Is your phone degrading your life? Why I took my eyes off my phone and looked around me.

I recently did 5 days of no social media screentime. I had no idea going in what type of effect it would have me. I had been doing 1 day offline a week for about a decade now, although my consistency with that had fallen off recently. I took 5 days offline at the beginning of this year to give me a reset and to make my time online more intentional. 

Have you ever thought about taking a technology sabbath or doing a digital detox?

Last years digital trends showed that we spent a ton of time online- 6 hours for average Americans. I also know that loneliness and anxiety are increasing in the Western world. See stats below: 1 2 3

Before I took my 5 days off, I realized that I was starting to feel an overall sense of dependence on my phone and computer, and it didn’t feel healthy. I felt like I was frequently not finding times for necessary things, like cooking dinner, reading more books with my kids, straightening up the house, or making plans with friends. I noticed without even checking in on the task/app time tracker on my phone that I was spending hours of time sucked into the online world. 

I recorded 2 YouTube videos sharing what are some of the best reasons to do a digital detox AND tips for how to make it happen successfully.

Here’s a list of the big reasons why to do one in case you’d rather read than watch.

Potential Benefits of doing a Digital Detox:

Studies show that you can expect these 

  • Better sleep
  • Better mental health,
  • Decreased feelings of not being enough (from comparing myself to others)
  • Increased happiness,
  • Better relationships with others. 

Anecdotal experience shows that you will gain this from a digital detox:

  • Better ability to determine how social media is serving you
  • More time outside
  • More clarity
  • Less money spent on online products
  • More mindfulness
  • More laughter and fun with friends & family

What will make your break from being online more successful?

First, I think you need to start with an amount of time that is doable, but that also feels like a stretch. You might choose 1 day, 3 days, 7 days or 30. Set yourself up to complete your time and let it be enough time that it actually feels like a break.

Identify your big Why. Why are you taking a break and what are you hoping to gain from it? Are you trying to be more intentional with your time or have more interesting experiences in your off-line life?

What will you spend the ‘vacuum’ of time doing? Its a good idea to have a plan for what you will do when you would typically pick up your phone and scroll. What are you planning to spend your attention and your time doing.

Set up your phone to maximize your success. Turn your phone to the Grayscale option. Turn off notifications and alerts. 

Brainstorm what is social media “Giving” you as a benefit. How can you create those feelings IRL (you know in your offline life?). What can you plan to do that will evoke the same feelings in you? You might choose to walk outside, play a game, read a book, write/create

I’d love to know how your time off-line goes. Share a comment below or on one of my YouTube videos. 

Lots of love to you!

Rachel

If you’d like to connect to talk more about your digital detox or want to do a free discovery call to talk about your desires for a more intentional, more joyful life, let’s connect. You can email me at rachel (@) soulpioneer.com or sign up for a Discovery call here!

 

1. Anxiety in the West: Is it on the rise? 
2. Millennials And The Loneliness Epidemic
3. Facts and Statistics about Anxiety and Depression in America.

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