Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Digital Detox

What is a digital detox? I am sure you must have heard this term floating around, but to clear up any confusion. . . A digital detox is a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and PCs. A digital detox is regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress and focus on face-to-face interaction (thanks Google). 

So think about it, when did you last fall off the digital planet? The immediacy of the digital world is slightly addicting, I don't just use my smartphone for updating social media or stalking celebrities. I rely on my iPhone to organise my life. I use it as a watch, a music player, an organiser, a timetable, a planner as well as a communicative device and a source of entertainment. It is like a miniature laptop. 

I don't think it is necessary for everyone to have a digital detox, but it can be liberating to switch your phone off or pop it away in your room while you go and do something fun and adventurous. Sometimes, we are so focused on taking pictures of experiences and showing them to the world ("pics or it didn't happen!") that we forget to enjoy the experience itself. Your eyes take the best photographs. 

One way to free yourself from the digital world without the inconvenience is simply turning your phone onto airplane mode. This means you can't send or receive calls or text messages, you have no data, your phone is operating like it is airborne. You can still tell the time, you can still read and you can still listen to your music. This is also a great way of conserving your battery. You don't need to be on Instagram and Twitter constantly. 

Just a few months ago I went weeks without a phone or a laptop and it was strange, but eye-opening. I hadn't realised how often I would spend those free minutes casually scrolling through various feeds. When you think about it that is so much wasted time. For a while, when we first moved into this house we didn't have wifi. This forced me to fill up the hours with something other than reruns of Gossip Girl and The West Wing. I went out, enjoyed the sunshine and explored the area we live in. I borrowed books from my housemate to read, which were actually really brilliant.

My point is social media should be a small part of your life. Of course now it could be your actual occupation to post multiple times daily on social media and that is fine. If you feel like you could do with a vacation from constantly being online, just pop your phone away for a couple of hours, go meet a friend for cocktails or watch a movie. Here are some tips to help you maintain a balance:
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1. Airplane mode is your best friend. Use it wisely. 

2. If you're posting a new Facebook status every day, or worse multiple times a day. You need to stop. Chances are, unless you lead the most interesting life ever, that you're annoying the crap out of everyone.

3. Twitter is the one social media site that has no limits, if you tweet a thousand times a day. It doesn't matter.

4. You don't need to be on every social media site available, if you don't "get" Twitter, you don't need it. Just because your friends are on something it doesn't mean you have to be to. You only have so much time in a day and you want to spend it on things you enjoy.

5. Don't let your gadgets distract from waking life, enjoy all your experiences as much as you can. Live in the moment, don't worry about capturing it all on camera. It's nice to have snapshots of a great vacation, there is nothing wrong with taking a quick photo and then spending the rest of the time enjoying the physical location.

6. If photos are something you feel strongly about, making memories and the like, take a photo but wait until you're at home with nothing to do to edit or tweak pictures and upload them to your preferred platform.

7. Similarly, don't take your phone out during meals or social gatherings (yes take a photo of your food, I am always guilty of this). Always put your phone away and interact with the people surrounding you, there is nothing worse than talking to someone and feeling like you don't have their full attention. I have done this, and I also think it is really rude. I promise not to do it again.

8. Things you  can do when you're not online: read, explore, be spontaneous, exercise, go for a run, or take a yoga class, check out a gym or go swimming. Cook a nice meal and share it with the people you live with, go watch a show, some live music or to a comedy club. Take advantage of what is around you, if there's a park near your home go read a book by a lake, or try drawing the fountain. 
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Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in the comments how you feel about digital detoxing and the digital age in general? Do you think smartphones are a good thing, or is it encouraging laziness? I am sincerely interested in your opinions so please leave them below. Don't forget to follow and enjoy the rest of your evening. 

Love ♥


1 comment

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