Why I’m trying a Digital Detox
This week I read an article about how addicted we are at checking our phones and if I said it hit home then that would be a massive understatement.
I don’t know what it is, fear of missing out or an actual addiction, but during the day and in quiet (and not so quiet) moments, I get this urge to check what’s been going on since I was last online. Cue a cycle of looking at Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, a quick browse of the Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame for celebrity gossip, my emails and then back to the start in case I’ve missed anything. It’s exhausting and yet my brain craves it. I check my phone in bed, while having breakfast and sometimes while playing with Albert. But really, what is more important to me? Spending time with my loved ones and being ‘present’, or just being in the same room as them and scrolling through pictures posted by people I have never, and will never, meet?
I decided it was high time to step away from my phone a bit. To not always check it when I get a notification and to know that if I miss a few Snapchat stories or beautifully edited snaps on Instagram nothing actually changes. I was without a phone for a few days the other week as yet again it took a dip in the toilet (don’t worry, I wasn’t checking it on there, I’d left it in my back pocket and totally forgot about it). In a way those few days were really refreshing. I couldn’t check my phone as it wasn’t working and instead I totally immersed myself in playtime with Albert, walks and family time and TV shows that I loved. No slyly refreshing my emails to see if I had been sent anything interesting or scrolling through countless Facebook updates. Yes I missed a few things but the world didn’t end and I still got round to seeing them at the end of the day on my laptop when Albert was finally in bed. I also felt like I was totally ‘in the moment’ too, which felt so good.
Another thing which I’ve enjoyed while in this mini digital detox was trying to become a bit more mindful. I don’t have a lot of patience with things and tend to get distracted easily these days (I wonder why…) but I have enjoyed being more mindful with this gorgeous new Animals colouring book by Georgie Woolridge.
I found I could do this while watching the Olympics on TV or in a quiet moment and not miss anything. It was nice to do something much more calming than starting at the blue-White light of my iPhone screen. And strangely I found colouring in made me quiet sleepy too. Maybe it was my brain gently unwinding from the constantly being ‘on’ and searching for news and updates, but whatever it was it helped me to fall asleep more easily and earlier which led to me feeling more refreshed.
There are 37 illustrations in the book and each is so detailed they take a fair while to do if you’re being careful and not colouring outside the lines. There’s also a bit of info on each animal too so I found that I actually learned things while I was doing it. The book is really helping me to break my phone addiction, which can only be a good thing, and I can definitely recommend it.
But what now? I have a new phone but my desire to use is less frequently is just as strong. I’ve decided not to use if after 9pm at night and to use it a lot less in the day, checking my social media channels only a couple of times. It’s already made me feel a bit lighter and I’m hoping I can finally break my phone checking addiction for good.
Lots of digital detox love,