Last week I took a digital detox. The longest one I have done in a while. Friday morning until Monday morning. It started with a social media detox but ended up being a digital detox. No computer, no emails; I hardly looked at my phone all weekend.
I had some great takeaways and things I have changed sense. I used to think of myself as someone who isn’t addicted to my phone… I’m sorry if this offends you but we are ALL addicted to our phones. I do my best to not be one on my phone, I try not to look at my phone first thing in the morning and at night but it doesn’t mean I am not addicted. This detox was very telling and a bit scary.
Here are some tips and tricks to help your addiction, help you be more present in life and help you go through your own digital detox. If you have more tips and tricks to add to the list comment below and I will add it in.
Watch this powerful video about how we are addicted to our phones and why it is a problem
video about our addiction to phones
WHY I decided to take a digital detox
Last week I was going through some emotional things where I found myself turning towards social media looking for answers to help clear my blues. Thursday night I realized it was doing me NO GOOD!
My sadness and stress wasn’t causing me to think straight! I knew I needed to take a break.
I stopped that night and told myself “tomorrow morning announce (see my stories on my profile under Digital Detox) that you are taking a break then no more for the whole weekend!” At the time I was finishing my yoga challenge of 30 classes in 30 days so I figured I would come back Sunday night to celebrate my accomplishment and post about it making my detox almost three full days.
HOW I detoxed
I have done smaller social media detoxes in the past where I didn’t open Instagram or Facebook for a day or two. However I was still getting notifications and seeing who was liking or commenting on my posts but I would’t respond or doing anything about it. I realize now that doing that wasn’t distancing myself enough. I was still getting to dopamine hit when I saw a like and even though I wasn’t looking at what was going on with others I was still involved. This time I knew it need to be different.
I had the gut reacting Thursday night that social media had to GO!
Friday morning after I made the announcement I decided to delete the app from my phone. No notifications, no way I could accidentally see something or be tempted. Over the weekend my detox slowly turned into a digital detox instead of a social media detox. I didn’t open my computer too much the whole weekend. I didn’t look at my emails, I tried not to hold on to my phone too much at all.
My biggest TAKEAWAY
On Friday once I was home I opened my phone without really thinking and my find my thumb reaching for the blank space where the app use to be. That was a RUDE AWAKENING! It was a huge slap in the face telling me I was in the habit of opening up instagram without being present. I would open the app and start mindlessly scrolling. It was then when I knew I was addicted and how I wouldn’t have realized this if I hadn’t deleted the app. I knew I needed to make some changes!
During the weekend I really didn’t miss anything. I really enjoyed having a break. Sure I missed seeing what my friends were doing but instead I did this amazing thing… I texted and called them to check in. I know your mind is blown! Often times we see things on social media but it isn’t a true representation of what is really going on in peoples lives. I took the time to check in with family and friends during my break.
I also enjoyed not having notification on my phone all the time. I don’t have instagram sound notifications on but I do see them in my home screen. It is SO easy to get insta-stracted (when you get distracted when you pick up your phone to do something then you find yourself looking at things on instagram) when you see “things” calling you to open the app. Coming to that realization encouraged me to make some changes.
How often do you find yourself opening your phone to scroll at nothing because you are bored, killing time or you went to check the time then a notification caused you to open you phone?
WHAT I changed after re-downloading the app
After my time away and coming to some realizations I decided to make a few changes. Now that I am a week back from my break I see great improvements and I am very happy with my relationship with social media. Here are some changes I made. I have found myself looking at Instagram a lot less now and because of my changes I don’t find myself opening the app without being aware of what I am doing.
Knowing that I would once tried to open up the instagram app without thinking I put the app in a different place in my phone and I will continue to change it up so I don’t get used to it.
I no longer get notifications… anywhere. No longer in my home screen, I don’t get a “bing” when something happens and I don’t have that looming red number on the app telling me there is something I “need” to see.
When I do decided to look at the app I set a timer on my phone to limit my time.
Do you feel you are addicted to your phone? Maybe it is time to do a detox and take some space away from your phone. There are also plenty of apps or setting on your phone that will alert you when you are spending too much time on your phone or on certain apps. I would love to hear your thoughts and feeling about your relationship with your phone and social media. Comment below.