Why It's Okay to Take a Digital Detox | See Girl Work

Why It’s Okay to Take a Digital Detox

woman on phone with laptop

A digital detox can help you reset your brain so that you’re not relying too much on your digital devices and social media to plan your life.

I think it’s safe to say that we all probably know we have a problem when it comes to being online all the time and constantly being on social media.

I knew my problem was somewhat serious when I realized just how thick the dust had collected on the stack of unread books on my night stand.

As a blogger I know how important it is to read and expand my literary consumption. But could I ever just stop pinning for a second, put down the phone and open up the pages of my book?

But as a blogger, I also know that a huge part of my job is about being online, being hyper-connected, adapting to new technologies and being “on” around the clock.

But even for non-bloggers, social media in particular has totally consumed our lives. It has altered the way we speak, think and interact with each other.

If you find yourself feeling frustrated with how consumed you are with technology on a daily basis, the best thing to do might be to do a digital detox.

A digital detox can help you reset your brain so that you’re not relying too much on your digital devices and social media to plan your life.

Below are three ways you can incorporate a digital detox in your daily life in order to achieve better work life balance.

65% of Americans agree that taking a “digital detox” is important for their mental health. Click To Tweet
1. Turn Off Push Notifications

An article in Shape Magazine recommends turning off your phone’s push notifications for social media including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, news sites, dating apps—anything that sends an alert when someone contacts you or likes a post.

I’ve turned off push notifications for just about everything—except LinkedIn. But I definitely have them off for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

If a friend or family member has an emergency, they’ll call you. There’s no comment, like or post that you have to rush respond to as if it’s a time-sensitive emergency.

Push notifications to me are pointless and only keeps us more glued to our devices that we have to be. Try turning yours off for a week and see what happens.

2. Schedule Your Offline Time

Electronic calendars can be very helpful for keeping us on track with our business and productivity.  Just as you’d schedule your social media for the week, use the same mindset to schedule the time you’ll be unavailable online.

I’ve recently started doing this for my weekends. Knowing in advance that I’m only going to allow myself to be online until a certain time, makes me much more productive and it manages my clients expectations in terms of how late they can reach me.

It’s important that we guard our time jealously. Our offline time is just as important as the time we spend online.

3. Forget FOMO!

In a world where news breaks every 30 seconds, it’s the fear of missing out that keep the phone glued to our hands during the hours that we’re awake. It’s the FOMO that also keep the phone neatly tucked by our ear on the night stand as we sleep.

Fast Company reports that in the American Psychological Association (APA) findings, 65% of Americans agree that periodically “unplugging” or taking a “digital detox” is important for their mental health. But only 28% of them report actually doing so.

Instead of checking your phone every two seconds, try setting up intervals throughout the day where you can check in with your top social media channels and email.

For example, I’m trying to get into a work day rhythm of checking my social media comments (only my comments and not my feeds—note the difference) every 2-3 hours.

Right before I start working, midway through the morning, around lunch time, mid afternoon, once in the evening and once at night. The evenings I can also check my feeds.

It may sound like it’s still too much or perhaps like it’s not enough at all, but that’s realistic for me in my work and for my blog.

The Bottom Line

Being constantly online is an expectation from bosses and clients, and if you’re a blogger, add subscribers and followers to the list.

But our devices can be taxing on our physical and emotional well-being. The bright screens can prevent a good nights sleep and constant social media use is linked to depression.

Though tech has drastically improved many things (coffee maker on a morning timer, anyone?) it can also have a detrimental effect if you’re relying on it too much.

Avoid techo-anxiety by being more thoughtful about how to use your time. Don’t think of a taking a digital detox as self-deprivation, consider it part of your weekly renewal, mental wellness and a way to gain back a sense of refresh and reset.

 

Image via Kaboompics

 

Alethea Robinson

Founder & Blogger-in-Chief, See Girl Work

Alethea Robinson is a freelance marketing & content writer who provides content strategy, blogging, and writing & editing services for creative agencies and small to medium-sized businesses. In addition to her freelance business, Alethea is also founder and blogger-in-chief at See Girl Work, an online community for creative, entrepreneurial-minded women. Before starting her blog and freelance business, Alethea worked in marketing and communications for over 15 years.

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