create conscious routines. Start your day slow with a cup of tea and coffee, read the newspaper, or meditate. Do whatever helps to start your day right. The same goes for your evenings: Sit down for dinner without any distractions from your phone or TV. If you live with family, a partner, or roommates take the time instead to share about your day. You can also work out, do yoga, or read a book before you go to sleep. Simply find out what works for you to wind down.