It’s no surprise that many of us are experiencing digital overload during the pandemic, and caring for our “digital well-being” has become a common theme. Social media, online shopping, making reservations, and even necessary chores like paying bills mean that technology has permeated every aspect of our lives.
Whether you’re studying at home or working from home, our cell phones have never been far from our favour. We’ve also adopted video communication technology to stay in touch with friends and loved ones, whether they live locally or thousands of miles away.
To be honest, it can be very hard to imagine how we could just decide to cut it. And the constant pressure to always stay available — and respond promptly — can be overwhelming.
But with Christmas just around the corner, you might be planning to take a break from work and maybe even go on vacation. So why not take a chance to take a break from technology and try out a digital detox? In our new work, we’ve looked at different ways to reduce technology use on holidays. This is what we discovered.
1. Lock it away The most effective way to get the most out of the experience is to lock your phone, laptop, and tablets away. Of course, you have the option to turn on Do Not Disturb mode, or selectively turn off notifications in some apps.
However, it’s absolutely important to turn off notifications for certain groups of apps, and with your phone still in your pocket, there’s always an excuse to check Facebook or Instagram, reply to an email, or upload a photo. This approach means you can still swipe through your phone, and muscle memory means you can open apps without even realizing it.
You can consider limiting your phone usage time. For example, an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. But our study found that you will soon be spending much more time without realizing it and finding more excuses to be online.
So, the best solution is to go somewhere cool and lock your phone in a box or hide it somewhere. This removes the challenges of turning off notifications or limiting your phone time.
At first it can be a little confusing. But after a while you will start to feel the benefits and hopefully you will feel more liberated, or freed, or as if the weight has been lifted.. you may find that you want to stay separate for longer.
2. Do not forget to plan It is very difficult not to relax in the countryside. There, you don’t have to worry about navigating city streets and the cities’ vast digital infrastructure (such as restaurant reservation apps, movie tickets, and public transportation). So if you can get away with it, it will make your detox more natural.
But advance planning is necessary. Run your message out of the office, and let your colleagues, clients, and boss know you’re away. Inform your loved ones and friends so you don’t have to worry about them trying to reach you.
You should also print your reservation confirmations, train and plane tickets, and other travel tickets – and get a paper map so you can leave your digital devices behind. If you find a lot of fuss in the preparation, you can book your experience with a digital detox vacation provider who will help you plan and adjust for a week or two without overburdening the senses.
3. Look for the Positives Since technology is the “default” in our lives, you may struggle to separate cold turkey from a world where we communicate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In the beginning, cutting off communication can bring about some major emotional challenges – such as feeling stressed, anxious or frustrated.
We suggest trying to reframe struggles in your mind as positive by looking at experiences as rewards, not punishments. For example, not being able to use digital apps or websites to navigate and find highly rated restaurants can be frustrating — but it can also create a sense of excitement from having the opportunity to explore the unknown, experience unexpected encounters, or master new skills in using maps. Paperwork and maybe even a compass.
You may find hidden gems or more opportunities to talk to the locals.
Yes, you will not be able to share your experience instantly on social media, but you will have more fun time with your buddies instead of checking likes and replying to comments on your posts.
Experiencing a digital detox offers opportunities to reconnect with childhood memories forgotten by nostalgia, and old times you may not have thought about for a long time. Sometimes the sound of an old tune or just playing some childhood games is enough to get you back.
4. Think The most important tip is to think about trying a digital detox. Everyone has their own unique relationship with technology, and you will benefit greatly from finding the best way to achieve a healthy relationship with it.
Try to use the experience as an opportunity to think about how digital detoxing makes you feel, and what you want to do after you return to the busy connected world to help prevent digital overload from reappearing.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a shared feed.)