How much time do you spend in front of your computer, your phone, your television, etc.? Is it most of the time that you’re awake? Do you look at your phone immediately when waking and right before you close your eyes at night? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you probably need a technology detox. What exactly is a technology detox? It is really a fancy term for a break from technology to re-evaluate your relationship to your devices. Here’s how to start your technology detox:
- Determine your why. Why do you want to “detox” from social media and technology? Do you want more time to do other hobbies? Do your eyes and your body just need a break from staring at screens? Are your relationships suffering? Write down why you want to take a break from technology to help you actually go through with the detox.
- Go through your email inbox. How many emails do you just trash daily? Try a website like unroll.me that helps you to see what emails you are subscribed to and unsubscribe easily. You can also roll all of your newsletters into one email to clean up your inbox.
- Go through your social media friend lists. How do you feel when you look at social media? If you regularly feel crappier when you scroll through your feeds, take a look at who you follow or are friends with. Unfollow those who you no longer want to see or have been taking a toll on your mental health.
- Clean up your apps and DVR. Much like going through your social media friend lists, go through your phone apps and DVR. Delete apps and shows that you no longer watch or want to avoid.
- Start turning off your phone an hour before bed and don’t turn it on for an hour after waking. If you need to be available for emergencies, try putting alerts for only the people who need to reach you in a case of emergency. This can help you establish morning and night routines that don’t involve a screen. This can help your physical and mental health by de-stressing you, help you sleep better and put you in a better mood. Anyone read emails first thing in the morning and it ruins their day? Yep, me too.
- When you’re ready for the full detox, pick a day or weekend where you’ll avoid your phone and other screens altogether. This works well if you go camping or plan an activity where it won’t be too hard to leave your phone off. Tell people that you are avoiding your phone and social media so they know they won’t be able to reach you. Notice how you feel after your detox is over. At first, it may feel like the worst thing in the world, but after you may want to continue your detox!
Do you regularly do technology detoxes? What is your relationship to technology like? Share with us!