Swiping, tapping, scrolling, watching, uploading, updating, writing, shooting, responding, curating. Keeping up to date with social media can be a fulltime job. And it can be tough to switch off. Recently I spent a weekend having a digital detox (the first one in years) and surprisingly I really enjoyed it.
I didn’t decide to have a digital detox for any particular reason other than I felt like it. I had a rare weekend where I was up to date with blogging, emails and campaigns so I thought sod it, the phone is going away. So here are 4 things I learnt from creating a no phone zone…
Digital detox learning #1: I didn’t miss my phone
Weird. As 90% of the time my phone is never more than an Instagram like away from my reach. I was back home at my parents for the weekend and the only time I actually thought about my palm-sized pal was when one of my family members was doing something ridiculous. As you will probably have noticed from my previous insta stories, my family is a chandelier swinging, laugh a minute, unwittingly hilarious bunch. And usually, I would video them up to their usual antics. For example, my stepdad has previously suggested starting a Youtube channel on how to sharpen a knife and salt a ham. Can. You. Imagine!
Tip: If you find yourself aimlessly scrolling and refreshing (IT ME) then just try and ask yourself what you need to do/how important it is and then consciously put your phone down and walk away from it.
Digital detox learning #2: I was much more present and relaxed
I don’t know about you but I always get caught in the loop of, I’ll just quickly catch up on some stories, respond to that DM, write a few paragraphs of a blog, edit a few photos – and that’s just on my commute into work. Sure it’s good to be productive but being constantly on the go 24/7 can end up being counterproductive and cause you to burn the funk out.
Tip: I have my phone on Do Not Disturb when I’m at work so I don’t get distracted by it and I also have my Instagram notifications permanently switched off, so I can check them when I want to check them rather than being summoned by a funny comment.
Digital detox learning #3: Everything was as I’d left it on my return
I did have a niggling feeling on Sunday eve considering all the unanswered messages, DMs and emails awaiting me (there wasn’t that many I’m not that popular HA). And I did momentarily consider switching back on and sifting through some of them but then I thought sod it and picked up my book instead. Who have I even become? I do feel that when I spend more time reading and observing that my writing improves, so factoring in time for reading is defo something I’m trying to do more of.
Tip: Carry a book with you to help you avoid the urge to constantly scroll and double tap!
Digital detox learning #4: Being away allowed me to take stock
What’s the saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” *insert vomit noise here* ok this only applies here because sometimes I get so bored of posting I almost do it on auto-pilot. And there’s not really any point in churning out mediocre content that you don’t care about. Why should anyone else care if you don’t? Having a little social media break allowed me to take stock of what I’d achieved so far, rather than spending time wondering why my hashtag reach was so pants. Lol, I am aware, first world problem.
Tip: I’m SUCH a goal orientated person so going back to the goals I set myself this year and ticking them off was so cathartic. I’ve also written an entire post about what I want to achieve this year.
I totally understand that social media is some people’s bread and butter which makes it all the harder, causing the lines between social media for work and social media for actually being social become blurrier than your eyesight after a third G&T. I think I posted a grand total of 3-4 Insta feed posts over the Christmas break which is super low for me and I’ve become fonder of posting stories rather than feed posts– because they’re just a bit more fun and less pressure to fit a particular aesthetic. One thing I’m going to take away from this little experiment is that I can take a weekend off and nothing will go wrong. It was nice to not worry about my phone for five mins and no-one died bc of it.
Have you ever had a Digi detox or have any tips for someone embarking on one? xo