How to master your Digital DETOX!

It’s time to detox: here are various effective tips to help you get through the process of welcoming back the analogue world.


We have previously mentioned how important it is to consciously take breaks from social media. Likewise, it is just as important to go through the entire process of digital detox.

 

This digital obsession we’ve developed is deeply rooted in a phenomenon called FOMO.

 

  • FOMO: the fear of missing out; also characterized
    as a kind of social anxiety, where you feel the desire
    „to stay continually connected with what others are doing “.
    (Thompson, 2012)

 

Most of us are not even aware that we suffer from FOMO. Others simply deny it. This compulsive concern to miss out has become very common in our digital age. The fear of missing out on a social event, interaction or news, is one of the most present motives for the increased use of social media & co.

 

Here are some effective tips on how to handle this social pressure much more effectively and be successful at your digital detox.

 

  • > Replace anything digital with its analogue counterpart (if possible)

 

There are several easy changes you can make in order to stop pulling out your smartphone at every occasion. The average person spends around 3 hours a day on their phone and goes through more than 1000 interactions and clicks. Often, this is done unintentionally. Just checking the time? Or reviewing your appointments for this week? Even if your intentions were good, you might end up browsing the web for half an hour, when you initially „just wanted to check the time “ and loose track of what you were attempting to do. These easy swaps will help you put down your phone more often:

 

 

iCalendar –> real Calendar
Flashlight app –> real Flashlight
Time –>Watch
Alarm –> Alarm clock
Notes –> Notebook, Diary

 

 

  • > Apps to help you stop using Apps

     

This sounds counterintuitive, but actually works: there are apps (e.g. Offtime; Moment) that help you set time limits on other apps.  They can also tell you how much time you actually spend on your phone and how that time is divided. You want to stop using social media apps? Perfect. You are sending too many emails? An app like that will help you manage your time more effectively.

 

 

  • > Set phone-free times and spaces

     

What’s more annoying than a lunch-partner who keeps checking their phone at the table? Set yourself specific time frames when you shouldn’t use your phone: e.g. during a meal, while watching a movie, or after 10 p.m.

 

Similarly, it makes sense to also establish phone-free zones, such as the bedroom. This will help you destress immensely and relax more easily.

 

 

  • > Accept the social pressure

     

… and move on. Whether it’s external or internal pressure: you don’t have to answer a message, an e-mail or a comment right away. The beeping and vibrating of your phone might be tempting, but there’s no need to stress. The sooner you accept this, the better off you will be.

 

 

Try to find a good balance between the digital and analogue world. Start by consciously noticing  your phone- and general online habits during the day. Make a list and start small – if you’re overwhelmed, just follow one tip at a time. You will notice a change immediately!

 

 

Victorine Kulier