My digital detox in a wired world

What’s my definition of a digital detox? To me it means no screen time.

Screens include my computers, laptop, smart phone and televisions. I happened to grow up before the video game craze so that one’s not on my list.

Studies show that much of society today is addicted to digital. I could very well be included in that group!

I’ve experimented with withdrawing from use of electronics for a day in the past; I decided to make it a once a week, permanent habit early this year.

Why bother?

Once time passes, it’s gone forever.

Much of my work is done either on my laptop or smartphone and unplugging means I’m removing the call of that never-ending task list!

I’ve found that setting aside one day a week to pull back from the day to day stream of life is healthy for my mind body and soul.

Here’s a list of “Signs You Might Need a Digital Detox” I’ve borrowed from Verywell Mind:

  • You feel anxious or stressed out if you can’t find your phone
  • You feel compelled to check your phone every few minutes
  • You feel depressed, anxious, or angry after spending time on social media
  • You are preoccupied with the like, comment, or reshare counts on your social posts
  • You’re afraid that you’ll miss something if you don’t keep checking your device
  • You often find yourself staying up late or getting up early to play on your phone
  • You have trouble concentrating on one thing without having to check your phone

Is a once a week detox easy?

After several months I’m still not used to it.

I’ve found it easier to put my phone and laptop in a drawer (out of sight, out of mind).

I will confess that I sometimes try and live my digital life vicariously through my wife nudging, “Why don’t you google that, dear?” or “What does your weather app say about tomorrow?” 

She is on to me though… I often must resort to calling environment Canada on our old land line to pick-up the forecast!

Some positive outcomes

There’s more time to spend with family.

I’ll often pick up the phone and call an old friend that I haven’t spoken to in a long time.

My time spent reading has increased. I have found that just having occasion to sit back, relax and reflect offers a fresh perspective on different areas of life.

Although I still find this once a week practice of disconnecting a challenge, the contribution to my overall well being outweighs that perceived sacrifice.

Electronic fasts force you to connect with others and connect with yourself.

Posted by Barry Stuart


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